Filed under Faculty

Are Great Teachers Born or Made?

One of the best teachers in Elizabeth Green’s new book, Building a Better Teacher, uses an analogy to convey the intricacy and difficulty of her craft. “Every single time I get on a plane,” she says, “I’m really glad that the plane is not being flown by someone who just always loved planes … But … Continue reading

Student Evaluations of Professors

It’s student evaluation time again—and I should be the last professor in the world to complain. With slight exceptions for “caring too much” and courses that meet “too early” (9:10 a.m.), my evaluations are quite good. And yet the student evaluations of teaching (SETs) I’ve received during my decade-long teaching career have meant absolutely nothing. … Continue reading

The Uncertain Future of Academic Work

Over the next several years, at least, new technologies are expected to drastically reshape the way professors teach, and when and where people on college campuses do their work. As lawmakers, parents, and students continue to question whether a college degree is worth it, and as higher education struggles to reinvent itself, professors are sure … Continue reading

Trouble Finding Mentors on Campus? Go Online

The summer after my first year of graduate school, I took a trip to several East Coast cities. Having settled on a dissertation topic, I quickly realized there were few professors at my institution, the University of California at Berkeley, who shared my research subject. Hoping to find some mentors with similar scholarly interests, I … Continue reading

What Men­tors Of­ten Miss

She was a seem­ing­ly qui­et, in­tro­spec­tive stu­dent. On the sur­face, her in­tro­ver­sion didn’t bode well for her suc­cess in my pub­lic-speak­ing course at the Community College of Phil­a­del­phia. While oth­er stu­dents were of­ten loud and more gre­gar­i­ous, she said very lit­tle in class. Nev­er­the­less, I could al­ways tell she was en­gaged. From the way her … Continue reading

Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators—unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt)―are thriving. In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42 private college and university presidents received more than a million dollars … Continue reading