83. Promotion to Full Professor and New Position: 1985–1986

The publication of DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter (GDR Literature During the Thaw) benefitted me and my career in two ways: first of all, it led to my promotion in the fall of 1985 to the rank of full professor at Oberlin College; and secondly, it helped me secure a position at the University of Delaware, where I was employed until I retired on August 31, 2013. While I was on sabbatical leave during the 1984-1985 academic year, I decided to apply for some department chair positions at other colleges and universities. I submitted seven applications and was invited for campus interviews in February 1986 at the following institutions: Monterey Institute of International Studies (deanship), University of Arizona (department chair), and Texas A & M University (department chair). While I was not the top candidate for any of these positions, I was runnerup at Arizona and Texas A & M, where the jobs went to the persons who were serving as acting chair that year, an encouraging outcome. In November 1985, I saw that the University of Delaware was searching for a person to chair its Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. After learning that there were no internal candidates for the position, I decided to apply. This time I emerged as the top candidate, received an attractive offer that I could not refuse, and in August 1986 moved to Newark, Delaware. I served as department chair at UD for twenty-seven years and have had a wonderful career and life here in Delaware. Without the publication of DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter, this major career move and life change would not have been possible.


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