By Melanie Cain
In an effort to learn more about some of UIS’ newest faculty members, we will be interviewing some of them and asking them to share their stories.
Eric Hadley-Ives has an extensive list of reasons why he enjoys being a college professor. The flexible hours, comfortable environment, and weeks off in the summer are certainly a plus. Working with other intelligent, open-minded, and inquisitive people brings him a great deal of satisfaction. He also says that seeing work he has done get published is quite a thrill.
But one over-riding aspect of the job makes everything worthwhile: “Any time you see significant growth in skills, knowledge, or wisdom in a student, and you can be fairly sure this growth was brought about by what you have done as a teacher, that is truly the peak,” he says.
Hadley-Ives, a new assistant professor in the Liberal Studies/Individual Option program, received his B.A. in World Development from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands in California. This program was very similar to the LIS program at UIS. He then earned his M.S.W. and Ph. D. from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work, where he focused on social and economic development and research.
After a stint at UIUC’s School of Social Work, Hadley-Ives was looking for a little change of pace. “I wanted an environment where teaching would be more significant, and the pressure to independently produce significant, original research for top-tier journals would be less emphasized in relation to teaching and service scholarship,” he explains. “UIS attracted me with the LIS/INO program, which was very much like the program I attended as an undergraduate. I remember my undergraduate learning experience as being more exciting and interesting than my graduate experiences, so I became more interested in teaching undergraduates, and teaching them outside my focus field of social work,” he says.
“UIS was close enough to my previous employer that I could easily maintain collaborative research projects with my colleagues there,” he adds. “The kindness and friendliness of the faculty I met during my campus visit and interview, combined with the smaller size, proximity to my family and friends in the Midwest, the lower cost of living, and the advantages of living in a small city not too far from large cities, all played a role.”
In his free time, Hadley-Ives enjoys a variety of activities. He likes any creative project related to travel or photography, reading (mainly non-fiction, but also some fiction and poetry), listening to many kinds of music, and spending time with family or friends. Achieving and maintaining a “reasonably happy” family is what Hadley-Ives considers his greatest accomplishment. He’s been married for 13 years and is the father of two sons, ages 6 and 10.
Hadley-Ives has set himself some ambitious goals at UIS. “I want to help students have a great time while learning about themselves and their world, develop good relations with colleagues, write and publish articles, and get some more research done,” he says. “I’ve been impressed by the staff and faculty here, and I’m feeling better and better about coming here every day.”