This semester, I inadvertently signed up for a class on revolutions. It has turned out to be the best class I have taken in the three years I've been here, and the only class I have actually looked forward to attending. It is not interesting because of the subject matter, per se, but as a result of the professor. He is irreverent, makes the subject matter engaging, and knows the subject well while being able to communicate that knowledge.
However, last week he informed the class that he had not been granted tenure and would be gone as of the end of the semester. Granted, I do not know the politics or reasoning behind the firing, but when I think back to the professors I have had who would walk into class, read off a lecture sheet in a monotone voice, and leave (and who will probably be here until they die), I find the decision extremely disheartening (if not surprising). Maybe it is just me who thinks this, but it seems to me that more emphasis should be placed on teaching and teaching ability than on how many papers a professor can publish.
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