Dietle hopes to come out smelling like roses in bid for faculty regent

Joe Lord

Robert Dietle recently dug up part of his front yard.

Come spring, he’ll plant roses. A cascade of blossoms will be his reward.

Dietle hopes his nomination to replace Mary Ellen Miller as faculty regent is just as rewarding.

A Western faculty member since 1991, the 43-year-old history professor is no stranger to faculty leadership on the Hill.

Dietle previously served as chairman of the Academic Council and Faculty Senate. He just began his second term as president of the University Senate, which replaced the Faculty Senate. He’s also served on the university budget council.

“The only way you’re going to influence the institution is by getting involved,” he said.

History professor Charles Bussey, who nominated Dietle for faculty regent, said he’s impressed with Dietle’s ability to understand and interpret issues.

“His mind is so good,” he said.

Dietle came to Western from Frankford, Mo. – population just a few more than 400 – via undergraduate work at the University of Chicago and graduate work at Yale University.

Dietle said he considered teaching from an early age and decided history would be his focus. His small town background helped influence his decision.

“When old folks get together they talk about the past,” he said.

Dietle said as a child he’d also read the short biographies of historical figures he found in school libraries.

At first he wanted to teach in primary or secondary grades, but later chose to become a college professor as his own education progressed.

“By being a teacher, you get to be a student,” he said.

Dietle teaches classes about ancient Greece and Western civilization. But he said there’s another class he finds most intriguing.

“My favorite course to teach is French Revolution,” he said. Dietle said it fascinates him that the people of a country would overthrow a ruling monarchy.

In addition to tending roses, Dietle enjoys reading. During the downpours this last weekend, he said he found himself pulling two Shakespearean plays from the shelf.

Dietle said his choices – Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra – were inspired from a class he’s teaching about the Roman Empire.

Dietle and his wife, Ferrel Rose, have been married for 10 years. They have one child, 13-month-old Samuel.

He said he looks forward to raising a family in Bowling Green and continuing his work on the Hill – regardless of Friday’s election results.

“I expect this is the community I’ll spend my career in,” Dietle said.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]