Only Leave a Trace

“Make yourself big when you enter a room, when you meet a bear in the woods. Make yourself big. Meet the eyes.”

Roger Epp’s poetic meditations about the best, the hardest, the loneliest times of leading a small university campus through significant change are depicted in a series of elegant yet understated prose pieces, alongside images by his life partner, Rhonda Harder Epp. Taking a candid look at the many challenges such a position brings, Roger Epp humanizes, scrutinizes, and upholds the integrity of academic administrative work. Only Leave a Trace will resonate with those who work in universities, hold leadership roles in them, or care about the connections between higher education, students, and place.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front cover 1
Title page 4
Copyright page 5
Epigraph 6
Contents 8
Preface 10
Set on a Wall 1 14
Only Leave a Trace 16
Hard Times 17
The Teacher of Machiavelli 19
Vikingskipshuset, Oslo 20
Make Yourself Big 21
Under 22
If Students Ask 24
Reciprocity 25
Easter Weekend 26
Years of Promises to See this Day 27
Round Dance 28
Dog Sled 29
Those Who Build Bridges 30
While Stephen Lewis Sleeps 31
Over 32
Highway Time 34
A Life as Thin as Paper 35
Straw-Men and Politicians 36
Six Years, No Accidents 37
A Curator of Tears 38
Another Year, and No Disaster 39
Job Description 40
This Is the Way the World Will End or, How a Dean Thinks 42
Around 1 44
Someplace, Not No-Place 46
Saturday Morning at the Co-op 47
Doctor Fowler 49
Reading University 50
Boundaries 51
First Things, and How Wine Was Served on Campus 52
Resource Curse 54
Around 2 56
On Sunday They Will Walk 58
Leave a Message at the Tone 60
The Under-Painting 61
A Wednesday Night in Daysland 62
Generation Gap 63
Brainstorm 64
Return to Aberystwyth 65
Turning 50 66
Through 68
SE 09 31 06 70
Set on a Wall 2 76
Numbering the Days 78
The Old Man in Winter 79
Iron Cage 81
The Image of a Hundred Years 82
Reminders 83
Last Night in June 84
Notes 86
Acknowledgements 90
About the Author and Illustrator 92
Also from The University of Alberta Press 97