Student Policies

Respect for Persons

            I expect all my students to demonstrate a passion for learning, concern for the members of their community, and a broader social awareness. I encourage students who have concerns about respect for persons and freedom of speech to discuss them with me. I believe it is absolutely essential that every student have the freedom to express her/his beliefs and exercise her/his intellectual freedom. This freedom includes, but it not limited to the expression of ideological and religious beliefs and respect for gender, racial, sexual, class, ethnic and national identity.

Intellectual Responsibility

            In cases involving possible violations of the Amherst “Statement of Intellectual Responsibility” I will first speak to a student individually and if appropriate I will report the situation to the Dean of Student’s office. Violations are likely to result in failure of the course.

Students with Disabilities

            On a case-by-case basis, I will make accommodations for students with disabilities. I have specialized expertise on teaching students with disabilities and always welcome new opportunities to facilitate students’ success.


            Email is often the most efficient way to communicate with faculty. However, Amherst professors receive a high volume of emails from students daily. I ask that students please consider the appropriateness of their emails before sending them. For example, it is not necessary to inquire about office hours when that information is easily accessible on syllabi and Department websites. Students should take advantage of College and other information sources (i.e., the library) before contacting me for assistance. I welcome emails that alert me to problems (such as the unavailability of a reading) so I can address them as quickly as possible. I would also appreciate it if students kept in mind that email communication with faculty should follow the conventions of more formal correspondence. Students are responsible for course information disseminated via email.


            I do not accept late papers and assignments without an extension. Extension requests should be made in a timely fashion, include the reason for the request, and an estimated amount of time necessary to complete the work. Normally, extensions within 48 hours will be granted for illness, serious personal issues and religious observances. I usually advise students who need more than 48 hours to complete their work to contact the Dean of Students’ office.

Letters of Recommendation

            Please request letters of recommendation in a timely fashion whenever possible. Keep in mind that letters of recommendation for graduate programs and prestigious fellowships are usually lengthy and detailed and may need more time to prepare. In order to prepare a letter, I usually need a transcript (unofficial OK), description of the program, personal statement or application materials, and your resume. I routinely notify students when I mail their letters. If you have not received confirmation from me that your recommendation has been sent, it is fine to inquire about the status of the letter.