“How many classes,” asked a faculty at the end of a committee meeting three years ago, “is a tenured professor at Stanford required to teach each year?” None of us gave the correct answer, which is one. The same is probably true at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and other top Research I universities in America. I have no idea how teaching is evaluated among these folks—or if it is a category for evaluation. I’d guess, however, that teaching evaluations matter little or not at all at these institutions.
By a coincidence of scheduling, Rod Dreher and J.D. Vance gave talks at Pepperdine within four days of each other. I was able to attend both presentations and took a few notes.
Having entered academia in my thirties, I sometimes wondered what it would have been like had I begun graduate school not long after college. It was, after all, the pattern for the majority of my academic friends, peers, and colleagues. I couldn’t help wondering where I’d be on the academic ladder as people of my age now. Yet each time that I thought about it, I always concluded that, most likely, it’d have been a disaster.