Glassman reflects on forensics career


Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles profiling each of the four finalists in the search for Eastern’s next president.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in anthropology, David Glassman, one of the four presidential finalists, joined an archaeological team down in Mexico.

While he was there, Glassman found himself in a position where his academic skills came into play.

“I was the only member of the team who had training in skeletal analyses,” Glassman said in an email. “I became relied upon to excavate the prehistoric burials as they were uncovered at the archaeological sites.”

Glassman realized he was afforded a great opportunity, but he saw his level of education limited his ability to answer major research questions.

“With encouragement from my professors, mentors and my parents, I made the decision to further my education by attending graduate school,” Glassman said.

“It was at graduate school that I first began teaching, and I immediately recognized my passion for becoming a university professor.”

Glassman currently serves as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bradley University.

His career in higher education spreads across several different universities. For six years, he served as the dean of the college of liberal arts at the University of Southern Indiana. Glassman has also spent more than 19 years at Texas State University.

Glassman said he would list the success of his students as the greatest highlights of his career.

“Many have gone on to wonderful careers, making significant differences as leaders, scientists, teachers, and entrepreneurs,” Glassman said. “I take great pride in their accomplishments.”

Glassman received the Director’s Award from the Texas Department of Public Safety for his year assisting law enforcement in human identification efforts.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to make a positive impact in helping to resolve the identities of numerous victims and provide closure to their families,” Glassman said.

Other highlights in Glassman’s career include helping to expand internships and service learning opportunities for students.

He also co-directed 11 summer study aboard programs in Belize, during which the students had the opportunity to excavate in the Mayan pyramids and other sites. Glassman also helped produce 18 professional theater productions, during which students had the opportunity to work with professional actors and stage crew, both on and off stage.

After years in education, Glassman said nothing was more memorable than his time spent working with the FBI

“I was contracted by the FBI to lead the excavation, recovery and identification of the famous atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hair, her son Jon and granddaughter Robin from a remote ranch location in Texas,” Glassman said. “The story of the case is long and complex, with a few twists, as well as including a fourth victim in the grave.”

If Glassman is selected to be the next president, he has some ideas on how to make Eastern better has a university.

“I plan to work tirelessly to continue the tradition of academic excellence, student success, a superlative university experience for all students, and positive and rewarding work environment for our faculty and staff,” Glassman said.

He said he plans to enhance Eastern’s resources by trying to reverse Eastern’s current enrollment issues, as well as developing new partnerships with industry, businesses and other foundations.

Glassman said as president, he would make this his top priority.

“I remember the excitement of teaching my first class and I have never lost that enthusiasm for sharing knowledge, motivating intellectual curiosity and generating critical thinking among students,” Glassman said.

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].