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The End of An Era / The End of A Teaching Position

23rd December 2008

Last Wednesday I (and my colleagues) received received my six-month notice of the non-renewal of my teaching contract at Taylor University College, Edmonton, Alberta (TUC), due to “financial stringency.” Despite receiving a “pink slip” (and, no, it wasn’t even on pink paper… rather disappointing!), there was still some hope that government funding for an affiliation agreement the University of Alberta would allow Taylor University College to continue in an albeit modified form. Last Thursday (December 18) we learned that the provincial government was not willing to fund the affiliation with TUC and we were informed by our president that the University College will close its doors for good after this next semester. Thus, when my contract expires on June 30, 2009, I will be out of a job.

More significant than my own personal situation, is what this means for students, faculty, and staff, and Christian higher education in northern Alberta. Come July 2009 (and even before for some staff) there will be a lot of people looking for employment. In this regard faculty have the biggest challenge since faculty recruitment cycles have pretty much already passed for the next academic year and almost all of them would entail a move from Edmonton as well.

As far as my own situation, I am not sure what I will do. While I love academic teaching and feel “called” to it, there are very limited Hebrew Bible/Old Tesament teaching opportunities in Edmonton and I am very reluctant to move my family — especially considering the age of my children (my thirteen year old daughter’s only response to the news was to fold her arms and say very very firmly “I’m not moving!”). So, come July, I may be leaving academia and getting a “real” job. Time will tell.

So, this Christmas season, if you are a praying sort, please pray for the students, staff, and faculty of Taylor University College.

(The official announcement may be found at the TUC website: http://www.taylor-edu.ca/)


13 Responses to “The End of An Era / The End of A Teaching Position”

  1. James Says:

    Bummer! I’ll be praying.

    James

  2. Claude Mariottini Says:

    Tyler,

    I am sorry to hear that your school will be closing in June. Over the years I have appreciated reading your blog. I hope you find a new teaching position next year. Even if you do not, I hope you will continue blogging.

    I will be praying for your and the people at TUC.

    Claude Mariottini

  3. Jim Says:

    :-(

  4. Tim Bulkeley Says:

    Tyler, I’ll pray too, that it will not be too long before the future becomes clearer, and not too long either before you can see good coming out of this situation! In the meanwhile, despite the news, so have a happy Christmas.

    (And when you can, do keep us updated.)

  5. MattPage Says:

    Really sorry to hear that. Tyler.

    Matt

  6. David Ker Says:

    Tyler,

    Very sorry to hear about this. And I understand the way your kids must feel!

    I have found the book The Dip by Seth Godin to be very inspirational in this regard (distinguishing between dead-ends and challenges worth persevering on). And also A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink. Our changing times require adjusting to new paradigms and finding new niches. I trust that God will show you his perfect will in good time.

    Be blessed.

    David

  7. karin Says:

    Peter and I are very sorry to hear this news! You will all be in our thoughts and prayers as you transition to perhaps other areas of service. Too bad this news came before Christmas. We know that the Lord is working out His perfect plan for your lives.

  8. Russ Says:

    A few times a year I check your blog to see how you are doing. If you remember back a number of years I had a career change and I will be one of many to remind you that these things have a way of working themselves out for the better.

    Take care and be strong. Dad would expect nothing less. Pass my love on to the entire family.

    God bless.

  9. Judy Redman Says:

    Sorry to hear this, Tyler. Sounds as though this semester will be very challenging for the staff at Taylor and I know all about trying to move teenage children.

  10. Peter Keyes Says:

    Hey Prof. Williams! I don’t know if you remember me(Mormon student from your U of A Hebrew class) but I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve been a fan of your blog and this is tragic news. And at Christmas! I’ll pray for you, your family, the staff and the students.

  11. Michael Pahl Says:

    Hey, Tyler. I’m very sorry to hear about this. As you may know, I’m going through a similar transition myself so I know the sorts of uncertainties you will be facing in the months ahead. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. John Hobbins Says:

    Tyler,

    I just saw this. My unsolicited advice: if necessary to keep on teaching and doing research, make a move and watch your family flourish in a new environment. As a family, we’ve done it more than once. The kids adjust. You and perhaps your wife will have the harder time, but it’s worth it.

    Why on earth would you throw away your accumulated wisdom? Most profs would be happy to have impacted a small percentage of the people you have shaped in a positive shape, in the classroom and online.

  13. Stephen Cook Says:

    Tyler, I too am just reading this. It is very hard news to hear. Please feel free to call on me if I can be of any support. —Stephen