Fifteen Years an Adjunct
To be clear, I was not a day-to-day freeway-flying adjunct lecturer searching for the on ramp to the tenure track. That lane was reserved for those freshly minted Ph.D.’s pursuing membership in the academy. I was another kind of adjunct, one wearing the moniker practitioner instructor. It required wearing a familiar yet different hat after a full day at the office. These ten-week intervals straddling both worlds commenced in the Fall 2003. By that time, I had already been in and around government for more than 27 years. I had gone up, down, and back up multiple corporate ladders. My business card collection was embossed with senior and executive level titles from both the public and private sectors. My vocational trek had already traversed more than 50, mostly municipal, organizations. As evidenced by my own collection of permanently affixed barnacles, there was a hard-earned education there that mostly came from spending time in grade. From top to bottom, inside and out, mine was a 360-degree view of city hall. Sometimes bowed but not broken, successes outweighed setbacks. Accomplishments usually required traveling circuitous routes. Maps memorized, it was time to share my professional Rand McNally. After all, I could certainly trace the beginning of my own path back to grad school; where practitioner instructors played a significant role. It was now my turn to do the same for the next generation of would be local government leaders.