Doug Bull

An ELO first… one of our finest has retired!

Doug Bull, Testing Center Operations Manager, has retired after nearly 34 years at ISU.  Doug started his career as a Business Manager for the Iowa State Daily before moving to the Zoology Department as an Administrative Specialist.

Finding himself as potentially the “odd man out” when Zoology and Genetics merged, Doug responded to a question from his Chair about what was needed on campus in the way of technology.  Doug’s response that a dedicated computer based testing center was the next big thing would end up leading him on a journey that would wrap up on March 29, 2021 when he would retire.

The inaugural testing center proved to be the next home for Doug.  Starting with 24 computers in Science II, the on campus testing centers would see phenomenal growth to over 10 times that number of machines.  The next step under Doug’s leadership was to double to 48 testing stations and make a move to Gilman.  Further expansion took place when Carver 60 was opened as a permanent location soon to be followed by Gilman 2552 as a permanent home.

ISU’s enrollment growth and demand for testing center services grew, out-pacing available resources until they could not keep up any longer. Long lines and multiple hour waits became routine in 2013 and 2014 during mid-terms and finals. KCCI News reported on the overcrowding at that time and included Doug’s cool under pressure remarks.

Starting with a meeting called by the Provost on November 7, Doug led a full court press in the fall of 2014 in partnership with LAS IT, ENGR IT, ITS, ELO and the Provost’s Office to solve the problem of lines in time for finals week.  After a successful finals that included adding 6 temporary testing centers and hundreds of computers, the group was instructed to continue improving operations.  Over the next five years, Doug’s unflappable leadership style combined with his dry sense of humor led the expansion to four permanent testing locations, growth to 4 full time positions and as many as 150 student proctors and exams that peaked over 100,000 per semester pre-COVID.

Doug will be missed but he leaves behind a strong team with outstanding operations.  Doug will be enjoying his retirement days with his wife Denise traveling, fishing, visiting family and in search of the elusive pastry that he always seemed to find while with ELO.

Best of luck Doug!

Doug will be missed but he leaves behind a strong team with outstanding operations. Doug will be enjoying his retirement days with his wife Denise traveling, fishing, visiting family and in search of the elusive pastry that he always seemed to find while with ELO.