Academia and Cheerful Chaos
I am Andreas Broscheid, a faculty developer and a political scientist. I am the Assistant Director for Career Planning programs at James Madison University’s Center for Faculty Innovation and a professor of political science at JMU. I work on faculty peer-mentoring, orientation, portfolio, and similar programs. I teach about U.S. government, particularly the courts.
At this site, you will find my blog and my professional portfolio. Everything is currently under construction, but over time you’ll find more content that I hope you will find enlightening or enjoyable.
I’ve spent probably too much time thinking about the site title. I’ve looked at other pages, and went through various options that I found either to be too bombastic (“Andreas Broscheid—Your faculty developer”) or corny (“Cheerful, curious, caring, ready for surprises.”). For a while I settled on the phrase “cheerful chaos,” which reflects what I’ve found about career planning: faculty work and learning are still chaotic, even if we plan it well. We won’t be able to get everything into perfect, clean order. With too much order, we would miss too many surprise discoveries. The world is not well-ordered.
The current title reflects the fact that I think we need to be optimistic in difficult times. But it should be read with a good dose of sarcasm: Of course, things probably won’t end well, and they haven’t been ending well for a while, for many people. But we can’t give up, and so we have to assume that things will end well, or at least well enough. And for me one place of hope is still the academy, warts and all.