Gary Cooper

Headshot of CFANS Academic Advisor Gary Cooper
CFANS Academic Advisor
For appointments, call
130 Coffey Hall
Advises for undergraduate programs in:
Agricultural and Food Business Management
Agricultural Education
Applied Economics

About Me

Hello Students!

I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and obtained my bachelors and masters degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I also received my M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management in 2005. I like to read, listen to N.P.R., and watch sports. I started working at the University of Minnesota in 1999 in the Department of Applied Economics.

Advising Philosophy

"We Are All Butlers"

My interest in academic advising began my junior year at the University of Wisconsin- Madison when I worked as a summer orientation associate advisor for College of Letters and Science freshmen. That fall, when I ran into several of these students on campus, I assumed they were being polite and was frankly surprised they remembered me or what we discussed at orientation. As I reflect on these encounters, they were "defining moments" that acted as the catalyst for my career path as an academic advisor and teacher.

The butler metaphor reference is from Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. It is central to my life philosophy and my approach to working with students, faculty, and colleagues. As with Stevens, the butler in the novel, my sense of dignity and pride stems from carrying out my advising, teaching, and administrative responsibilities to the best of my ability. I cannot always know the end results of my efforts or how well they will be used or judged. My reassurance comes from maintaining hope that my contributions will lead to the good for those I serve.

I find the process of academic advising similar to interviewing techniques used in counseling psychology. Both fields of study work with persons trying to get "unstuck" in the process of moving from "point A to point B." Both disciplines require active listening skills on the part of the counselor advocate. Both occupations require a trusting, shared partnership between the parties involved in a two-way dialogue, led by the person seeking assistance.

During my advising sessions, my goal is to make the University a more user-friendly, manageable place and ultimately put each student as ease. I do this through my knowledge of institutional policies, procedures, and programs, and close contacts with the student affairs staff. Integrity of the advising process is important to me.