Hey Professor!: April 14, 2021

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Hey Professor!

What’s this column all about? And will it be on the quiz?!

Sincerely,

Inquisitive Sophomore

Dear Inquisitive,

Faculty and students spend a lot of time together. We are scheduled together for hours each semester, in the classroom, the discussion section and the lab. And outside the classroom, faculty hold office hours, work with student groups, organize outings and events, and advise student research and internships. Occasionally, we even share a meal or coffee.

And yet, how much do we really know about each other? About the small things and the important ones?

  • Why do you teach such big lecture classes (or such small seminars)?
  • Why do professors have big assignments due during the same week?
  • What do you do when you’re not teaching?
  • What do you think about how COVID-19 is affecting our education?
  • What are office hours for?

Whether it’s these questions or others, we believe that students and faculty want to know more about each other and have more direct communication. That is what this column is all about. And because faculty are as varied as students, it won’t represent just a single voice, perspective or field of study.

So let’s get the ball rolling. Submit your question to the anonymous form at https://tiny.one/heyprofessor . We may not be able to answer all of them, but we’ll do our best to answer as wide a range as possible.  We will all learn something. (Isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?)

“Hey Professor!” is collectively written by professors who are members of the Tulane chapter of the American Association of University Professors, a membership organization of faculty and other academic professionals who work to promote shared governance within higher education, protect academic freedom and develop fair and productive standards of professionalism in the academic world. “Hey Professor!” Is currently authored by Laura Adderley, Michelle Lacey, Carola Wenk and Justin Wolfe.