The End Of An Era: Teaching At Yale 1997-2011

"Methods of System Synchronization and Interconnection for Live Performance" was the title of my 1990 thesis, a requirement for graduation from the Yale School of Drama. I extended the thesis, while working full time in the industry, into my book "Control Systems for Live Entertainment", which Focal Press published in 1994. The book was the first and still is the only (in a third edition) to comprehensively cover this information. 

In 1997, I proposed a class based on the book to the Yale School of Drama, and I taught "Drama 419b Control Systems for Live Entertainment" in the spring semester of most of the last 14 years. That all came to an end a couple weeks ago, one day after I filed my grades for this semester, when I was informed that I was being replaced by an excellent former student of mine, who also just did a great job as my Teaching Assistant. I was assured that my non-reappointment had nothing to do with my teaching--my former student is being hired into a new, full time position at the drama school--but this still came as a total surprise to me.

For the last 14 years, teaching at Yale was a point of pride for me. I didn't do it for money (I've been making my living at City Tech since 1999, where I am a proud to be a tenured, full professor, and I could make up the lost Yale money with a few weekends of Local 1 stagehand work), but I endured the weekly commute because I really enjoyed the intellectual challenge of teaching graduate students, and also the ongoing connection with so many future industry leaders.  And even though this transition was handled with astonishing ineptitude, in the long run, future YSD students will likely benefit from having a full-time resource available to cover this complex and ever evolving field--a field that I've been passionately pushing forward for more than 25 years now.