Bruce Hull - 2011 FAC Representative
Division: UMUC Europe
Bruce Hull has taught for UMUC Europe since 1981 and he currently lives in the German city of Bamberg. He did his graduate work at the University of California at Riverside, where he specialized in Modern European History. He has been a FAC representative for Europe during the last two years, and in 2000-2003 he served as the Distance Education faculty representative on the European Division's Faculty Advisory Council.
During the preceding years the Faculty Advisory Council has worked to broaden its influence with administration. There have been some successes in this endeavor. A FAC representative recently participated on the search committee for the new UMUC Provost, and administration has made an effort to hear the opinions of FAC members on the creation of faculty evaluation forms.
Despite these successes and a few others, the general effort to attain true, shared governance has not been doing well. Part of the problem has been that FAC representatives work in isolation from faculty, and it is my belief that this strengthens the hand of administration. If FAC does not connect with faculty, administration can bypass major constituency that has traditionally had a voice in the affairs of American universities: the faculty.
On a month to month basis, this has meant that suggestions from the FAC chair have been met with little follow-up from administration, and worse, administration has shown itself capable of launching new faculty-related policies without soliciting the opinion of FAC. Administrators smile pleasantly and politely ignore the ideas and requests of FAC members.
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Fortunately, steps are currently being taken to end FAC's isolation from faculty and boost FAC's bargaining position. FAC is now publishing a newsletter, greatly the work of FAC member James Stewart, and I have focused my efforts on creating a new FAC Web site.
The goal of these activities is to convince administration that when FAC representatives convey faculty concern over pay, classroom conditions, or education standards, those FAC reps are not merely fifteen isolated voices. If UMUC continues to operate in a universe where faculty ideas and suggestions are given short shrift by managerial leaders, the chances of UMUC's success in offering students a quality university education will be greatly weakened.
If elected for a second term, I would like to expand the Faculty and FAC Web site to include a feature to poll faculty members on issues of importance to faculty. I would also like to look into the feasibility of creating a blog feature for the Web site that would enable faculty members to comment on web postings.
Lastly, I would also like to see an arrangement where administrators practice true, shared governance by consulting with FAC rather than imposing policies that are harmful to the classroom performance of faculty and students. (See my recent FAC editorial). I think these goals are attainable, and I think during our new era of increased competition from other universities, it would be in the best interest of UMUC senior administrators to listen much more carefully to what the faculty has to say.