Human Development Faculty Member to Retire This Summer

Dr. Fergus Hughes, currently the Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as a Professor (and former Chairperson) of Human Development, will retire this summer after 35 years of distinguished service to UW-Green Bay.  Dr. Hughes began his career as an Assistant Professor in 1972 when UWGB was still very new and, in fact, consisted only of the library and two science buildings. Human Development was then known as “Growth and Development,” and it was chaired by Dr. Ruth Hartley, founder of the program. Dr. Hughes was also instrumental in building what is today a thriving Human Development department. In fact, he created the “Introduction to Human Development” course and reports that when he began teaching it, the idea of a lifespan development course was so new that there were no textbooks available for the class! His first book, Human Development: Across the Lifespan, was published in the 1980s to help fill that void. Dr. Hughes, a child development expert by training, also branched into a new area, children’s play, when he was asked to teach Play and Creative Activities. The class has long been one of our most popular, and Dr. Hughes views it as one of our most important, noting we cannot understand children without understanding their play, which is, after all, how they communicate and learn to solve problems. Himself a beloved and award-winning teacher, he also enhanced the education of students by co-founding the UWGB Teaching Scholars Program, an initiative designed to promote teaching excellence across the University, especially in promising new faculty members. When asked what message he might like to share with students, he responded: “No matter what you do in life, you will always find a use for your Human Development education.” He also noted that our students are “…fortunate to be in one of the best units with some of the best teachers in the University.” If that’s so, Dr. Hughes, it is in large part because of your efforts to recruit stellar faculty and build an amazing department and curriculum that would attract some of UWGB’s finest students. We are truly privileged to be a part of your professional legacy.