P rofessor Julien Farland, Chairman of Philosophy and General Humanities, has been teaching at MCC since 1971, just one year after the college opened its doors. He has been here full-time since 1975. He also taught at Boston College and the old Boston State College (now UMass Boston) prior to joining the faculty at Middlesex. “Teaching has always been very important to me,” said Farland. “Being at Middlesex from the start has been a great experience. In the early days of the college, we knew each other very well because there were so few of us. We were incredibly enthusiastic and optimistic about growing the college.” “In the ’70s, Middlesex had many veterans coming back to school, and they added tremendously to the content of the classes. Most of the early students were highly motivated and involved. Many were older, although we also had a good number of students right out of high school. Most expected to take a full course load and graduate in two years. The philosophy courses I taught then were fairly traditional.” During his tenure at Middlesex, Farland has served on just about every Faculty Staff Association committee and has been actively involved in international programs at the college since the first initiatives in the ’90s. In 1991, he was part of the first group of faculty to travel to Hawaii for programs at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. He is currently very involved in the MCC Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) and is working on professional development programs to infuse Asian Studies into the Middlesex curriculum. He serves as co-director, with Dona Cady, of the annual ASDP National Conference, which attracts many international scholars. This year’s conference will be held in March at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. These conferences provide an opportunity for college and university faculty members to share research related to Asian cultures and societies, as well as strategies for effectively infusing Asian content into undergraduate humanities and social science curricula. Today, Farland teaches Introduction to Bioethics, an interdisciplinary, hybrid course he developed 12 years ago with Mariluci Bladon, Coordinator of the Biotechnology Program. He also teaches Intro to Philosophy and Ethics and Society. The Intro to Bioethics course is an introductory study of contemporary issues in bioethics and ethical theories that serves as a framework for making decisions about important issues that need to be addressed to succeed in the workplace. Topics covered include: ethical dilemmas at work, reproductive decision-making, end-of-life decisions, biomedical medical issues and justice in health care. It is a course that is usually filled very quickly. “It is not a course we would have offered 40 years ago,” Farland said. “But now, discussion of modern issues is emphasized as much as the study of classic ancient texts. Right now, ethics courses are very popular and very relevant to the world of work. “Philosophy is embraced by more students today as a major because you can do a lot with it if you are going into business, law, government or many other fields,” he added. “Students can draw modern-day lessons from the age-old discipline as they try to make sense of their world. Farland pointed out that the addition of strong support services for all students was a welcome addition to the college. “Back in the ’70s and early ’80s, we had few support services for students with disabilities…very few colleges did at the time. Now, it is wonderful to see how Middlesex has become a leader in the scope and quality of services we offer to all students. “Online courses are one big change on the academic side,” Farland said. “I have been doing online courses for 12 years now and will probably teach online in retirement. I find online students really have to be very organized and focused. It is fairly independent study. “Another major development at Middlesex over the past 40 years is the incredible growth of faculty development programs,” he said. “For the past 20 years, there has been a strong emphasis on faculty and staff development, which has had a very positive impact on all college constituencies by improving knowledge in content areas and boosting morale.” Farland has a B.A. from Holy Cross College and received a Ph.D. from Boston College. His doctorate focused on the philosophy of technology, the underlying ideas that drive technological development. He is interested in the values that drive technology now and the role technology plays in driving Asian countries to embrace technology in different ways and at different levels. A long-time resident of Lexington, Farland has two grown children. He travels as often as possible with his wife. Deborah Kearney 4 Philosophy Professor Julien Farland joined the Middlesex faculty in 1971. Profiles |21|