Professor bids farewell to students and staff at NKU

During the brief time that I was the Chair of the Department of Music at Northern Kentucky University, I came to have a great affection for many of you and developed wonderful working relationships with a large number of the school’s faculty members and administrators. Last spring, when I emerged as the University’s first choice for this position out of a pool of over 50 candidates, several factors informed my decision to accept the offer. I was inspired by recitals that I attended of some of NKU’s most gifted musicians. I was also excited by the “up-and-coming” nature of the University as a whole. This is a direct result of the visionary and wise leadership of its President, Dr. James Votruba, for whom I continue to have enormous respect. I saw much to admire and much to hope for, and I still do. I was greatly honored to play an administrative role at NKU, and the necessity of resigning from my position was a matter of profound regret. However, it has been a pleasure to continue working with my good friend, Barry Andersen, the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dean Andersen became the interim Chair of the Department when I stepped down in February. I will act as a consultant to the department until May 1. I look forward to continuing my career in academia with considerable optimism. Ideally, this will be in a rather different kind of administrative position, yet one in which my teaching and research are still valued. I remain active as a musical scholar even now and will be giving a paper on C. P. E. Bach at the annual meeting of the Music Theory Society of New York State on April 27. The conference is being held at Columbia University, and my affiliation will still read “Northern Kentucky University.” In closing, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that I was given to serve NKU as the Chair of the Department of Music. In many respects, my time in that role, though short, was a kind of administrative boot camp, and I learned a tremendous amount from the experience. I leave, therefore, not only with a measure of pride in my list of accomplishments at NKU but also with a substantially enhanced set of skills. Thank you for this and best wishes as NKU forges ahead in its educational mission.

J. Randall Wheaton, Ph.D. 22 March 2002