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Retired faculty member continues to learn

  |   Kristen B. Morales   |   Permalink   |   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

Carl Glickman's recipe for retirement: One part teaching, one part writing, and one part volunteer work. Mix as needed and enjoy with a side of family and travel. It's served him well for more than a decade, says the former professor.

After more than two decades with the College, Glickman first retired in 2002 to take an endowed chair position in Texas. He and his wife Sara thoroughly enjoyed those few years, but cutting ties with Athens was never an option.

"We love this town and knew we would return home," says Glickman. The College offered him a position to mentor young faculty, setting a decidedly different pace than Glickman's years as a full-time professor, when he wrote more than a dozen books and was a senior consultant to two governors and U.S. presidential candidates. During that time, he founded and led the nationally acclaimed Georgia League of Professional Schools. This time around, he helped develop courses and outreach in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy.

This role was a chance to bring decades of experience—many times at the cutting edge of school leadership development—to the next generation of professors. Sheneka Williams, an associate professor and one of Glickman's mentees, says it wasn't until they worked together to develop a course, "School-Community Relations," that she realized his impact on the field.

"I don't think I even realized who I was working with and the magnitude of what he meant to the field of supervision and curriculum at the time," she says. "I just knew he was a wonderful teacher."

The course they developed highlighted Glickman's unique viewpoint. "He approached it through a diversity lens—how do school leaders relate to the different communities represented in their schools?" said Williams. "He really took the course and put a different lens on it; I call it the Carl Glickman lens, and students are very receptive to it."

After three years, Glickman took another turn toward retirement, enrolling in summer institutes in creative writing conducted by the staff of the legendary Iowa Writer's Workshop at Iowa State University. This resulted in a published book of short fiction and memoir essays. Two of the stories have won "best of the year" regional awards. But he missed teaching. He and Sara sold their restored farm in rural Clarke County and moved within walking distance of Aderhold Hall. He's been teaching an elective, graduate seminar each spring semester.

So where does he go from here? He plans to continue his volunteer work and spend more time with Sara and their family, as well as colleagues and friends. As for teaching in future years, he wavers. Glickman's most recent class of students was top notch, he says—and it may be the high note on which he ends his teaching career. But he is not sure.

"The joy of teaching, to me, is not standing up and lecturing but rather facilitating high levels of active research, participation, and imagination," he says. "It's hard to give up the satisfactions and tribulations of trying to improve education as the DNA of improving democratic society."

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