What is a Letter of Recommendation?
Cheney-Lippold had objected to the student's destination: A second teacher at the university, Lucy Peterson, also declined to write a letter of recommendation for a student planning to study in Israel, according to Inside Higher Ed.
It's not clear whether Peterson will face disciplinary action as well. Anti-discrimination law would prohibit a professor from refusing to write a letter of recommendation because of a student's ethnicity.
But students who want to study in a particular country do not constitute a protected category, so the professors' actions are legal. University of Michigan officials argue that adhering to BDS tactics is incompatible with professors' obligations to their students, Inside Higher Ed reports: Schlissel, Michigan's president, and Martin A.
Philbert, the provost, had strong words. Conduct that violates this expectation and harms students will not be tolerated and will be addressed with serious consequences. Such actions interfere with our students' opportunities, violate their academic freedom and betray our university's educational mission," they wrote.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's Robert Shibley thinks this is a "thorny" issue from a free speech perspective. However, FIRE has long been concerned about the effects that the effort to academically boycott institutions in Israel cannot help but have on academic freedom for students and faculty members right here in the United States.
Faculty recommendation letters are, of course, a type of speech.
They are, after all, letters. Whether or not to write them on behalf of a particular student is also traditionally, and necessarily, left to the discretion of the individual faculty member, as it would be entirely nonsensical to require faculty members to write recommendation letters for students they simply can't or don't recommend.
Yes, writing such letters is an expected part of the job, but generally speaking, no student has a "right" to a recommendation letter. I tend to think academic freedom means that professors should be able to write and say what they think, even if what they think is offensive to some students.
A letter of recommendation is a kind of speech: If a university is obligating professors to write these letters against their will, they are essentially forcing the professors to engage in compelled speech. It's easy to see how this could cause problems.
Would a pro-life professor have to write a letter of recommendation for a student taking a job at Planned Parenthood? Should a gay professor be forced to recommend a student seeking a transfer to a conservative religious college?
What if the professor's objections aren't political? Is it permissible to deny a letter to a student who wants to visit a particularly dangerous or unstable country?
It seems the best policy here is to leave these decisions in the hands of the faculty.
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I'm not a supporter of the BDS movement—I tend to think boycotts are hypocritical —but I would be hard-pressed to say that professors who object to Israel's policies should be forced to violate their consciences in order to keep their jobs.
Anyone who has a problem with these professors' anti-Israel stances should feel free to criticize them, but disciplinary measures are unwarranted and a threat to the faculty's free speech rights.
Follow Robby Soave on Twitter.Thanking a Professor for Writing a Recommendation Letter A Professional Courtesy and Kind Gesture.
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Below, you'll find examples of academic recommendations, personal writing a recommendation letter for a student for college recommendations, letters asking for a recommendation and perfect thesis lists of references Personal and Professional Letter Samples and Templates.
Academic recommendation letter examples for a variety of circumstances, and advice for writing and what to include in an academic recommendation. Assistant Professor of Victorian Literature Department of English University of Kansas Jayhawk Blvd, Have a look at these examples to see how to write a strong letter of recommendation.
4. Your List of Schools. Professors like to know which schools their letter will need to be sent to. Sometimes a professor will have a friend in the same department at a .
Writing a good letter of recommendation can be helpful, but writing a great letter of recommendation can change a person's life. If you care deeply about your coworker, colleague, employee, student, MA, staff member or yourself (if you have been tasked with writing your own letter), taking the time to write a reference letter that will uniquely.
So today I share my post on how to write a recommendation letter, American style. I’ve been asked to write a letter of rec for my professor’s tenure.
I feel much better writing it now that I have read your blog but a little worried how I can put all your rec into one letter. Work/Life Balance in Academia; Writing Instrumentally; Yes.