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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Inside Higher Ed :: 'The Phantom Professor'

Inside Higher Ed :: 'The Phantom Professor'

Another article about the problem of blogging about where you work. The Phantom Professor taught out at Southern Methodist University and while she tried to write anonymously and did not mention anyone in her blog by name or where she taught, the students and staff caught on and she has lost her job as an adjunct professor.

On the one hand, I can support the notion of freedom of expression - on the other hand I don't think that blogging about difficulties with faculty and students is appropriate. In my experience, when I tell people I know that I blog, they want to know if they are in it because of a real concern about what I might be broadcasting to the world about them. So, I have been trying to reveal personal experiences while avoid speaking - especially negatively - about those with whom I live and work.

I also believe that the teaching environment can be negatively impacted if students believe that they might become characters in a blog post. I may have problems with a particular student, but voicing my opinions - even anonymously - is not likely to make those problems better and, in fact, may make them worse.

All this goes to say that whatever appears in a blog should be something that you wouldn't mind saying in public and to a complete stranger. Bloggers should be honest, but prudent.


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