Over twenty years in full-time and adjunct faculty positions in both public and private universities have resulted in my comprehensive understanding of the unique problems and issues facing faculty.
My professional career began with a CPA firm in Baltimore after earning a BA from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1977. I had the opportunity to do some tutoring and discovered my real passion in life – teaching. A few years later, I decided to pursue that passion full-time at Penn State University, earning an MA in economics in 1986 and a PhD in accounting in 1991. Before coming to UMUC in 2002, I served on the full-time faculties of Syracuse University, State University of New York, and American University, as well as the adjunct faculties of Towson University and UMBC.
A critically important part of teaching is staying current in one’s field. For me, this took the form of a small accounting/consulting practice. Over the years, this practice has given me the opportunity to consult with CPA firms, large and small businesses, government agencies, including foreign government agencies, and with individuals of various walks in life.
Since arriving at UMUC as program director in accounting and collegiate associate professor in the Graduate School, I have developed and taught many courses in the online environment. This opportunity, in conjunction with the opportunity to work with adult learners, has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my professional career. In the Graduate School, I have also served as the chair of the Student Grievance Investigation Committee and as a member of the Grade Appeals Committee.
In addition to my academic life, I am very involved in professional organizations such as the American Taxation Association and the MD Association of CPAs, where I serve as co-chair of the Members in Education committee and as a member of the Accounting Education and Career Task Force. I have also served on a variety of community boards over the years.
The FAC constitution starts with the statement that UMUC is a “global shared-governance teaching institution.” I believe each of those terms is critical.
It is global, so each FAC member should be thinking globally. There are many concerns that UMUC faculty share no matter where they are located, including professional growth, pay structure for both adjunct and full-time faculty, and teaching and administrative workloads, including the 15 credit teaching limit on adjunct faculty. But there are also issues that are unique to our overseas faculty, and these can not be overlooked. Among these are the overseas military drawdowns and the resulting treatment of faculty.
Shared-governance is the whole reason for the existence of FAC. There is a new administration at UMUC and with that change comes the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between FAC and the UMUC administration.
UMUC is, first and foremost, a teaching institution. With that comes a focus on the students. Every UMUC faculty member I have met has unique talents with which, I’m sure, they could earn more money working elsewhere. But all of us have chosen to be at UMUC to help in the growth and development of adults through education. That, in itself, is a strong basis for working with the administration to improve the professional lives of our faculty so they can be better teachers.
I can’t promise you that every issue for UMUC faculty will be resolved as we would wish. But I can promise that I will work hard to address these issues in a way that meets the needs of our faculty.