Skeleton Crew


Or, Adventures in Austerity Math


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I learned last week that another colleague is retiring.  Like others who left before her, this colleague holds down an ample share of our collective work. She teaches popular courses in more than one area and mentors many graduate students. She is a reliable voice in History Department meetings and committee work. Having spent most of her career at UWM, she understands the intricacies of the institution.  The loss of her professional savvy and institutional memory −what we might call her knowledge capital− will be substantial.

In normal times, we would go about the process of filling the gap left by such departures.  The department would conduct a national search, at the end of which we would hire a historian who could begin to fill the shoes of the senior colleague.  While lacking the experience and institutional memory of the person retiring…

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