Spotlight: UMMA facilities manager getting an art education

When Bruce Glazier's wife spotted the job opening for facilities manager of the new U-M Museum of Art, she knew it would be the opportunity of a lifetime.
(Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

"My wife loves the museum, so she told me that it would be the best job in the world," Glazier says.

Glazier, who began as facilities manager in June 2008, intimately is familiar with the nuances of the new building, and in recent weeks he finally saw its renovation and expansion come to fruition. Now that the museum is open, Glazier oversees all physical aspects of the facility: climate control, cleanliness, security, etc.

"If I do my job correctly, our guests will be able to focus their attention on the artwork and the architecture," he says.

Despite being the facilities manager at a museum, Glazier isn't an art connoisseur. However, fellow staff members are helping him grow acclimated to his surroundings.

"At one of our meetings, I was the only one who didn't know the history of an upcoming exhibit they were discussing," Glazier says. "Everybody is so helpful. They took a few minutes to explain it to me. I got up to speed and could share in the excitement."

Most of Glazier's experience in facilities management came from his 18 years with Ann Arbor Public Schools. However, no buildings Glazier has worked with in the past compare with the new museum. "I am so fortunate to be here," Glazier says. "I am honestly in awe of this place, and the other staff members. I work with people who, by example, inspire me to do my best every day."

When Glazier isn't busy managing the particulars at the museum, his biggest passion is motorcycles. "If it's got two wheels and a motor, then I am willing to give it a try," says Glazier, who lives in South Lyon.

He found his love for motorcycles as a child, when he used to ride with his father and other family members. "My dad co-signed for my first motorcycle when I was 14, and I got my first job to pay for it," he says.

Glazier and his wife, Terri, have toured every state in the continental United States, except New Jersey, and substantial portions of Canada on motorcycles. After all of his travels, he is hesitant to identify a favorite road or part of the country. "I like the desert a lot, but really I have been to so many beautiful places," he says.

Glazier also enjoys repairing and refurbishing motorcycles, and he frequently works on motorcycles for friends. "I like working with my hands," Glazier says. "It's a good way to learn about an engine, and also save people some money."

Just as Glazier first took an interest in this hobby because of his father, he hopes to keep the tradition alive by refurbishing a motorcycle for his niece.

"I want others to have the same kind of enjoyment I have had from motorcycles, and this is the best way to help them get started," Glazier says.

The weekly Spotlight features staff members at the University. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at urecord@umich.edu.