Letters of Recommendation

I recently read an article about a professor who agreed to give a letter of recommendation to a student, only to turn around and deny the letter at a later date.  This happens often; a student was productive, but then fell by the wayside later on, and the letter would no longer  be representative of the student’s performance.  However, in the case of this article, the professor learned that the student was getting a concealed carry permit. You can read her cowardly essay here, if you can stomach her whining.

I’m not saying the professor has to write a letter of recommendation.  Nobody can force a professor to write one.  Besides, who wants a letter of recommendation that was written by coersion instead of genuine approval?   However, I would like to call attention to several things:

1.  If you said you would write a letter, then change your mind, you owe the student an explanation.  You deserve for them to be angry at you, especially if he or she was counting on that letter for admission to graduate school or for a job recommendation.
2.  If you are willing to rescind such an offer on political basis, you should consider how a student’s politics affect your interactions with them.  Are you grading fairly?  Are you answering his or her questions?  If you are not, fix it.  Or perhaps pursue another career.

The liberal press has eaten this story up.  They mention this professor’s bravery in the matter.  I wonder what they’d say if a professor refused to write a letter of recommendation on other political bases, besides one they supported. Perhaps instead, a professor decided to retract an offer to write a letter for a student who had an abortion.  Or perhaps one who participated in the Occupy Wallstreet movement.  Would that professor be considered brave?

Both of those examples are examples of professors who are cowards.  As a professor, your job is to objectively grade and recommend students into the real world.  If you are incapable of doing so, you are not brave.  You are a fraud.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Letters of Recommendation”

  1. ilianavillalobos Says:

    Very interesting! I hadn’t heard about this case.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: