Thoughts on “The Next Chapter: Blazing New Trails (1998-2047)

The final presentation of the series night before last, Uncovering Hawkeye History in honor of the 175th anniversary of the University of Iowa was a fascinating review of the changes in architecture of the campus, how local and national politics influenced the university and vice versa, as well as the expansion of the role of philanthropy to support its mission over the years. A YouTube video of the recorded presentation will be posted here at a later date.

There was not enough time to do much more than briefly mention the new trails being blazed by three leading programs. However, you can read more about them in Iowa Magazine.

Craig Kletzing is the principal investigator for NASA’s TRACERS mission. He’s a UI physics and astronomy professor who secured the largest research grant in the history of The University of Iowa in 2019 to study the interactions of the magnetic fields of the sun and the Earth.

Christopher Merrill is the director of the International Writing Program and professor of English. Merrill has made cultural diplomacy mission to over 50 countries. He once served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and the National Council on the Humanities.

Dr. Patricia Winokur, the executive dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, physician and professor of internal medicine—infectious diseases, and leader of Iowa’s Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials. Dr. Winokur is a nationally recognized leader in the field of infectious diseases. She created the UI Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, one of the top vaccine research programs in the country and one of only nine nationwide funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

At the end of the presentations, university archivist David McCartney announced that he will be retiring as soon as next week. He wished everyone well and the presenters I’m sure all wish him well.

He has held the archivist position since 2001. He has led a very interesting and varied life. A story posted in The Academic Archivist on November 12, 2020 by Katie Nash, MLIS, CA reveals he got his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his MA in history and MLS (master’s degree in library and information studies) in 1998, both from the University of Maryland at College Park.

He also was a reporter for radio stations in Alaska and the Midwest. I’ll bet that was interesting. He was between warehouse jobs in the summer of 1992 when he drove around the Midwest, researching Carrie Chapman Catt, the woman suffrage leader and founder of the League of Women Voters. It turns out Catt grew up near David’s hometown. That work led to publishing a collection of Catt’s papers in a catalog.

David has done a great many things. He believes that his profession’s worth and legitimacy are being challenged, and that the value of the work he and others do is often unrecognized. He firmly believes that institutions and corporations have to understand their responsibility to maintain a strong archives and records management program. He’s very motivated to advocate for his profession.

I probably would not have looked for any further information about David McCartney had he not announced his retirement at the close of the final presentation of this series. He made his point simply and humbly, saying the challenges of keeping up with the technology demands of his job were part of the reason for his retirement.

He even said he hoped he would see the presenters in the Ped Mall (officially named City Plaza), a pedestrian mall in downtown Iowa City near the UI campus, built in 1979 as the centerpiece of the city’s urban renewal project. It’s a popular gathering place for students and locals. There are concerts, jazz festivals, and art shows.

As a relatively recent retiree myself in June 2020 (19 months or 86 weeks or 606 days ago but who’s counting?), I can relate to David on this issue. Many of those I worked with were sad to see me go. I think many will be sad to see David go.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on “The Next Chapter: Blazing New Trails (1998-2047)”

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