Retirement Series: Bradley Dyke

Professor Dyke works in his office in Building 2.

Professor Dyke works in his office in Building 2.

By: Ryan Meier

For many who retire, it can mean moving to a warmer climate and relaxing. For professor Bradley Dyke, he will be returning to a slightly warmer climate: Kansas City.

“I didn’t realize how much colder it was in the wintertime up here,” Dyke said.

Dyke moved to Des Moines from Kansas City in 2002 to serve as program chair for the Political Science Department.

As for relaxing, that doesn’t seem very likely either. Dyke is taking early retirement to be closer to his ailing mother. Even so, he is already weighing his options once he returns to Kansas City. Whether it’s being a private consultant for law enforcement in the area of terrorism, or a return to teaching high school, which he did for seventeen years prior to coming to DMACC.

“Overall [the goal] is to raise students’ awareness as citizens. A lot of citizens are wandering around America who don’t really know what their government is or what their government can do for them. Consequently, [they] have an adversarial relationship with their government, which is unnecessary. I encourage them not to fear it so much. But above all to become informed citizens,” Dyke said.

Dyke admits that getting students to understand and not fear their government is a challenge given the current political climate.

“Politicians lie. They are not always serving our best interests,” Dyke said.

His straightforwardness is not just lip service; it comes through in his teaching.

“He tells it like it is. For example, he sees the economy going downhill and doesn’t try to soften it,” Megan Maras, sophomore in liberal arts, said.

In teaching politics, if instructors aren’t careful, their views and biases can become apparent. For Dyke, it seems as if he is unhappy with both sides. For him, party affiliation doesn’t matter.

While reading an article in class, Dyke is quick to point out the article does have a liberal slant to it, but that he has done some fact checking with it and the the students should as well.

“I discourage my students from being cynics, but encourage them to be skeptics,” Dyke said.

Dyke wants his students to not necessarily believe everything just because the person telling them looks the part. Dyke wants them to do their due diligence and research the truth.

“Our job is not to like or dislike, but to find out what’s going on. Find out the facts,” Dyke said.

For those who are extremely liberal or  extremely conservative, this doesn’t fit their narrative. But those who disagree with him, he always welcomes to bring in their facts and figures and debate, but Dyke admits “most of them don’t get to that point.”

With all of this passion for politics, would he consider running for office?

“No,”  Dyke said.

He sees that money is needed to run for office and often times puts the politician

in debt to special interests.

“I sometimes think I’m doing a better job being outside of [politics]. I can continue to stimulate interest and continue being a fair-minded critic.”

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