In Response to: Coming Back

In “Coming Back” (September issue), Dean Jill Dolan outlines several causes for concern. But she explores these so cogently and eloquently that I feel reassured Princeton will meet this challenge, with leaders like her.

I did notice her statement that “heeding student requests [for various accommodations] could mean the difference between good and bad teaching evaluations, which bear on course enrollments and an instructor’s reputation.” This will not be news to anyone, but something crucial has shifted in the power balance between students and faculty. Both may now be equally anxious about how the other will evaluate them. Perhaps tenured faculty are an exception. I recall when student evaluations of teachers were introduced (1967 or so?). It seemed like a great idea at the time. I’m not so sure anymore.

Richard M. Waugaman ’70
Potomac, Md.