A Very Modest Proposal

But most professors already manage to find time to lead graduate sections. The addition of one undergraduate class would not significantly burden them.

By leading an undergraduate section, professors could gauge the success of their courses for an undergraduate audience. He or she would learn what material the students liked, what they chose to ignore and what they found difficult. Such a perspective would inform the professor more than 10 years' worth of CUE Guide evaluations.

And professors would indirectly recruit students to their fields of study. Their enthusiasm for their lives' work would inevitably rub off on students. Such passion is not always communicated from the podium.

For those professors who want to know undergraduates better, this proposal would be more effective than mere invitations to office hours. Scholars reluctant to lead such a section would be forcibly reminded that teaching undergraduates is one of their chief missions at the University.

And if Harvard purports to be a true "community of scholars," it should ensure that its students and faculty truly interact. Students would certainly rise to this challenge; they know that dialogue is superior to a series of soliloquys.


It would be a travesty to tell us otherwise.

Mark N. Templeton '93 is a Crimson editor and member of the Academics Committee of the Undergraduate Council.