Friday, July 03, 2009

Sabbatical in Ithaca (mostly)

One of the most important features of academic life is the research sabbatical. For any professor, being able to set aside teaching temporarily to focus exclusively on one's scholarship is an opportunity to be cherished. Doing so in a new locale (or locales), interacting with scholars at different universities, makes the sabbatical that much more valuable.

Of course, it is a special pleasure when one can combine these professional advantages with personal benefits. As such, I am especially fortunate to have the opportunity to spend most of the next 12 months in Ithaca, NY as a Visiting Scholar at Cornell Law School. Cornell's qualities as a scholarly community are well known to the readers of this blog. In addition, it just so happens that my closest friends (Mike Dorf and Sherry Colb) are on the faculty at Cornell Law. What luck that I would find myself here for a year! OK, maybe there was some planning that went into this . . .

The business-meets-pleasure aspect of the sabbatical will continue during the coming academic year, as I will spend a little over a month this Fall in residence at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, with side trips to deliver lectures in Italy, Spain, England, and Scotland (and maybe elsewhere). I will also escape from the worst of the Ithaca winter by spending a few weeks in Australia and East Asia at various conferences in January and February. (Speaking of extreme weather, I arrived in Ithaca three days ago, on June 30. While there were many good things about living in DC, I must say that being gone in July, August, and September will not feel like a sacrifice on my part.)

My two major research projects for the year include turning my work on intergenerational justice into a book, and continuing my work on federal budgeting. As the year goes along, and as my interactions with the faculty at Cornell and elsewhere deepen, I am sure that other research ideas will emerge. I will also continue to blog here regularly (probably sticking to the twice weekly schedule that has been my norm since the beginning of the year) and to write guest columns on FindLaw with some frequency.

Most importantly, however, I should simply take this opportunity to thank my home institution (GW Law School) for granting me this sabbatical and to thank my hosts at Cornell for welcoming me. And a special thanks to Mike and Sherry as well.

-- Posted by Neil H. Buchanan