How could one fill Tim Gunn's shoes? Dare I say, it is an impossible task and I do not envy whoever will be the new Design Department Chairman at Parsons. Thank God Tim Gunn will remain on Project Runway. Gawker posted this memo that Sir Gunn wrote to Parsons regarding his leave. FYI, the only way to really read this memo is to do your best Tim Gunn impression in your head.
TO: Students, Faculty, and Administration: Department of Fashion Design
FROM: Tim Gunn, Chair
DATE: February 1, 2007
SUBJECT: Leadership Transition
This memorandum is very difficult for me to write, because my heart and soul reside at Parsons and the University and, more specifically, with all of you in the Department of Fashion Design. The achievements that we have realized together since the time of my arrival in the Department in September 2000 are phenomenal and we should all feel very proud. I have had every reason to assume that we would be together for a very long time. However, an opportunity has presented itself that I would be foolish to turn down. I have been offered the position of Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc., and I have accepted that position. In this new role, I will work with the 350 designers who create product for each of the company's 40+ brands. I will serve as a mentor, advisor, teacher, and advocate. It's very exciting for me and it is also a welcome new challenge.
I want to emphasize that my work with you has been and continues to be exciting and challenging. You students never cease to amaze me: you're intelligent, exceedingly talented, and you're fearless, qualities that ensure a metaphorical creative combustion! You faculty are our academic leaders: you nurture, inspire, and give
unconditionally and selflessly to our community. Our work together is the source of my greatest professional pride.
I want to assure all of you that my departure will in no way harm the Department. Yes, there will be a period of transition in the administration, but every measure will be put in place to ensure that the highest quality education continues to be delivered. Towards this mandate, I am working closely with the Office of the Dean and the Department's administration and full-time faculty. I have every confidence that there will be no disruptions to your academic environment.
I also want to assure you that I'm not abandoning you! I continue my commitment to the students in my class, I plan to fully participate in the senior year thesis review, and I also plan to host the Parsons Benefit and Fashion Show. Discussions are underway about how I can continue to be active with Parsons, the University, and the Department of Fashion Design. Furthermore, in my new role at Liz Claiborne, Inc.,
I will be actively and enthusiastically recruiting Parsons graduates.
Next Tuesday, February 6 at noon, I will hold an open meeting to respond to your questions and to any concerns that you may have. All of you are invited to attend.