Monday, 3 March 2008

Run for the border

I’m very happy to announce to all of my readers that I’ve accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas beginning in the fall. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to teach and conduct research at one of America’s newest universities in a dynamic, rapidly-changing community.

Perhaps most happily, I won’t be getting there until well after all the politicians leave town!

Friday, 7 March 2008

La Migra

As you might appreciate, the immigration issue is a big deal in the environs of my future employer and residence. Today’s Laredo Morning Times carries three articles on the issue: one addressing unfunded mandates associated with law enforcement detention of illegals, and another features Washington kabuki theater on immigration reform, but I think the most interesting of the three is a report on a lecture by Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations on the conflation of immigration, terrorism, and border security.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

On the potential of becoming a public figure

One of the more appealing aspects of the new job is that it’s an opportunity to make an impact at an institution that serves a community that historically has not been served well by higher education. The community in turn seems more enthusiastic than most about the university, in spite of a rather marked “town-gown” gap in terms of the demographics of the university faculty versus the student body and wider community.

The downside of this arrangement for those not comfortable in the limelight—a category I firmly count myself within—is that nary a happening at TAMIU fails to make the newspaper. Case in point: a goodly share of my future department is quoted in a single article in yesterday’s Laredo Morning Times, a fate I am likely to share in the future.

The potential silver lining: I doubt I’ll ever become as ubiquitous as Frequent Commenter Scott. Being a sharp-dressed, vaguely handsome tall guy trumps everything I can bring to the table with the media.