I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have allowed me to serve as your chancellor for the last 14 years. I will have more to say and perhaps a tear or two on April 1 when I address you all again. For now, it is enough to say that the most important work to be accomplished this year for all of us is to help attract the next chancellor for this great university. Of course the best selling point we have are the accomplishments you have accumulated over the last decade or more. But we shouldn’t leave the choice to chance. I hope all of you will actively engage in the search process.
So, announcing your retirement has certain consequences. I won’t bore you with more than one story at this point. A faculty member, who for now will remain nameless, came to my office and told my assistant, Kim Rauscher, that it was critical that the chancellor speak at a banquet to be held next October and wanted to get it on my calendar. Kim told him I had announced my retirement and would not be chancellor in October. The faculty member went away but came back 15 minutes later and in even stronger terms insisted that I must speak at the banquet in October. Kim again politely said I was retiring and would not be chancellor in October.
The faculty member left but came back for the third time, slammed his fist on the desk, and shouted at Kim “Look, I want Chancellor Perlman at that banquet in October.” Kim, always unflappable, said “Look, Harvey Perlman has resigned and won’t be chancellor in October.” At that, the faculty member smiled and said, “Great, I just wanted to hear it one more time”
Enjoy the picnic.