I will take over as department chair in the fall. This is what I wanted, and what everybody else thought was a no-brainer. But the Dean has wrested control of such decisions out of the hands of the affected department, and so the decision is hir's to make. Zie made it today, and the job is mine. Yes, I am pleased.
Zie also said we'll try and get our current adjunct hired on as a one-year visiting next year, so that Ms M can carry the full 4/4 we dump on visiting professors. This will make my life as chair a bit easier but it also means we have to do a full-blown national search for a person that will look .... just like Ms M. I did get Dean to agree that if we end up hiring Ms M, that time spent as visiting could be applied towards tenure. That's the way I came in, and zie agreed that was totally doable and made sense. Meanwhile, I go from a 4/4 to a 3/3, and that will make things better for me too. And did I mention I will get a nice office with a huge window?
Dean seemed a bit taken aback when I noted that within a 5-8 yr span, the existing department will have all retired. I don't know why that comes as such a surprise to all these people - Dino is 69 for heaven's sake! Dino2 just had open-heart surgery, and he's at least 68. So to expect that they're going to be here for the next 10-15 years is just absurd! I'm the youngest with Star gone and I'm outta here in 5 years (unless catastrophe overtakes me). Retirement isn't something I dread; I'm looking forward to more research time!
Anyway. I'm happy the Chair issue is resolved. Now there's the Visiting professorship issue to be decided, and I can't do that. I'm going to concentrate on my own work, and have all of one month to churn out a paper that's gone completely sideways on me. I seem to have stumbled into a gaping abyss in the historiography, and one that is going to be great fun mucking around in for the next 5-10 years. Meanwhile, the paper I proposed can't be written without said historiography, and so... eep!