Christopher Melley - 2014 FAC Representative

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Position: Asian Division
Division: UMUC Asia
Category: Collegiate
Program: Philosophy/English/Humanities


I came to UMUC while living in Germany, in 1984, where I had been playing drums in a jazz band and perfecting competency in German language, for entrance to university; I have been with UMUC ever since. Although I earned the undergraduate and graduate degrees in the US, at Marist College (English) and Columbia University (philosophy) respectively, I completed my doctorate in philosophy (practical ethics) at the Universität des Saarlandes, in Germany, while at the same time teaching philosophy and writing within the UMUC galaxy of locations within the European Division, primarily in Germany, but also in Italy, Greece and Belgium. In 2008, I relocated to Okinawa, Japan, where I have been teaching with UMUC; I have since taken to learning Japanese in order to build a ‘language bridge’ to my Japanese counterparts in philosophy and other related disciplines, as well as simply to enjoy life in Japan. My professional interests include practical ethics, the influence of technology on human life, and logic. I am presently a FAC representative for the Asian Division and am a member of the Student Success Committee, at Adelphi.

Nomination Essay

As current Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) representative for the Asian Division, over the past two years, I have transmitted the concerns and questions of both adjunct (231) and collegiate (88) faculty. I would like to continue as your representative.

Much has happened in the last two years in the Asian Division: several upper- and mid-level administrators have come and gone; communication between faculty and administrators was often less than optimal, making some faculty reticent to speak out, for tangible concerns about retaliation; cost-cutting measures reduced, even eradicated optimal programs, for instance, the Math, Japanese, and Writing labs at Okinawa; CAX had been, till recently, ineffectually explained and applied. As well, one healthcare provider (EduCare) was replaced because of non-payments to faculty insurance claims. SEGUE has left some faculty here feeling as if they have had little to say about the composition of their courses or the direction our university appears to be taking. These issues have been brought to my attention by faculty committed to getting matters resolved. In 2011, a special FAC sub-committee composed of Asian Division faculty generated and executed a wonderfully telling survey of our sentiments, highlighting issues affecting faculty morale, allowing me as FAC rep to describe more concretely just how low faculty sentiment had ebbed and concrete ways to improve conditions.

I have kept a lively correspondence with many faculty members in Japan, Korea, and Guam about specific and general questions/critiques. Where possible, I have proposed resolutions to FAC and acted as personal mediator and advocate for faculty, by communicating directly with administrators. I enjoy a good working relationship with other FAC members from Europe and the US as well as with our Provost and President. With your support, I will represent you on FAC.