by Devin Fitzgerald, Staff Writer
Daniel Gunn has worked at UMF for the past 34 years. Gunn first joined the university in 1980 as an Assistant Professor of English. He was soon promoted to Associate Professor in 1984. Gunn has also served on a number of committees, acting as Chair of the Affirmative Action Committee, as well as Chair and Secretary of the Faculty Senate. He also served as Acting Dean for the spring semester in 2008.
Gunn has been in his current position as, Interim Provost and Interim Vice President of Affairs, for the past three years and will be stepping down to return to teaching english in the fall of 2016.
“Well it was always the plan for me to return to teaching,” said Gunn. “I was really only supposed to act as Interim Provost for two years but got persuaded into staying another year so President Foster wouldn’t have to search for a new Provost right after being hired,” said Gunn about his position change.
Gunn’s passion as an educator was evident in his lack of hesitation when asked about his up coming change of duties. “Right now the work I do is 8 to 5 administrative work and that is not what I want to do with the rest of my life — it never has been what I have wanted to do with my life,” he said. “I like the people I work with now, but I will not miss the actual work of this job” said Gunn.
Gunn will not return to the classroom until the Fall of 2016 because he will be spending next year on sabbatical. When he does return, he will return to the English department and take on a full load of classes; teaching three classes each semester.
Two courses that Gunn is looking forward to teaching are a course on the English novels from the 18th century to the 20th century as well as English 181 Literary Analysis. “I have taught the English novel course every two years, when it is offered, since I started here and I have really missed it,” said Gunn. “I am also looking forward to working with students again—that’s what I like to do. Right now, I hardly ever see students.”
Although Gunn’s role is switching, back to one he openly welcomes, it is evident that UMF is his home no matter what title he holds. “I really like UMF. I’m proud of it,” he said. “What has really kept me here all these years is that I believe that we are always improving. I like the idea of a public liberals arts college and I feel like we have hired great faculty who are committed to always getting better.”