On Becoming Unemployed

As many of my friends already know, I recently received notice that my job was being eliminated at Lake Superior College. I was fully expecting that I would hear the news that my job was being re-designed into a lower level title with less pay, but I had no inkling that my position and my employment would be cut completely. This picture of me in my office was taken just a couple of months before I received this news. Ahh, good times.

Along with three of my vice presidential colleagues, I received the kind of news that no one wants to hear – something to the effect of – “you’re no longer needed here.” Although that is not a direct quote, that pretty much sums up the situation. As part of a major reorganization at the college, the remaining administrators will take on new responsibilities and there are also quite a few things that probably just won’t get done any more. I’ve spent 15 years at Lake Superior College and about 27 years altogether working in higher education. A brief rundown of my time at LSC includes:

  • November, 1995: I accepted a temporary faculty position at LSC teaching accounting, starting the winter quarter of ’95-96 school year.
  • August, 1996: I started a probationary period on a tenure-track accounting position with the LSC faculty.
  • During the 2000-01 academic year I received some release time to serve as the Online Faculty Coordinator.
  • June, 2001: I resigned my faculty tenure (oops!) to become the Dean of Technology and Distance Learning at LSC.
  • June, 2004: Received a promotion to Vice President of Technology and e-Campus at LSC, and joined the President’s Cabinet.
  • November, 2010: I received notice of my impending lay-off due to reorganization and reduction in force.

I am now working from home on special projects during the three-month period when the college is obligated to pay me but doesn’t want me around (note: I don’t want to be there either as it is extremely difficult to deal with the near constant pity party related to my departure). I’m not exactly sure what is next. More info will be posted here in the near future.

My biggest regret/disappointment/concern has to do with my abrupt exit from the college community. After 15 years of service, and after creating (I believe, and so I’m told) a pretty decent record related to online learning and the uses of technology at the campus; it doesn’t feel good at all to basically just disappear from the campus and from my friends and colleagues. It feels as if I’ve done something wrong, which I haven’t. In fact, the whole thing is downright painful.

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9 Responses

  1. So sorry to hear the news, Barry, but I have faith that you’ll be on to bigger and better things soon. I’m looking forward to reading about your next big adventure.

    Hang in there.

  2. Barry, someone like you who has given a lot to others, myself included, should be recognized and rewarded. If not at the current location, someone will I’m sure.

  3. Barry,
    That just plain sucks the big one. It ain’t right; it ain’t fair!

  4. Barry, sorry to hear the bad news. It’s times like these that shape what we become. In your case, I’m sure only good will come of it.

  5. Bad news Barry, and we can shake hands. Exact the same is happening to me at the moment! Your story could have been mine.
    But I’m convinced that given the knowledge and drive we both have we will find a new job. There is so much work around still to be done!
    Give it some time. Don’t put too much energy in the past but look ahead.

  6. Wow, Willem – I find your news as hard to believe as my own. Maybe we should start our own international school that spans the Atlantic (virtually, perhaps). It has been nice maintaining your acquaintance over these many years and I hope we can continue that.

    Thanks Michael, Jon, Sandy, and Joe. Onward and upward, right?

  7. That’s rotten news, Barry.

  8. Sorry to hear this, Barry. I was self employed for about 7 years and it was maddening. Some months were good (we’re talking income) and some were bad. Sometimes I thought I was on a roll that wouldn’t stop, but then I would go for several weeks with no work.

    I DO know that your name is well-known in the Ed Tech field and with that “bonus” you have a very good chance of getting something better.

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