Faculty life is crazy: reference letter edition

Writing a reference letter is very bad!

Administrators at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire are forcing an education professor to undergo sexual harassment training.

The professor, Michael Fischler, isn’t accused of sexual misconduct or of violating Title IX—the statute that mandates sex equality in education. He’s not accused of doing anything wrong at all. He merely wrote a letter of support on behalf of a former student: a woman accused of a sex crime.

Not writing a reference letter is very bad!

Does a professor have a right to refuse to write a recommendation for a student due to his own political convictions? A professor at the University of Michigan declined to write a recommendation for a student to study abroad upon realizing the student’s chosen program was in Israel.


“Injecting personal politics into a decision regarding support for our students is counter to our values and expectations as an institution,” the university said in a statement issued Tuesday. An earlier statement from the university described the faculty member’s decision as “disappointing,” but that language was removed from the subsequent statement, which a spokesman said was revised for purposes of concision.




Stephen By Stephen

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Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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