As I mentioned in my Director’s Report last Fall, I will be retiring on or about February 1, 2015 (about 18 months from now). I wanted to announce this early, so as to give the Search Committee sufficient time to find the right replacement. Therefore, the search process is taking place a bit earlier than would normally be expected, so as to provide a good overlap between myself and the next Director. Kevin and Mario have put together an excellent Committee, with a breadth of experience and expertise.
I hesitated in announcing my retirement so early, as there might be a “lame duck” feeling. I do not intend to slow down over the next 18 months, but such a deadline also provides me with a strong incentive to get certain projects completed and other projects well documented so that they can continue into the future.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the AAVSO. I consider it the highlight of my career, and find it amazing how supportive the membership has been towards me and towards improving the AAVSO! I’ve made many new friends and colleagues, and gained an even better appreciation of the capabilities of modern observers, and of the wonderful staff at AAVSO Headquarters. I’ve done my best to modernize and make the AAVSO relevant for the current trends in variable-star research; it is up to you in the future to continue this process.
Retirement is only another step down my life path; Linda and I have a long list of interesting things to see and do. Even volunteering for the AAVSO might be in the picture! In the meantime, give the search committee your utmost attention, and if you have someone who might be a good candidate for the job, urge them to apply for the position of Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.