Resignation

It’s official, I have resigned my position at University of Mary Washington, and will be going full-time at Reclaim Hosting. It’s almost surreal, and I follow in the footsteps of the great Tim Owens—-whose hard work these last six months has made it all possible. And while I reference the opening sequence of The Prisoner above in honor of #prisoner106, my resignation was neither premature nor acrimonious, and it won’t be immediate. I will be working through September at UMW to ensure a smooth transition. What’s more, one couldn’t have asked for a better situation over the 1o years I’ve been at UMW. I had amazing colleagues in DTLT, a remarkable level of autonomy, and the best faculty and students you could imagine. I think the work I’ve done at UMW speaks for itself, and I leave feeling I was part of a group that truly made the campus a better place to teach and learn. There can be no greater professional satisfaction than that in this line of work.

As to why, it’s pretty simple and I alluded to it in an earlier post. I’ve been longing to explore some of the exciting work Tim and I have been doing with Reclaim Hosting and this is my chance. We’ve been growing Reclaim slowly but surely for almost two years now, and it’s at a point where we can both devote our full attention to what’s next. I’m looking forward to working more closely with Tim on a daily basis because he has been an unbelievable source of inspiration for me these last four years. I would follow him and his edtech work to the ends of the earth. I learn a ton from working alongside him, and I want that to be my full time job. What’s more, I  think we complement each others skills quite well: he’s awesome and I can promote awesome pretty well 🙂

I’ll be transitioning most of my attention on this blog to exploring the work we’re doing with Reclaim, while at the same time working through what will certainly prove an amicable, but deeply emotional, breakup with UMW (that’s the real reason I need three months to transition 🙂 ). I love that school! It has provided me countless opportunities to explore and experiment as part of my day job since 2005. While I am thrilled with the future prospects Reclaim provides, I will remain forever grateful to everyone at UMW—it’s truly a remarkable community of committed, talented, and generally awesome people. It’s been an honor to serve in your ranks for the last decade.

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88 Responses to Resignation

  1. NOBODY resigns like the bava 😉 At least there was no mystery gas shot through the key hole (but just in case, keep those windows cracked open).

  2. Wow. Congrats on making the jump! And, of course, I’m insanely appreciative for everything you’ve done during your stint at UMW. Looking forward to learning more from you as you spread your wings.

    • Reverend says:

      Dude, I just have to say that you and Cogdog (the first two commenters on this blog) have been so instrumental in my work as an edtech over the last decade, and I can;t thank you two enough. What Tim and I are doing has so much to do with all that you both (and others) have done and continue to do.

      I love you, D’Arcy!

  3. MBS says:

    Wow. So excited for you and Tim to take Reclaim Hosting to another level. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible journey for you two.

    And UMW will definitely miss your presence, but what an amazing legacy you’ve left behind and an awesome team too. Bet they’ll keep rocking it into the future.

    Looking forward to seeing where you and Tim land, hopefully there will be a huge need to visit NYC often. You two are always welcome in BK!

  4. Mike Caulfield (@holden) says:

    How strange it feels that you won’t be there, but how exciting to see you turn your full efforts to something that can have broader impact. It’s probably the best thing for you, but it’s definitely the best thing for all of us. Don’t forget us little people when you get to the top….

    Congratulations Jim, and here’s to another completely insane ten years!

    • Reverend says:

      Mike,
      I won’t forget who made the first semester of Reclaim possible. Your generosity, goodwill, and insane intellect is legendary, and we couldn’t have gotten where we are without you for so many reasons. I’m equally tripped out about leaving UMW, but I think it’s healthy for me now to push on to a world where we can provide infrastructure and support on the cheap for so many schools—and I can’t do that and UMW at the same time. It was simply time to commit. Tim’s jump in November proved to me it was possible, I’m just his sidekick in that.

  5. Phillip Long says:

    Sounds like an exiting move. It’s also in an area that there should be astronomical growth in so your timing is, as always, exquisite. All the best at Reclaim Hosting! UT may need your services 😉

    • Reverend says:

      Phil,

      You know better than anyone about exciting moves, I am not so brave to do Australia just yet. And I hope you are right about the growth 🙂 Thanks for the well wishes, hope to see you in Austin soon!

  6. David Croteau says:

    Good for you, Jim. It’s never easy to take a leap into the unknown, especially when you’re already in a comfortable position. But comfort is overrated.

    Best.

    • Reverend says:

      David,
      You couldn’t be more right on about the comfort part, I’ve had visions of me staying at UMW my whole career, and it didn’t seem a bad thing at all. I guess that’s when I was like maybe this is a good idea after all 🙂 Thanks for the comment and the encouragement!

  7. Cheers, Jim, and echoes to all the good wishes that are flying this afternoon. Many thanks for all you’ve brought to UMW this past decade (damn, time flies…) Your voice, creativity, and energy will be much missed!

    Best of luck at Reclaim, and in the meantime, ‘be seeing you’…

    • Reverend says:

      Thanks Sue,
      Right?! Time does fly, doesn’t it. Few people on campus have inspired me like you have. Your work is amazing, and I don’t think I could stop blogging about it even if I tried. Be seeing you, indeed

  8. Congratulations! You and your work have been a huge inspiration to me and I look forward to seeing your new directions emerge.

  9. Hello, Mr. Groom,

    Congratulations on making the leap! I look forward to seeing where this leads.

    Good/fun times ahead.

    • Reverend says:

      Hey Bill,
      Like I said on Twitter, I have a good model of what’s possible with open, connected and committed beyond any one institution thanks to Funny Monkey. Looking forward to exploring that approach on my own now. I’ll be in touch.

  10. Quinntero says:

    Congratulations Jim and best wishes on your new exciting chapter. I’ll stock up the popcorn to watch as it unfolds!

  11. Tim Owens says:

    Reclaim Hosting never even would have been a thing without your passion and voice behind it back in 2013. It’s been a rollercoaster of amazement since it begun and I couldn’t be more excited to have you working alongside me full time in this. Here’s to the adventure before us!

    • Reverend says:

      Tim,
      When you cut loose from UMW in November I was like WTF! Really?! You paved the way for this, and I am really grateful for that, it feels good to be able to have the time to try and catch up so I can still only do a fraction of what you do 🙂

  12. Avast, ye scurvy dogs! For another fearsome ship now sails the seas. Beware his terrifying look, his manic crew, and sublime craft!

    Best of luck, sir. I’m proud to be a Reclaimer.

    • Reverend says:

      I’m proud to be an infoculter #4life.

      Thanks Bryan, you are the template I’ve been following for a long while now. Great, sincere social presence, positive, focused, smart, and awesome. I haven’t made good on all, or even any, of those, but everyone needs goals.

  13. Melanie says:

    Whoa! Congratulations on going with your gut and embracing new challenges and adventures. That’s not always an easy thing to do.

  14. Howard Rheingold says:

    Go Jim! You are going to jones for students. I know that I am. I know — we could do something….online!

    I’m eagerly awaiting the bavareports from the front — and you know you can count on me to help spread the word.

    • Reverend says:

      Howard,

      As usual, you are right on. I am already missing the idea of teaching. And, in response, I’ve been imagining new classes. I have about five in my head I would love to teach. I’d love to think about how schools would let us co-teach a course on digital storytelling, the internet, etc. that could be syndicated, but also pointed and personalized. I have ideas about this I would love to explore. Hell, there are a few of us who have been banging on #ds106.

      Coming into contact with you these last couple of years, and your early explorations with Reclaim have been awesome. You ruled your own course infrastructure at Stanford, and I remain blown away by your continued willingness to push the boundaries.

  15. Andrew says:

    Wow, Jim — big news! Congratulations, and I look forward to seeing where this leads.

  16. Alec Couros says:

    Awesome Jim! Congrats and best of luck with the exciting transition!

  17. Wow. I’m truly shocked, but also extremely excited for you.
    I just wanted to let you know that although you were never my professor directly, you’ve had a profound impact on me as both a student and an individual. Your enthusiasm and genuine attitude helped me push past what I’d consider to be a shell that was holding me back.
    I really just want to say thank you for being such a positive force and I wish you the best of luck with Reclaim.
    You’ll be missed.

    • Reverend says:

      We still have the summer and #prisoner106. Your work in #noir106 was awesome, but even beyond that you know how to engage with your learning beyond the content. You’re real, and one can’t but be drawn to the light.

  18. Massive news. Congratulations, Jim. If you bring even half the inspirational work you have done in higher ed to your new gig, then I have no doubt you and Tim will upend the entire hosting business. Can’t wait to see what magic you guys are going to get up to.

    • Reverend says:

      Thanks Clint, as of now Tim has been carrying too much of the load, it’s time to eve that out and starting planning how we build an indie web company that’s modeled on independent record labels. Cultivated art for teaching and learning that gets drowned out by the eternal push to be scaled and sold. Here’s to hoping!

  19. iamTalkyTina says:

    Well, it will certainly be an exciting time for everyone, especially like how even more people will be able to log on to their own Jim Groom each morning like it says. Plus @timmmmyboy, too. But still #4life, #4art Jim.

  20. Jeff Curtis says:

    Cool news!

    Like Howard said you’re likely going to be jonesing for students…I’m sure there will be a pingback somewhere. #breakaleg

  21. Jim, good news about your new move. Sometimes you just gotta do it…and you’re doing it! Congrats from Canuckland.

  22. Great news Jim, power to you sir (maybe do a couple classes on the side ? :).

    • Reverend says:

      Funny how many folks have brought up teaching, it’s like you all know me better than I know myself. Working on that very idea now.Thanks Jonathan, I would love to co-teach/collaborate on something this coming year to keep me in shape 😉

  23. Easegill says:

    Never sit still. Never let the grass grow under your feet. Great that you are moving in good heart. All the time I’ve known you your life online has been a performance, a magisterial performance. As Turner says, the only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness. Am I right? Eh?
    All the best and lang may yer lum reek!

    • Reverend says:

      I think you nailed it with this: “Great that you are moving in good heart.” I feel like that’s why I am so excited, I’m going to something, but still in love with what I’m leave. It’s a particular richness, and I dig it. As for the online performance, #NOBODY 🙂

  24. Robin2go says:

    I’ve sensed an impending change in the force for a while now, and wondered where your passion would drive you next. I probably should’ve known. Big fan of Reclaim Hosting, and big fan of you. Best of luck in this next part of the journey. UMW without The Bava is almost incomprehensible, but you’ve never really been contained by any job. Drinks on me when next we meet, my friend.

    • Reverend says:

      Robin,

      It’s interesting I should find myself on the other side of the walls, but that might be a good thing. I’m not convinced I’ll be able to stop blogging about UMW anytime soon given how much that is part of my blog DNA.

      • Robin2go says:

        Let’s put it this way — while my time on the other side of the walls was eye opening, it was even more illuminating when I came back to the edu fold. I think the reframing of our vision and our environment is incredibly necessary, to give us the ability to see things from a different perspective, and even, perhaps, to seeing our own failures as growth. My understanding of who I am — and others — has never been more clear, and I’m not sure that insight would have been possible without leaving. So perhaps it’s not “So long” as much as it is “See you later, alligator .”

        • good point. I think my time as a freelance consultant and then software developer back in the heady dot-com-bubble days was extremely valuable to me (now – it almost killed me back then, when everything collapsed. good times).

          • Reverend says:

            I think that is the absolute best way to approach this. And while I am thrilled to have the opportunity to leave higher ed, it’s no surprise my work is still squarely focused on it. I can’t quit you, higher ed 🙂 In a while you crocodiles!

          • Chris L says:

            Been there; done that; had to sell the t-shirt.

  25. mariana Funesa says:

    You rule. I made you a gif (t)

    http://gfycat.com/QuerulousOddballAgouti

  26. Boone Gorges says:

    Welcome to the world of benevolent private contractors! Congrats to you and to Tim, and hope to work with you guys in the future 🙂

  27. Zach Davis says:

    Congrats Jim. It’s exciting (and a little scary) to make the leap to building your own business, but one that I’ve found to be pretty satisfying. I have no doubt that you and Tim have many successes ahead of you.

    -ZD

    • Reverend says:

      Zach,

      I think I remember you telling me if there were any issues I always had a spot at Cast Iron Coding, which is why I did this in the first place 🙂 Also, I can always blame everything on your if it goes south because you “made me”

  28. Cole says:

    Congratulations, Jim. I am floored by your confidence and humbled by your passion. I think following your head and your gut will prove to be very fulfilling. Your post speaks volumes to the love you have shown to UMW this last 10 years — you and your team there have been the envy of all ed tech folks in higher education. I wish you the very best! Thank you for showing us all the real way to innovate.

    • Reverend says:

      Cole,
      I’ve been watching you have all the fun these last few years, so I figured it was hightime I got on the bus! Thanks man, I appreciate it.

  29. Scott McMillan says:

    Wow! Good luck to you and Tim. Thanks for all the work you have done pushing the bar in higher edtech. Respect!

    • Reverend says:

      scott,

      Funny enough, i am finally getting around to catching up on what you pointed out was the real revolution of MOOCs, that scaling infrastructure. What would that mean for the kind work we’ve done? I love the idea of experimenting around those ideas with some freedom the next few months. I’ve always been a big fan of the work you folks have been doing all too quietly at UBC, now that an ecosystem of awesome!

  30. Chris L says:

    Wow. Just…wow. Another corner of my universe changes shape into something new and better. Congratulations!

    • Reverend says:

      My blog universe got a lot better recently with your return, few voices as sharp and honest as yours in this space. Your well wishes mean a lot to me, Chris, thank you bud!

  31. Kin Lane says:

    This makes me happy. 😉

  32. Imran Ahmed says:

    Congrats Professor Groom! Hope to see you around sometime! Gonna miss having my favorite professor around UMW! Best of luck! #wire106 #ds1064life

    • Reverend says:

      Imran,
      You rule, thanks for commenting here, and I think the worst part of leaving is not being able to teach more classes to brilliant UMW students like you. So I am working on rectifying this. I might not be at UMW, but I may still be teaching #wire106 internauts like you 🙂

  33. George Meadows says:

    Congratulations on this big step Jim, but it’s sad news for UMW. This is worse than when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

    • Reverend says:

      “Germans?”
      “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

      Thanks George, I can say I was there when George Meadows brought 3D printing to UWM and changes Fredericksburg area schools and libraries #4life.

  34. Congratulations Jim,

    You did great things at UMW and your work was an inspiration to me and many others.
    Welcome to the education and all sorts of fun things outside of the institution. I’m sure you’ll do more great things and continue you to inspire.

    Cheers from down under
    Mark

    • Reverend says:

      Thanks Mark, I really appreciate your comment here on the bava. It was hard as hell to leave UMW because of the people and the work we did. But I think a free-range, feral bavatuesdays might be a good thing in the end 🙂

  35. Betsy says:

    My first reaction was NOOOOOOOO!!!!! but you have been alluding to it for a while, plus Tess told me all about it at Eva’s birthday party 🙂 You have made a huge mark on the direction of my career of late. I really appreciate all you have done for me, and for this institution.

    • Reverend says:

      I can;t trust that Tessy with any of the family secrets. She will not be watching her iPad for a week now 🙂 Thanks Betsy, we have a whole decade of collaborations together, and I an;t imagine that will entirely stop just because I am leaving UMW. Luckily, I’m not dead yet!

  36. Jennifer Polack says:

    Congrats. Tim is very lucky to get you!

  37. Leslie M-B says:

    Congratulations, Jim, and thanks for all the generosity of spirit you’ve shown while at UMW. I’ve learned a ton from afar.

    • Jim Groom says:

      Thank you, Leslie. Fired up about your new role at Boise State, and will be following your progress with great interest. It’s been a fun ride, and I’m not dead yet! 🙂

  38. AJ Williams says:

    A little late on the congrats train here but the sentiment is all the same. I truly appreciate your willingness to think out loud and document it here for all of us to steal, um, borrow freely. I look forward to continuing the journey in my (hopefully not too scary) lurker ways.

  39. Jim Groom says:

    AJ,
    Awesome to hear from you, and we’ve spent many a moment on this blog and elsewhere talking and imaging WordPress multisite. It’s kind of cool that this has become an archaeology of my work and relations over the last ten years, and that at the heart of it is just other people trying to figure the field out. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. And lurkers are people too 🙂

  40. Diego Leal says:

    Kudos, Jim!

    As many others, I also have been inspired by many of the experiments you have documented here. Even though it’s hard to keep up with some of them, they always help me (us?) see things in a new way. So I’m looking forward to get inspired by your upcoming adventures. 🙂

    Greetings from Colombia!

    • Reverend says:

      Thanks Diego, I appreciate the warm wishes, and I think the greatest thing about any site is the documentary evidence through sharing. And luckily I’m not going anywhere, the bava will live on 🙂

      Columbia #4life!

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