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ERIC Number: EJ819595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov-7
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
What's so Bad about Being "Professorial"?
Vaidhyanathan, Siva
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n11 pB6 Nov 2008
CNN commentator Bill Bennett's invocation of "professorial" was the latest among a string of comments about Barack Obama, who used to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago. On September 13, the "New York Times" columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote, "Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences." Gil Kaufman, on MTV's news Web site, previewed the final debate by warning that Obama, who "sometimes comes off as professorial and a bit detached--might also be unprepared for the kind of in-person slugfest he has not yet faced in the general election." "Professorial" must be the insult of the season. To the author, being professorial means being deliberate, pensive, patient, and willing to weather criticism. Those are not bad traits for a leader. In this article, the author questions why and when "professorial" become an insult or a political liability, and examines professors who became U.S. presidents and high-ranking officials.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A