One door closes, and another…?

I nearly sent this on April 1, but decided it would be a lousy choice of days to announce this formally. Then I got cold feet and resisted posting it at all.  Oh well, here goes.

You may have noticed I’ve renamed this site “ETAD Café Canadien” to mark a change in management. Dirk Morrison and Jay Wilson will be doing most of the posting here in the future, but I’ll still pipe in from time-to-time.

Why? Because as of July 1, 2014, I will be retiring from the University of Saskatchewan. Yup, 36 years and no longer counting. But let me follow up with the obvious—I’m not bailing out on educational technology and design. It is a huge part of my life and identity, and frankly, I love it way too much to walk away. I just won’t be pulling a paycheque from the U of S, or attending any meetings! My first free gig will be to attend the ETAD Summer Institute from July 3-5, and my second will be as a visiting scholar at Indiana University-Bloomington to finish some long overdue work on a book about “studio and design pedagogies” with Elizabeth Boling and Kennon Smith at IU, Katy Campbell from the U of A, and Colin Gray from wherever he lands next year.

But enough about me. I just wanted to get the word out to whomever might care to know, and this seems like the most convenient way. I won’t try to thank everyone who deserves it, but you know who you are, and please know I carry you deep—very deep—in my heart. I salute my colleagues here and elsewhere, and my many former students who have eclipsed my meager contributions and made the entire ride worthwhile. Educational technology is a special entity, maybe because we have so many ways our work can be expressed. We defy any easy definitions, and I think that’s a good tradition to continue. As a friend once told me, “We need to preserve the mystery of our craft”.

But I think the really mysterious aspect of educational technology is that it is a profession chockablock with positive people, people who are welcoming, caring, generous, and passionate about learning. I don’t know why we have attracted so many great people to our shores, but I know they exist, and it is worth celebrating. And I still have a deep reverence for universities and I know how lucky I’ve been to be part of the academy lo these many years.

So thanks, everyone, for continuing to be an inspiration to me, and for what I know will be another few decades of good times ahead for all of us.


36 thoughts on “One door closes, and another…?

  1. We’ll miss you in your official role here at the U of S, but I am definitely excited to see you enjoy your new endeavours! Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations Rick, 36 years of framing the next generation of edtech, and you’ve done fine work! Here’s to the next 36 making sure they stay on track 😉

  3. This sounds very exciting Rick. Your leadership and humanness in your approach have long been inspiring, and your impact is easily measured by those whom you have mentored (plus look how far that archive on the right scrolls down).

    I’d appreciate the path crossings we have had, be it the walk on the beach in Oahu or the visit to your home– all of which I could truly feel knowing “people who are welcoming, caring, generous, and passionate about learning.”

    Next adventure!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, Alan, but you remind me so much of one of my best friends in College. Of course it was the 60s-70s and we barely survived, but it was always an adventure. He had the courage to live free of convention, and I’ve always thought that of you. Thanks for the life lessons, my friend.

  4. I’m always happy for people who embark on new adventures in their lives. Thanks for all that you have given us so far and I’m looking forward to see where passion (compared to a paycheque) takes you.

  5. I posted this over on Heather’s blog, but I wanted to share it here too:
    There are so many people who could share stories about how Rick has affected and changed their lives. Like you I’m happy for Rick but will notice his absence in the field. I for one want to keep his legacy going not only through my work but by being the most authentic person I can possibly be. Thanks for everything Rick! Here’s to many relaxing years of wine and making pesto.

    • Hi Jaymie! Thanks for getting in touch and for the kind words. How much fun have we had in classrooms and on tennis courts? Hurry up and come back for a visit to Saskatoon and we’ll get together for a few sets, and gather the others for some hilarious doubles. And yes, there will certainly be wine and pesto to follow.

  6. Rick, the many people you’ve worked with over the years (whether students or colleagues) have been influenced in the most positive ways by your calming presence, warm words, and amazing insight. It was an absolute pleasure working with you, and I wish you the best on whatever comes next!!

    • Hi Brad! Great to hear from you. I can’t tell you how much I learned from you, and how much I enjoyed our time teaching together in Transforming Teaching. I loved working at your side, and I only regret we couldn’t find a way to keep you at the U of S. You’ll always have a home here, you know!

  7. Rick – I posted on Heather’s blog and want to post here too. I wish you only the best. Your enthusiasm and excitement for the work we do continues to be infectious and I was so blessed (and continue to be) to have you in my corner. I owe much of my success to you and your belief in my abilities. I look forward to seeing what’s next now that you don’t have to wear ties or attend meetings. 🙂

    • Thanks a bunch, Sharon! I promise to avoid the ties and meetings, but I do hope to stay active in the field. Maybe I’ll even start finding more time to blog! It’s been so much fun watching your meteoric rise on the corporate side of our work. You’re an exceptional instructional designer, and I’m glad you’re with a group that recognizes it–and it comes with a lot of global travel! Maybe I’ll bump into you in Paris some day!

  8. Again, I’ve been blessed to catch the tail end of an amazing career. It seems all my favourite educators retire before I’m able to work alongside them. A very special thanks for your cheerleading! You’re such an outstanding leg-up person who has always made me feel valued in this digital academic community – even before I’ve truly earned my place.

    • So great to hear from you, Leslie! Actually you need to know you’ve been an inspiration. You’re a community maker! I remember bumping into you in Alec’s class for the first time, and now I’m thinking of trading in one of my guitars and taking up the ukelele as a retirement project. I’m just glad I got to know you so early in your career. Can’t wait to see what comes next for you.

  9. The outpouring of support and gratitude you are getting speaks for itself. I know so many impressive people who cite your influence and guidance as invaluable in their lives. I have only had the good fortune to know you via a few all-too-short encounters, and your wonderful work and online presence, yet I consider you to be one of the most charming, knowledgeable, wise and astonishingly gracious people I have ever known. Thank you for all you have given to our field, and to me. I look forward to seeing where you go from here, and can only hope we cross paths again in one way or another.

    • How cool to hear from you, Brian! You’re, flat out, one of the most creative and courageous people I’ve gotten to know. And you’re a Saskatoon homeboy! I know our paths (not our double-edged swords) will cross many more times and I hope we get the chance to build something together sometime. Your blog continues to be one of the most thought-provoking locations on the Web (and how did you ever beat everyone else to that domain name?). Thanks so much for the kind thoughts, and for taking the trouble to get in touch. Next time you’re at Winston’s, I’m buying. I’m beginning to think there’s something going on with this social media stuff! 🙂

  10. Congratulations, Rick. I am honoured that I get to learn from you and be a part of your final ETAD 802 class. Hopefully I can contribute to making it memorable and that you can then begin your next phase in life with a huge spring in your step. Congratulations, again. When on Vancouver Island look me up and we’ll hit the golf course, or pub, or both:)

  11. Hi Rick,
    Congratulations! I kind of wish you had posted this on April 1st so I could believe it wasn’t true. But let me join in the chorus of well wishes and gratitude for everything you’ve done and will continue to do for design, ed. tech., teaching, learning, and mentoring. Even in the short time I spent as a grad student, your lessons, advice and support remain with me in the work I do everyday. So let me simply say – thank you.

    • Thanks, Dean! Great to hear from you and it has always been fun to watch you grow in your career as an instructional designer. But I’ll always think of you and the music man! Keep playing, in every sense of the word!

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