May 20-21, 2004

ITEM 123-1004-R0504    Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of English upon Bruce Bigley; The University of Montana-Missoula

THAT: Dr. Bruce Bigley, in his 35th year of dedicated service to The University of Montana, has merited the commendation of the Board of Regents of the Montana University System, and has earned the title of Professor Emeritus of English.

EXPLANATION: Professor Bigley earned his Ph.D., in Comparative Literature, from Yale University, in 1972. He began teaching in the English Department at The University of Montana, two years prior to this, in 1970. Throughout his career, Dr. Bigley has made steady and significant contributions in the area of Teaching, Service, and Scholarship. For years, he has been the Department's mainstay in the areas of Romantic Poetry, Modern Drama, and the Bible; he has also become identified with the teaching and promoting of such formidable writers as William Blake, George Eliot, Henrik Ibsen, and William Butler Yeats. In addition to his important contributions to the Department, Dr. Bigley has been a frequent lecturer in the Liberal Studies sequence, specializing in the Classics and the Bible.

Dr. Bigley's service to the University and the Department, as is widely recognized, has been outstanding. He has, in his tenure here, served on just about every important University committee, compiling a list of assignments that is irreducible to brief summary and that instills most of us with awe. In addition to his University service, Dr. Bigley has long played a guiding role in the English Department. His numerous acts of leadership include Chairing the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee during the period1978-1984 and1989-1990; Chairing the Graduate Committee during the period 1985-1988 and 1990-1992; and, most notably, Chairing the Department itself for nine years, first in the period 1992-1998 and, more recently, 2001-2003.

Dr. Bigley's work as a scholar has been recognized by several grants and awards, including four University of Montana Research Grants; and a NEH Summer Seminar award. He has published on Synge, Ibsen, Goethe and Wordsworth; and he has presented numerous papers in professional forums.

Given his indefatigable committee, over thirty-five years, to both the Department and the University, the Department is proud to recommend Professor Bruce Bigley for Emeritus status.