Faculty and Students: Making the Grade

10 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by James G. Clawson

James G. Clawson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Charl J.A. du Plessis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper


What is the proper role of the instructor in student-professor interactions? What challenges should new teachers expect and what pitfalls should be avoided? New faculty must meet a variety of concurrent demands when they enter an academic career, several for which they have never received any formal training. Various activities broaden the educational scope of the teacher beyond the classroom, and increase interaction with the student body. Many academic communities are settled in smaller university towns, where students and faculty share the community life: this can add another complicating layer. Establishing a strong relationship with a faculty mentor may be among the most important factors determining the success one achieves as a graduate student. So how is balance achieved in managing the multiple roles faculty members play in students' lives? This case reveals the impact of a teacher's personal relationship with students outside the classroom and the challenges of being involved with student development beyond the curriculum.




With thirty minutes to go before the year-end exam in the Law of Inheritance, Chris Glaser stood outside the examination hall and watched his friend Phillip Dunbar scan a one-page summary of legislation Glaser had not seen before. After a quick conversation with Dunbar, Glaser learned that a new act of parliament had replaced customary law and the legal precedent that he had studied for his final exam. Glaser felt he knew the course instructor, Professor Donaldson, pretty well; he sincerely doubted she would test the class on obsolete knowledge. He was in deep trouble.

Glaser had hardly attended class most of the year, a fact that Donaldson acknowledged when she jokingly asked the whole class to clap near the end of the term to “welcome Mr. Glaser for finally attending a lecture.” She also knew that he had been out of town for the last two weeks monitoring an important trial for the local chapter of Lawyers for Human Rights, which she chaired. But even more alarming to Glaser was that he and Donaldson had shared a few late- night drinks only days before and she never mentioned this dramatic change in the law to him.

With a heavy heart, Glaser walked into the examination hall and seated himself, trying to catch Professor Donaldson's eye, as she and her teaching assistants starting handing out the final exam. Why had Donaldson not filled him in on these legal changes? She had counseled him on his future in the law—what was he missing? Did their friendship mean nothing?

The Legal Structure in South Africa

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Keywords: faculty, and students, pedagogy teaching, role, mentoring

Suggested Citation

Clawson, James G. and Yemen, Gerry and du Plessis, Charl J.A., Faculty and Students: Making the Grade. Darden Case No. UVA-PHA-0057. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911830

James G. Clawson (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/clawson.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Charl J.A. Du Plessis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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