Courtesy of UM-Dearborn, Office for Student Engagement

By JACK VANASSCHE, Editor-in-Chief

Glenna Frank Miller and Gregory Peoples are no strangers to their new positions at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The duo were named interim co-directors of the Office of Student Engagement, as they both came out of retirement to fill a need for the university. But Miller and Peoples go back much farther than a few weeks at UM-Dearborn.

“We grew up together, professionally,” Peoples said at a desk with Miller, who added that the two have been friends for over 30 years.

“Our spouses know each other, our kids know each other,” Miller said. They even drive to campus every Tuesday together, often talking about their new campus in Dearborn.

Miller and Peoples were previously on the same staff at Eastern Michigan University. Miller retired from her position of assistant vice president of student life at EMU in 2013, around the same time Peoples retired as the university’s ombudsman.

“We’re student affairs people,” Peoples said. “We love working with college students.”

Miller said the decision to take the open position at UM-Dearborn came naturally.

“The opportunity kind of presented itself,” she said. “We’re very convinced that the kind of learning that happens outside of the classroom is really profound. It makes a positive impact on their future worksites. Employers really value the kind of experiences that students have in the learning experiences outside of the classroom.”

A job in higher learning administration was nothing new to the two. Peoples said he had over 40 years of experience in the field between EMU and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Peoples said the biggest change at the new position is having to learn an entirely different student population.

“What I’m finding out about the University of Michigan-Dearborn is that it’s a wonderful blend of what American society is all about,” Peoples said. “The interesting thing about this institution is that so many people get along, and it’s not forced. It’s so natural.”

Jones and Miller will remain as the interim co-directors until a search is conducted to find a permanent replacement for the position.