Business professor Chuck O’Connor has been watching instructive Youtube videos about juggling and knitting in preparation for his upcoming retirement.
O’Connor has decided to take advantage of the university’s voluntary termination program.
“It’s a chance for me to do something new with my life,” said O’Connor. “Retiring allows me to continue something new and offers someone else the chance to shine.”
O’Connor said he has enjoyed his time at Pacific, but that it is important for veteran faculty members to leave so new professors can come in with new ideas and energy.
After teaching at Pacific from 1980 to 1982, O’Connor took a break to work for a software development company creating income tax software. After three years, however, he was ready to come back to Pacific.
During his 28 years at Pacific, O’Connor said he has learned to appreciate the university’s small size, taught hundreds of students and helped create an active internship program in the business department. He said the internship programs are invaluable to students’ college experience and has been growing since 1999.
As a parting gift to the university, O’Connor decided to fund an endowed scholarship which will be awarded to one student every year in both the history and business departments. According to O’Connor, it takes between 40,000 dollars and 50,000 dollars to ensure the scholarship will be awarded every year hereafter.
He considers hearing from students years after their graduation one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching and keeps the lines of communication open. He has taught the children of former students in his classes and jokingly said it’s time to retire before he sees any of their grandchildren.
O’Connor has enjoyed his time at Pacific, but said he wishes he would have been more accommodating to students’ other classes and commitments.
After retiring at the end of this semester, O’Connor plans to relax for about two years. He also plans to travel the United States and to other countries, starting with a trip to Rome and Athens this fall. Other travel plans include living in several large U.S. cities, including Boston, New York and Philadelphia, for a month before moving on to the next one.
In addition to traveling, he wants to spend time with his grandchildren, hike, cross-country ski and volunteer.
O’Connor enjoys volunteering in part because of his extensive background with it. As a kid, he was in the Boy Scouts and his father always encouraged him to help others through community service. “Dad was always helping people,” remembered O’Connor.
Currently, he volunteers his time doing tax returns for non-profit organizations and plans on returning to one of his previous volunteer positions as a tour guide at Portland’s Pittock Mansion.
Other than that, he plans on continuing and improving his new-found hobbies—knitting hats and juggling.