I was offended to read gross generalizations about “horrible teaching at BU” in Stephanie Flick’s letter (“BU professors not up to par” Dec. 4). Such exaggerated complaints are incredibly insulting to the many quality professors that are well liked as well as to the students who take their classes. I also find Ms. Flick’s echoing of the frequent complaint concerning TAs who do “not even speak English” incredibly annoying. True, many Teaching Assistants may not have grown up speaking English as their native language, but we’re at diverse Boston University for crying out loud! Whining about not understanding accented English sounds a lot like petulant intolerance to me. Not everyone out in the real world goes around speaking the Queen’s English. Learning to have a patient ear could be a useful skill for us to develop. Ms. Flick mistakenly claims that BU was in the Boston Globe (Oct 15, 2000) concerning “its horrible reputation for teaching.” She totally missed the point. The writer, Patrick Healy, discussed Provost Dennis Berkey’s intention to make several reforms in BU’s faculty administration, including setting “tough evaluations for tenured professors,” “allocating bigger teaching loads for ‘less productive’ researchers” and insisting professors stick to a “four-days-a-week schedule.” I have gripes like everyone else, but slamming the professors here is a cheap shot. Check the Source Guide for proof that many professors are popular for engaging lectures and genuine interest in students. “Shop” for classes each semester, then maybe you’ll finally find the professor whose teaching style you like.
Cathy Ng CAS ’01