Robert Bruce Jr. joined Rice University on Nov. 1, 2017, as dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
As Dean, Bruce leads the school’s mission-driven initiatives in offering graduate degrees and certificates, personal and professional development classes and programs, online and hybrid courses, and innovative credential and curricular approaches. Bruce also collaborates with Rice schools and departments, Houston industry, local school districts, and national associations to advance educational programs for non-traditional and professional students.
Prior to joining Rice University, Bruce served for seven years as the director of the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as founding director of the UNC-Chapel hill’s Carolina Office for Online Learning (now Digital and Lifelong Learning). Bruce also served as an assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
Bruce’s interests in technology-enhanced learning and expanded access to education stems from his work at the University of Texas at Austin, where he spent nearly 15 years in positions ranging from teacher to admissions officer to associate dean for the Division of Institutional Innovation and Assessment and finally as associate dean of Continuing and Innovative Education.
Bruce has served on the Board of Directors for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). He is also a member of the Center for Houston’s Future Advisory Council, the Post Oak School Board of Trustees, and the Greater Houston Partnership Public Education Committee.
Bruce earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Texas A&M University.
Rob and his wife, Gretchen, have three children, Jake, Finn and Lily. On the weekends he can be found tinkering in the yard, watching sports, and driving all over creation for soccer games and gymnastics tournaments. He also likes spicy cuisine, Ted Lasso, dogs and cats, anything written by Neil Gaiman, and a good sense of humor.