How to Be a Good Professor

38 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2015 Last revised: 9 Sep 2015

See all articles by Robert J. Bloomfield

Robert J. Bloomfield

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: September 8, 2015


A good Professor achieves a three part mission of research, teaching and service. After elaborating on this mission, I provide some broad strategies for accomplishing it: know when to say no; don’t try to win the measurement game; don’t be a jerk (in the technical sense); “think otherwise”, but judiciously; and be your own adversary. I then spell out specific learning objectives, explain why they matter, and provide advice on how to achieve them. Stated in the language of instructional design, a good Professor will be able to: communicate effectively; craft constructive reviews and effective response memos; put philosophical insights to practical use; motivate students; share in the governance of your institution; and blend work and life so that each enriches the other.

Keywords: Academic Advice, Teaching, Research, Service

JEL Classification: A20, I20, L30, M10, M40

Suggested Citation

Bloomfield, Robert J., How to Be a Good Professor (September 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Robert J. Bloomfield (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

450 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-9407 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

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