Deans and administrators from each college suggested one of their faculty members who deserves special “kudos” during Faculty Appreciation Week.
Students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, come to the classroom with their lifetime of knowledge, and it’s the job of the faculty to help them explore new ways of thinking and relating to the world.
Eric Haley, a professor of advertising in the School of Advertising and Public Relations, says the classroom experience is only part of what students learn during their time at the university.
“When I think of how we contribute to the development of students, there are two parts. First, we try to impart the skills that a liberal arts university can teach, to help people be able to self-govern, to think critically and to lead good lives,” Haley said. “Sometimes we forget that the function of public education is to create people who can run the country some day. The second part is to prepare them for a professional career, and that’s what we do here.”
Each year, Haley leads students on a tour of advertising-related businesses in New York.
“This is the 18th year of the program, and we picked New York because it’s the advertising capital of the world,” Haley said. “We have had success in placing students in internships and jobs in the New York area, but more importantly, we’ve succeeded in showing them that the world doesn’t end at Nashville or Atlanta — that there’s a huge world of opportunity out there for them to succeed and make a difference on a big scale.”
In a recent survey of UT Knoxville students and their attitudes about their professors, Haley was described as “an excellent teacher and scholar and an outstanding citizen of the university.”
A professor at UT Knoxville since 1992, Haley also has held several administrative positions in the College of Communication and Information, including development associate to the dean and associate dean for undergraduate studies. Haley says those jobs were a part of the behind-the-scenes duties of professors and administrators that the world generally doesn’t know about.
“There are a lot of hidden aspects to a professor’s life that people don’t see. They see us in the classroom and in our face-to-face interaction with students,” he said. “But what they don’t see is all the work we do at various times of the day and night, weekends, working from home, preparing material for the classroom and also trying to fulfill the research mission of the university.
“A lot of neat things happen through that. We can take our research skills and impact a lot of issues such as health, economics and social justice. That’s another fun part of this job that is more seen by graduate students than by undergraduates, because another career track we prepare our students for is the academic track, preparing students to be professors of advertising, who go on to teach in small colleges and large universities all over the country and throughout the world.”
In honor of Faculty Appreciation Week, Tennessee Today will feature stories and videos based on comments about great faculty members submitted by students, alumni and others.
You can send a shout out to your favorite faculty member or read what others have written.
Also this week, area merchants will offer a variety of discounts for UT faculty.