Economics Department Chair John T. Cuddington announced that Professor Robert Myers would no longer teach “Principles of Microeconomics” (ECON-001), a primarily first-year economics course, because Myers felt he was not reaching his students. In an announcement on Tuesday, Oct. 13, Cuddington said that Professor M. Daniel Westbrook has assumed responsibility for the class. Cuddington said that Myers had been hired as an adjunct professor for the fall term. According to Cuddington, around mid-semester either the department chair or a program director usually tries to visit all economics courses taught by new faculty or adjunct instructors so that they may ensure good quality in every class. Cuddington said Myers had asked him to sit in on one of his lectures earlier than usual because he felt he was having trouble getting his points across to the students. “I gave him some suggestions to improve his presentation and organization,” Cuddington said. “A couple of weeks later, Professor Myers approached Undergraduate Program Director Professor Jim Tybout and me about having a more experienced instructor in the [economics] department take over the class,” Cuddington added. Cuddington then agreed with Myers’ request to remove him from the instruction of the course, he said. After Cuddington’s announcement on Tuesday, Myers wrote in response to various student e-mails: “I found it emotionally enervating that I didn’t have the recent teaching experience needed to give you guys the best. “Since I last taught 30 years ago, my experience as an economist and a father [of college-age children] have led me to understand how significant you students are and how important it is that you get the best course possible. Viewed from this perspective, this switch is a good one. I’ll admit though, that I’ll miss you students. You are an attractive group of people with the talent and opportunity to make important contributions to society. Do well in the course; it’ll launch you on your way!” yers added that “Westbrook is an excellent, experienced Principles teacher and a very nice person.” He said Westbrook became available to teach only after the course had begun, but that it seemed natural for him to step in and take over. Westbrook said, “Professor Cuddington asked if I were willing [to take over the instruction of the class] and naturally I was, because I enjoy teaching microprinciples. Economics is always challenging, but fun.” “I was impressed that the economics department took the initiative to replace Professor Myers when they realized his teaching was not sufficient,” said Rebecca Sterling (FLL `02). Cuddington said that “it is always undesirable to change professors mid-semester, but I decided it would serve the students well to have improved pedagogy.” As department chair, Cuddington said that he, as well as Tybout and the economics faculty, concentrates on maintaining high quality teaching in the department. This effort, Cuddington said, is essential in both attracting superb students to Georgetown and maintaining outstanding instruction for its undergraduates.

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