Saturday, April 12, 2008

Heading to Queen's

Those at UW may have already heard this news, but I am leaving this summer to join the Dept of Political Studies at Queen’s University as a Queen’s National Scholar.

Leaving UW was not an easy decision as my colleagues here have been very supportive and collegial during the five years I have been here. But Queen’s offers me new exciting intellectual challenges that I am really keen to pursue. With their strengths in political theory (as well as the discipline as a whole), plus a first-rate philosophy dept with expertise in both bioethics and political philosophy (not to mention a Law School, School of Medicine, School of Policy Studies, etc.!), I can’t think of a more engaging environment for pursuing the kind of interdisciplinary research I believe is needed to meet the pressing ethical and social challenges that we face this century. So I am very excited about the move to Queen's.

I have really enjoyed my time here at Waterloo. I have had the privilege of teaching a number of truly first rate students. I want to thank those students who have, over the years, eagerly participated in my fourth year/MA seminar on “Genetics and Justice”. (This is a course I will continue to offer at Queen’s. Indeed I expect to develop that course even further over the coming years). And I am especially grateful to the democracy reading group here at Waterloo. Together we have debated almost every important issue one can think of. And Jan Narveson has proven to be a very generous and engaging intellectual companion. While we (still!) disagree on many things, I have learned so much from Jan. Having such a collegial and sharp critic at hand to attack one’s ideas is one of the most valuable resources a scholar could hope to have. If only I had half the energy that Jan possesses! While he has been officially “retired” for a few years now, one wouldn’t know it by the very busy schedule he maintains (which included teaching a few of my courses while I was on sabbatical).

The move to Kingston will be the sixth move for my wife and I over the past decade. Our journey began back here (from 1996-99 while I was doing my PhD), then here for a year (where son #1 was born), then here for two years (where son #2 was born), then here for a year, then to Waterloo in 2003, and a special year here and here in 2006/7 (and son #3 was born 2 weeks early back in Waterloo while I was tying up some loose ends in Oxford!).

And now we are all headed here.

It’s been an amazing journey! One I couldn’t have taken on without the love and support of my wife and kids.

So while we are sad to be leaving our friends in Waterloo, we have many fond memories of both the city and the University. And we are all looking forward to the next chapter of our lives in Kingston.