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Get to Know the Faculty: Mike McDaniel


The current president of the Faculty Association, Jonesboro native Mike McDaniel has a passion for two things: fly fishing and finishing the faculty handbook.

Mike McDaniel

Mike McDaniel

Place of birth?
Wife, Jollean and one son, Adam
Why did you choose A-State?
Twenty eight years ago I was just finishing up my Ph.D. My dad has just passed away. I was recruited by ASU so I made the decision to come home where I could care for my aging mother and make a living.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
the small town way it was when I was growing up.
What makes a good professor?
From my perspective I think a good professor should exhibit caring, consistency and competency. I think it is also very important to have practiced what you teach.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Dr. Robyn Cox from, what was then, Memphis State University. She was extremely bright and articulate. She was very demanding and didn’t suffer fools.
What makes for a good student?
Initiative and problem solving skills.
My favorite trip was...
the one I’m going to take next.
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
What’s the value of a university education?
That’s a tuff question. I know a lot of successful people without degrees and I know that a college education is not for everyone. It is essential if your future requires credentials or licensure.
Your philosophy on education in less than seven words:
See one, do one, teach one.
If you could teach another field, which one and why? 
Probably statistics. I am a closet statistician and enjoy analyzing data and testing hypotheses.
My passion is... 
My pro sports team is...
the St. Louis Cardinals.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
I am an audiologist which is an interesting word. It comes from a Latin root and a Greek suffix. There are still plenty of people out there that do not know what the word means or what the profession is all about.
What are you working on right now?
My current projects are getting a study from last summer published, reorganizing the Faculty Handbook and moving into a new home.
Before you retire I want to...
finish the $#%@ Faculty Handbook.
My pet peeve is...
having nonacademic university newbies establish my importance functions (see above).
In college, I was known for...
my reluctance to declare a major.
What music is playing in your car?
New-wave underground country like Jimmy Dale Gilmore.
What is your favorite podcast?
I only cast flies not pods.
My favorite motion picture is...
Madam X, a 1966 tear-jerker with Lana Turner and John Forsythe.
The television series I must TiVo...
other than the St. Louis Cardinals broadcast and the morning news, my television viewing habits are a bit Spartan.
The last book I read for fun was...
Actually, it wasn’t the last but my favorite was Straight Man by Richard Russo. I am currently reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and I just finished reading a collection of Carl Sandburg’s articles published in the International Socialist Review during the early 1920s.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
my dad, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and Ernest Hemingway.
The best advice I ever received was...
read the manual.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
to always ask just how important something really is in the grand scheme of things. Every activity has an importance function and the amount of time you allot to an activity should be positively correlated to its importance function. Otherwise you go home and complain to the dog who acts like she genuinely cares.
My hobby is...
fly fishing.
My favorite meal is...
corn beef and cabbage.
A perfect day is...
a frame of mind.
My spirit cartoon character is...
Scarlet, since the last two have been my advisees.
When want to crush karaoke, my song is...
“Wild Thing” by the Trogs.
Beach or mountains?
Dinner or supper?
I wish I could...
stop wishing.
Only my friends know I...
My high school nick name was “Slim” (joke then and now).
My favorite saying is...
“It often shows a fine command of language to say nothing.”