An Educator's Life
Chapter 7 Leaving Teaching for the World of Work
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Serves Me Right for Volunteering
The slow end to the Vietnam War and competition from a new Nashua community college and Lowell State University in Massachusetts caused enrollments problems at NEAI so I had volunteered to calculate admission enrollment statistics. Data analysis related to my also unpaid Dean of Men position would have been more interesting as I was still single and the young girls looked good but I followed SR's advice and didnít poop where I ate.
Fall of 2003 numbers were not good and I accepted the job of Director of Admission. I continued my classes for the fall term which ended at Thanksgiving but immediately began working 8AM to 10 PM six days a week though I was usually out of the office by 6PM on Friday and 4PM on Saturday; at least I didn't have to get to at 3:45 to go mossing.
Within a few weeks a poster with return cards to generate inquiries had been mailed to HS in our NE, eastern NY and NJ recruiting areas. People who returned cards received major related flyers plus an all-black flyer containing campus and student pictures. There were lots of respondents. Our target market was aviation and business administration students.
One late afternoon I will always remember occurred when faculty and students left for our two week Christmas vacation. My staff who would work the holidays had left for the day and I was alone in the building doing paper work during my favorite time of the year. Teaching can require a lot of hours but many are voluntary and you decide how many, when and where. I enjoyed the new job but hours were rigid with pressure to meet goals and it would be fifteen years before I would return to the freedom of being a teacher.
Our New President
President Thyng's health issues had been solved with substitute presidents. One was local business investor Hap Watson whose wife taught economics and the other was former Nashua mayor Vague. We needed someone fulltime and he came to us from the University of Cincinnati where he had been an education professor.
President Bill Grasmere had little impact on what I was doing as he was not interested in admission management/administration or the interviewing of prospective studentís days, evenings, Saturdays mornings and even a few Sundays. He would rather go flying in a school associated plane. A new view book with lots of pictures would replace the six or so flyers as the center of our marketing campaign and Bill volunteered himself to be view book photographer. It was the responsibility our competent school publicists Thomasine who was sure to do a good job.
Summer was slow though I was upset because our view book July first printing was being delayed by disagreements between our president and school publicist. Bill was not happy with anything she presented and I was not mature enough to force his hand. Bill did get along very well with school treasures Beverly who along with me and Bill would be the only employees not scheduled for a half pay summer caused by a lack of cash. As the layoff approached it appeared our register Debbie would be needed full time but Bill said no. I knew cash was short but not that short. Bill still refused so I countered by offering to take half pay to make up the cash shortage and Bill had no choice but to accept my offer/demand.
September came and consecutive annual
enrollment drops of about 20% had been stopped as my goal of increasing
in students plus dorm residents had been achieved. Competition with
state schools had kept our tuition very low and it exactly equaled room
and board charges so from a revenue standpoint a dorm student equaled
two non-dorm students. A collateral benefit of this enrollment counting
method was that it encouraged dorm students and everyone enjoyed having
more students on campus evenings and weekends.
To Hold Them
or Fold Them
By early October first I still didnít
have a view book and the general unhappiness of the faculty with
administrative decisions had me and everyone else thinking about leaving
what had been a very special school. I finally got to mail my view book
during Thanksgiving weekend and while I continued doing my job, my
attention turned to finding a teaching job. Helping fellow employees
cope and finding a new job when added to work responsibilities would
keep me very busy. Time flew by and on a late June evening on the steps
of Daniel Webster Hall I sat alone having accepted a teaching job and
thinking about the past nine wonderful years. Everyone was gone and I
had enjoyed a beer and contemplated teaching high school mathematics.
A Now the Rest of the Story
NEAI had been tremendous school for students and employees. Finances made the last few years difficult. Small schools with a caring faculty/administration are the best model for all schools but those educating our most academically gifted students. NEAI would have a few difficult years and then President Hanna McCarthy came along and the school returned to having the size and resources required to be something special. Tough times returned and a new President could not solve financial problems and the school along with its accreditation was sold to a for profit school
The founding trustees, James Tamposie , Harry Sheffield, and Warren Rudman provided southern N.H. with a wonderful school. Hopefully its legacy will continue.