Josh Heit's blog


Monday, January 12, 2004

Now this is interesting:

At the beginning of last semester, the New York Times was looking for quotes from NSCS members about the rising costs of higher education (link via InstaPundit, but I got that email too). This semester, it's about non-traditional professors. This means that they're at least trying to get out of a rut, and maybe they're looking for fresh input. I know that Today@AU emails often have a weekly "AU in the News" segment, which is always fun to read. I'm probably not going to respond to the request, because I really haven't had any of AU's "star" professors (Lenny Steinhorn and Julian Bond are the first two that come to mind); the closest I've come was a recent PhD working at AEI.

Here's the full text, since NSCS has no basis in merit, and this sounds like an interesting thing for anyone to respond to:

The New York Times is working on an article that talks about star professors and their role at colleges and universities, how much they do or don't teach, and whether they serve undergraduates well. Many of the campus professors we know best are writers. But some former government officials, business leaders, public intellectuals and well-known researchers might also qualify. If you know of any professors to match these descriptions...
- Does your college or university have any "big-name" professors? If so, who?
- Did their presence play any role in your decision to attend that college?
- Do they teach? How much?
- How available are they to undergraduate students?
- Have you taken any of their classes? If so, please describe the experience. (name of class, size of class, how it was run, whether the prof. was available outside of class, how it compared to other classes you have taken, etc.)
- Were there big name teachers you had hoped to have but have not been able to get?
- Do you find these people are accessible to you in other ways? (speeches, discussions, consulting, etc.)
- Do they seem to participate in the life of the college to the seem extent as other professors? (or more? or less?) Or are they mostly there as ornamentation?
- Any idea what they are paid? (much more than other professors? about the same?)
- How much attention or prestige do you think they bring to the college?
- Overall, would you say it is a good thing for colleges to have such professors? Why or why not?

Please contact Karen Arenson, Education Writer, at to answer these questions and/or share any other general thoughts on this topic. If you are willing, please provide your full name, where you are from, the full name and location of your college, what year you are in, and what you are studying.

Thanks for your assistance and best wishes,

Your friends at NSCS


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