Robert Bruce Jr. joined Rice University on November 1, 2017 as the dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. The Glasscock School furthers Rice University’s commitment to educational outreach by providing lifelong personal and professional development opportunities to the greater Houston community and beyond. As Dean, Bruce leads the school’s strategic and mission-driven initiatives in offering personal and professional development classes, online and hybrid courses, and certificate and degree programs.
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 director of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Office for Online Learning (COOL). 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 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. He has maintained teaching interests in 19th and 20th-century American literature, Mark Twain, and American political satire, and has taught several courses on Twain, American literature, and American humor.
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 sampling Houston’s great restaurants.