Programming note… big Abject changes a-comin’…

Scouting Range Life by MrGluSniffer

Various reasons for the silence on this blog through June, among them a fun trip east with the family (eternal thanks to our host Grant Potter and his wonderful family)…

But things have not been quiet. In fact, the past month counts as among the most hectic periods of my life. I’ll have to go back and blog my thoughts on Northern Voice, my first STLHE conference, and other things that have been bubbling away… But for once I’ll get to the point and share the biggest personal news first.

After a decade at The University of British Columbia, I am taking off to accept the newly-created position of “Director of Innovation” at Thompson Rivers University. I start the new gig in August.

This was an unbelievably difficult decision that has played out over the past few months. UBC is deservedly renowned as a world class institution, and I have been fortunate to work with some of the most gifted people imaginable. Many of them have become true friends. I’m treated very well here, the support and understanding I’ve gotten from my employers through this process has been amazing. And I think I’ve made it clear what a delightful home the Republic of East Van has been to our family over the years. We’ve made and solidified friendships that we will always treasure. Many times through this process I have asked myself, “how could I ever leave this?”

This was the first job I applied for since I started at UBC. The opportunity to focus on innovation (although I confess to ambivalence on how that term is applied in education) caught my attention, as did the focus on “open” in the job posting. I decided to approach the interviews as honestly as I could, to describe the innovations and approaches I believed were needed, not what I thought the committee wanted to hear. The interviews evidently went well, and as I’ve spoken to more people at TRU I’ve become truly excited by the possibilities.

Over the next few weeks I hope to blog some reflections about my decade at UBC (maybe get at a few of the many notable episodes that I neglected to blog at the time), and begin to speculate on what I might actually try to do at TRU. During my interview, I said that the greatest attribute I bring to my job is the expertise and perspectives of my network, and I will need to tap that wealth of knowledge in the new gig.

In the meantime, we have a move to make. If anyone has a line, contacts or tips on finding a good rental property near Kamloops (we are hoping to try living in the beautiful countryside), please (PLEASE!) be in touch…

26 thoughts on “Programming note… big Abject changes a-comin’…

  1. Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear about the farming/gardening adventures, both virtual and real, ahead! =)

  2. My condolences to the people at TRU: your lives will never be the same… Spring is coming!!

    My energies to the Lambs (less Brian): these adventures are always a collective endeavour, even if they look as promising as this one 😉

    And Brian, I am… well, I am just very happy for you 🙂


  3. Good on you Blamb! I hear Kamloops is in the heart of some very beautiful country, but also that it gets very hot and cold. I hope you’ll be at liberty to blog your work, or to simply have time to write here more. May the move go smoothly.

  4. This is awesome news, I am fired up for you and your family. What’s more, those images you took on your Eastward Ho trip were amazing. More blogging from you is an awesome prospect, go get them!

  5. Many congratulations, Brian – with everyone above I’m looking forward to seeing you define ‘innovation,’ in the Caribou (or refining the job title some; may I suggest, “Endorser of Post-It Note Jokes”?), and count myself lucky to have met you guys in time to share in some of the Casa’s last few hurrahs.

    Until the Dead Moocmen ride again, friend, wishing you a speedy move. In the meantime, Dorothy Parker may have some advice: “They sicken of the calm who know the storm.”

    Total Rock Dimension, to Harry.

  6. I was wondering what had happened to the big news you’d promised. Congrats, it is certainly an interesting title, and so hopefully the remit will be to do interesting things. Hope the move goes well.

  7. +1 on the congratulations! TRU is very lucky, and while changes are always disruptive, I’m sure it will take you guys no time at all to uncover the hidden charms of the Thompson.

  8. Like to add my congrats on the new gig, TRU is lucky to have you, and I look forward to (continuing) to follow your innovative exploits. All the best with the transition, and will put the word out for any potential rural rentals.

  9. Martin, there were a few bumps during the negotiation period, not least a major staffing change to the people I would be reporting to… But it looks like things worked out OK for me at least.

    Stephen, thanks for the pointer, I will look Jeff up. The guy who launched you into ed tech!

    Doug, any trees you can shake would be much appreciated, thanks for the offer.

    1. Sylvia, that one tip you provided was our best lead yet. Too bad it didn’t work out. Any further help is much appreciated.

      Looking forward to neighbourly chats!

  10. Awesome news indeed. Nicely done. Exciting things are bound to happen at TRU with you there. Best of luck securing a rental.

  11. How did I miss this? Congrats Brian, it sounds like fun and a great change! You’ll get to see sun and desert tumbleweeds once again…

  12. That is fantastic Brian — that sounds like an amazing opportunity and a perfect match for you. It’s humbling to follow your trajectory since our TechBC days. Good luck!

  13. Thanks again, friends. Rigo and Tannis know a bit about Sonoran deserts… I hope I like the northern edge as much as I did the southern one…

    Anne, you gave me my big Canadian break, and were a wonderful leader, mentor and friend. Safe to say I would not be here without you. Hope to see you again in person sometime soon.

    1. I have no doubt you would be doing equally well and would have found similarly terrific career opportunities even if our paths had never crossed Brian. But I’m glad I could play a role in that process.

      BTW — we venture to Lake Le Jeune in June most years to go see the loons and their newborn chicks…

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