I received this from ‘invisible mom’. Her concern is, first and foremost, for the effect on the students involved. Along the way, she raises some points of interest for process.

I post this concerned letter and her search for answers on her behalf.

From invisible mom

Though this Moore situation can be seen as an aberration, a comic event, or a disgrace, an issue remaining is where in the Williams Schumann visiting professor selection committee’s process did it fail students and parents?

Where in the process were standards for: an academic scholar, a recognized expert in Political Science, and an individual with teaching experience put on the back burner, and why?

Did the desire to bring politicians to campus override Williams concern for student and parent expectations?

Williams parents and students expect a very high quality education from the college. Students and families make enormous financial sacrifices and students invest their time in these courses. Yet, for those students who were in Moore’s class and got much less than they bargained for, what is the impact on their time and their family’s money?

Does a frustrating class taught by someone with questionable credentials still count for the credits? Does the grade earned, count or mean anything? If it is not counted, is it fair? If Moore truly gave everyone A’s, is it fair?

If seniors have taken a course or two from him, will they need to take an overload second semester of senior year (while juggling, thesis, activities, sports, applying for jobs/grad/law school) in order to make up for courses taught by this unqualified person?

Will juniors be in summer school? Do current students with Moore’s course/name on their own transcripts have any hesitation about applying for internships, jobs, and/or graduate/law school in Washington DC?

Understandably there are times when a well-known public figure or expert in a field may come and fill a visiting position, and not have a long list of scholarly publications. This is fine. But regardless of Moore’s connections, it is clear he did not have the academic reputation, stature, or teaching experience to have been hired by Williams. His background as a felon, and lasts week’s plea only emphasize how the entire situation was avoidable.He should not have been hired in the first place.

If organizing events to attract well-known speakers to campus was the goal of the Schumann position, that’s great, but such a person should not have been pawned off on students under the auspices of teaching Political Science at Williams College.

Through all of this, I’m hopeful adjustments will be made in the hiring process of future Schumann visiting professors.

At this point, we cannot get back students’ time. We await the word on whether the students’ courses/credits really do count, and we contemplate the Parents’ Fund letter.

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