As much as these titles describe and apply to the work that happens at the University of Louisville, they don’t get to the essence of what makes UofL unique — its people.
Once or twice a month, UofL Today profiles people who help to make the university what it is. This week get to know Faculty Senate Chair and microbiology profession Bob Staat — In Person.
Name: Robert (Bob) Staat
UofL title and department: chairman, UofL Faculty Senate, and professor of microbiology, School of Dentistry
At UofL since: July 1976
In current post since: I’ve been part of the Faculty Senate for 16 years and am in my second year as chair.
Hometown: I grew up in the Rocky Mountains with much of the time in Albuquerque, N.M., but I’ve lived in Louisville for more than half my life.
First job and what I learned from it: In middle school I delivered newspapers, but my first real job was in a hobby/ art supply store where I both waited on customers and built picture frames. I learned from both how important customer service is to a successful business and that from the framing work “good enough” was not acceptable to many customers as they expected the best – a lesson quickly learned.
The thing I like most about what I do: I still enjoy teaching very much, but my senate duties have made me aware of the rich variety that UofL offers. I spend a good part of each week on the Belknap Campus and removed from my HSC office. Both campuses are vibrant, but in different ways, and it is nice to embrace the differences.
I am: rarely bored as I have a full basement workshop where I make lots of wood and metal chips and sometimes useful things emerge; at other times I work on scale model trains – a holdover from hobby-shop days.
I never: complain about anchovies on pizza or in Caesar salads.
Guilty pleasure: There are always chocolate pieces in a dish on my desk which seem to disappear even with no one is around – and I do enjoy a good glass of wine.
Favorite TV show: NCIS and whatever channel the Cards are on.
In the car I listen to: WHAS for news and WUOL for music.
Favorite quote: “Excellence: If it is worth doing it is worth doing well”
These animals share my world: Tropical fish in my salt water aquarium.
My day begins: with a drive into town on River Road, which gets my mind in gear for the day.
I wish I had more time to: Really, I have the time but need to get motivated to use it for more exercise.
When I’m not cheering for the Cards, I’m cheering for: the Packers.
Most Friday nights you’ll find me: either on the way to the family cottage on Rough River or thinking what I could work on in the shop.
If my life were a movie: the writer, producer, director and actor would get a good laugh and then cancel it as they would go broke if it got beyond this question.
Anything else you’d like the UofL community to know: I am very fortunate to have outside interests that are very different from the academics of the university, and this diversity has helped to keep the university fresh and challenging for the last 36 years and counting.