I recently sat down with Dr. Wilson Tyree, who is an Adjunct Instructor of Humanities and the Pastor at the College Hill Church of Christ. I decided to dig into what it is like to be a professor here at Northwestern, and dig into some
of his personal life.
Q: What do students do that bugs you the most?
A: I guess its things that we probably all have done. Not giving 100% to the moment. You know, like texting or messing on our phones in class. Students are occasionally tuned in to the moment. As a professor who teaches humanities, I don’t teach anything that they need for their majors, and I realize that and they realize that, so some of them take it lightly because it’s not the most important thing they’ll need for their careers. It’s something that the school requires them to take, so they’re not as excited about it.
Q: If you could change one thing about your office what would it be and why?
A: Wow! Probably my desk. It’s a messy desk. I have three different roles I am playing, so there might be things for Sunday morning sermon, stuff for the Bible Chair, stuff for classes.
Q: Why Northwestern? What attracted you to Northwestern?
A: I actually came to Northwestern because I wanted to be in higher education. I always wanted a job where I could do
preaching and teach on the college level. I’ve always wanted to do that. The Northwestern Community has made it feel like I belong here. The other professors here don’t treat me like the “wicked step-child”. They respect me and treat me like
someone who is welcomed here.
Q: What is one class or subject matter that you would like to teach that Northwestern does not currently offer?
A: I’m actually already doing it! We’re doing an experiment right now. We’ve gone off catalogue by combining three of the split up Old Testament classes into one major Old Testament class. I felt like some students were ill prepared to really dig into some of the specifics of certain books. So, we’re trying to see if this will work.
Q: What is your “superpower”?
A: Patience. There are so many students who need so many different things. I’m very nonconfrontational. If you get too
tied up in “this is my way and this is the way you’re going to do it or you’re going to flunk” students miss out. Students need as much patience and encouragement as I can give them.
Q: What is the craziest excuse you’ve ever gotten from a student for turning in an assignment late, and was it true?
A: Nothing really crazy, but I’ve had students try and pass off assignments as their own. I’ve had students plagiarize. I had one student turn in a paper with the blue hyperlinks still highlighted and he thought that it was still acceptable because he had taken the time to copy and paste everything. He thought I should still give him credit for it. However, I believe academic
integrity must be core value when doing your work.
Q: Outside of your teaching area, what else are you passionate about and why?
A: The ministry. I’m not really half and half. I’m not sure I could give up the ministry to go full time education. I have however, in the past, given up teaching education to go full time ministry.
Q: What makes you most happy?
A: My wife. We’ve been married 33 years. She has been an amazing asset as far as the ministry is concerned. By and large there is no one else who could “completely get it”. Others might get parts, but Becky lives with me every day. She doesn’t get near the
encouragement she ought to get.