We also ran into a bit of a snag over my plans to take three weeks off in October to go to Spain. The new boss' position is that he doesn't allow anyone to take three weeks off at a time even if they have the vacation time available. (This is what I so dislike about the corporate culture of US companies as opposed to those in Europe.) However, this issue seemed to go away after I conveyed that the trip was already pretty definite, and that if I didn't get the time off I would probably make September 24 my last day at the company. (Am I bluffing? Who knows... But I have already paid for the tickets, so it would be a pretty big deal to reschedule or cancel the trip. Since I think it's to their benefit to keep me around as long as possible, I doubt they'll call me on it.)
The fact that I'm giving my notice 8 months in advance adds some interesting twists to the whole thing. For example, they're talking about hiring my successor(s) and having him/her/them start while I'm still here so that I can impart all my wisdom. That could be interesting.
I'm taking in plurals because the idea came up of possibly splitting my job into two parts and essentially hiring 1.5-2 new people to replace me. I think may make a lot of sense given the amount of stress I've had trying to manage two chronically-understaffed departments at once. The big question is whether they'll find the money for that.
We're meeting again next week to talk about all this. Progress continues. Now that I've gotten this over with, my next step is to formally notify Simmons of my deferral plans, and to officially notify the other two schools that they are out of the running.