August 19, 2012
On Leaving Academe
By Terran Lane

Earlier this year, I resigned from my position as an associate professor of computer science at the University of New Mexico; in July, I started as a software engineer at Google. Countless people, from my friends to my (former) dean, have asked, Why? Why give up an excellent—some say “cushy”—tenured faculty position for the grind of corporate life?

It’s a good question. Tenure represents the ultimate in intellectual freedom; my colleagues in my department were talented, friendly, and incredibly innovative; and I was privileged to work with some excellent students, a number of whom would have fit in just fine at powerhouse institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Purdue University.

Honestly, the reasons are myriad and complex, and some of them are purely personal. But I wanted to lay out the ones that speak to larger trends at the university, in New Mexico, in academe, and in the United States in general. I haven’t made this move lightly, and I think it’s an important cautionary note to sound: The factors that have made academe less appealing to me will also affect other professors. I’m concerned that the United States—one of the innovation powerhouses of the world—will hurt its own future considerably if we continue to make educational professions unappealing.

Read more.

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to:

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.