Who Decides On Award Winners?

It was announced yesterday that Mike Lipscomb would receive the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching, which goes to a professor who has shown a dedication to teaching and is well liked by faculty and students.

Um,… what?

I have never heard of a student who enjoys a Lipscomb class. There are people who know how to get by them, and thus continually take his classes because they know what he wants to see which means they know how to get a good grade. That’s as close as I ever thought existed to someone enjoying one of his classes.

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the man string together a coherent thought. He’s always stopping in the middle of a sentence and starting over, or jumping back to clarify a thought he passed on in the past.

If anything, Lipscomb is a good professor because he teaches you to teach yourself the material because of his lack of a teaching ability.

Don’t get me wrong, the man knows his material. But this isn’t the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Knowing Your Material, it’s the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching.

And before anyone comes to defend Lipscomb, I’m not trying to say this was his fault. He’s not the one who decided who to give the award to. And I’m pretty sure I know him well enough to say that if he were on the committee who gave out this award he would either pull himself off of it or pull his name from consideration.

So I ask these question of the mighty James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching decision making group: Where did you find students who enjoy his teaching? And have you ever sat in one of his classes?


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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You forgot the part where he can’t tell time and forces his students to sit through his incoherent lectures for at least 5-15 minutes longer than they signed up to edure.

  2. And I would say that routinely keeping people that late after class should instantly knock you out of award contention.

  3. you sure are bold in your comments. but will such comments be received well? in india, such open comments would be understood as vilifying and student’s career would be at stake. i am concerned about your internal scores.

    i agree with you totally that many professors have lot of knowledge; but they can not deliver goods to students and hence they can never be good teachers. here also many professors have PhD degrees to their credit. but unfortunately, the information and experience they have gained during their study period do not get translated into good lectures in the class. that teacher-taught bonding happens only when the teacher is a true teacher, ie, when he is a true learner too.

  4. Then I’m glad I’m not in India as you are. And while I don’t know who decides who wins these awards, I am pretty sure that they are not the ones handing out grades.

    I feel that again I should say that I place no fault at the feet of Dr. Michael Lipscomb for this. I place all the blame on whoever decided to award his teaching.

  5. For information, the Kinard Award winner is chosen by a committee of previous Kinard Award winners from professors nominated by their departments. Student evaluations for the professors nominated are part of the nominations material, so the committee does see students’ responses to the nominees’ teaching. So yes, the award is decided by “the ones handing out grades.”

  6. Then again I have to ask this question: Have the seen the man teach a class? And if so, how do they know that he acts the way that they saw all the time?

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