Dr. Mike Hill will chair HFC Faculty Senate for 2023-2024

Release Date
Mike Hill smiling at the camera with a shelf of books in the background.

For the 2023-24 academic year, HFC English instructor Dr. Mike Hill will be the chair of the HFC Faculty Senate.

“The Senate needs experienced, dedicated, organized, passionate, and fair leadership. I hope that I can help guide our ongoing evolution from pandemic education to a fully present and engaged campus as the chair,” said Hill. “I am a pretty open and accessible guy. I intend to continue practicing those qualities as the chair. I hope everyone on campus will feel free to contact me should they have any questions, ideas, concerns, or even praise about Senate business. I am always happy to talk and figure things out together.”

A dedicated teacher

Hill, of Redford, succeeds HFC political science instructor Dr. Anthony Perry, whose served for three years as Faculty Senate Chair. Hill has a great deal of respect for Perry and his accomplishments.

“During both of his runs, Tony faced incredible challenges that put our College, our students, and our academic tradition at risk,” said Hill. “His leadership of the Senate helped maintain and enhance the education we provide. Tony is a skilled negotiator, and his knowledge of organizational processes is unmatched. I am humbled to be following Tony's work. I am grateful that he will be continuing as a faculty senator to make sure I don't go too far astray from Robert's Rules of Order,” he added with a laugh.

Perry believes the Senate is good hands with Hill.

“Mike is a dedicated teacher who cares about student success,” he said. “Having a chair who places student success as the top priority, Dr. Hill will continue to help support academic policies that serve our students and the community.”

Short-term and long-term objectives

Hill’s first objective is to learn the role.

“I am already holding meetings with College and faculty leadership and former chairs so I can make sure our transition is smooth,” he explained. “Once we get rolling on August 22 at the Faculty Organization meeting, my goal is to make sure every faculty member experiences themselves as a member of the faculty body, so that we can recognize our collective role in creating this College.”

The Faculty Senate will encounter numerous academic and organizational challenges in the 2023-24 academic year. While the HFC faculty will meet its everyday mission of guiding academic policy at HFC, Hill wants to work on the following three areas:

  1. Focusing on the ways the Senate and the faculty can continue to return to campus so that students can experience HFC as a vibrant and engaged space of learning. HFC still has a number of physical spaces, student and faculty services, and academic policies that he believes need to be considered to make the HFC campus its best as a welcoming and accessible place.

  2. Encouraging students not only to remain at HFC, but to fully engage faculty in helping them complete their degrees. Last year, Hill led a Senate committee on student preparedness. He wants faculty senators to explore establishing an official committee that will explore how the College invites, prepares, mentors, and guides new students.

“We have plenty of people on this campus doing good work in this area. I want to see the Faculty Org play a stronger role in student lives from the first time they set foot on our campus,” said Hill.

  1. Exploring issues of academic integrity and student and College community work with a special focus on the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence. The Faculty Senate has worked on issues of academic integrity over the course of the past several years. AI is raising many new ways of thinking about pedagogy. Faculty will need to carefully evaluate what academic integrity means in a world with readily available AI tools.

Top goals for upcoming term as Senate Chair

Hill spoke about important goals during his term as the chair. Shared governance tops the list.

“Making sure faculty voice and leadership is maintained and enhanced on academic issues,” he said. “Of course, at any college, academic issues are the whole ball game, so faculty need to be engaged in leading or advising. I want to make sure every faculty member understands their responsibilities and opportunities to help lead this College from the classroom and the meeting room.”

HFC political science instructor Dr. Eric Rader, president of Local 1650, has worked closely with Hill for more than 15 years. Rader is looking forward to working with Hill in his new role.

"Mike is one of the most passionate educators I've met,” said Rader. “He cares deeply about his students and their success. In his new role, Mike will have an incredible opportunity to apply his deep knowledge of academic policy and practice to the work of the Faculty Senate. At HFC, faculty have long held a primary role in recommending academic policies, a hallmark of higher education in this country for decades.”

Rader continued: “The Constitution for the Faculty Organization is a guiding document for academic policy decisions and the selection of upper-level administrators. Mike understands HFC's long history of shared governance and will work to ensure that it continues to guide us."

“HFC has given me a meaningful career in higher education”

Born in Alabama, Hill and his family moved to Michigan when he was 6 months old. After graduating from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, he began his education at Kellogg Community College, where he completed coursework in general studies.

Hill transferred to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, where he is a two-time alumnus. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English with a concentration in philosophy. He earned his doctorate in the Social Foundations of Education with a concentration in philosophy from the University of Toledo. Hill also completed doctoral work in Modernist American Literature and Composition/Rhetoric at Wayne State University.

Hill has been an instructor for more than 27 years. He taught at Wayne State for five years and the Toledo for five years. He taught at Monroe County Community College and Owens Community College in Toledo, OH before joining HFC (then Henry Ford Community College) in 2006.

“HFC has given me a meaningful career in higher education,” said Hill.

During his time at HFC, Hill co-founded the Writing Center, where he was the original director; co-directed the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation; chaired multiple committees; and designed various classes. For 10 years, Hill has served on the Executive Board of Local 1650, including secretary and internal vice-president under the late John McDonald, who served as president of Local 1650 for more than 43 years. Hill called McDonald one of his mentors.

“Faculty have a long tradition of leading on this campus within multiple roles while being able to focus on the task at hand. When I am serving the union, I focus on faculty needs and rights. When I serve on the Senate, I focus on academic policy, faculty teaching, and student learning,” explained Hill. “The ability to serve with integrity and commitment is an inherent job qualification for our faculty. That ability has made us exceptional leaders at this College. Should any member of the College have questions about the ethics of my roles on campus, I am always happy to talk about those ethics.”

Paramount among his many roles, Hill is proud to retain the heart of a teacher. He maintains he would much rather teach at a community college than a 4-year university.

“The community that we build together through our roles as faculty, students, staff, community members, and administration never ceases to amaze me,” he said. “The fact that we can build such a supportive community while also helping people meet their educational goals and dreams makes HFC a very special community college.”

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