Anyone who’s married knows it isn’t easy and most people would say working with your spouse is even harder. Brett Andrews and Tammy Andrews are a married couple who both teach at Newman, but they don’t have these problems. Brett Andrews is the dean of the School of Business and Tammy Andrews is an assistant professor of psychology. Since the couple works in different departments they don’t see each other constantly, though they commute together every day.
The couple has been married for 26 years. They met in college at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, where they’re both from. They met through a mutual friend.
“He was in a band. I was in a band,” said Tammy Andrews. “We both played bass. I didn’t like him when we first met. I thought he was a smart aleck.”
In Brett Andrews’ 25 years of teaching, he has been a dean and vice president. He has been here at Newman for 18 months. Tammy Andrews got the job here this summer. The couple says there are benefits that have come from working for the same employer.
“It’s easier to coordinate the benefits package when you work for the same employer,” said Brett Andrews.
But the duo does make some sacrifices.
“I love my wife more today than when I first saw her, and we hold hands more than a lot,” Brett Andrews said. “We’ve chosen to not while on campus. This is something we never had to think about before. We recognize the difference between our lifelong interpersonal connection and the fact that we are professionals working in the same profession.”
Brett and Tammy Andrews have been working on a potential NSP course together, combining psychology and management. The “business of psychology” is a name Brett Andrews has thought of.
“Taking this job at Newman was exciting. The school has a great reputation. Every student lives up to the great reputation. These are high quality students and individuals,” said Brett Andrews.
After 25 years as an educator, Brett Andrews has had many student assistants but remembers one in particular.
“I had a student assistant every year. This particular year, his name was Jeremy. So I took my phone out and set it on my desk like I do most of the time when I’m working,” said Brett Andrews. “I had left the room and Jeremy thought it’d be hilarious to program his girlfriend’s number in my phone without telling me.”
Tammy Andrews corrected him by saying, “She thought Brett’s phone was Jeremy’s phone.”
“So she programmed her number in my phone thinking it was Jeremy’s. Several days then passed,” said Brett Andrews. “One night Tammy was looking at my phone and she corners me with ‘Who’s Melissa and why do you have her number?’. It took me several days to track what had happened.”
“She came to the house and apologized,” said Tammy Andrews.
Brett Andrews’ work has impacted his life during the most important moments.
“When I was pregnant at the hospital, we were running in. Brett had me in a wheelchair and we had Ryder, our 3-year-old son, with us running me down the hallway,” said Tammy Andrews. “We get in the elevator and some hand comes and stops it. A student stops and asks ‘Dr. Andrews, have our grades up yet?’ and all he said was, ‘Let’s shoot for Monday.’”
Brett Andrews admitted that he was a little upset that he hadn’t come up with a witty comeback but it could be because he was distracted with his wife about to give birth.
This story first appeared in the November 16, 2017 issue of The Vantage.