Obama’s Grade Inflation

I don’t think Barack Obama has ever said he was under sniper fire in a war zone, but he certainly has his own long list of exaggerations. Lynn Sweet returned to one of them over the weekend: his perpetual claim to professorhood. Not so.


2 responses to “Obama’s Grade Inflation

  1. From the University of Chicago Law School:

    Statement Regarding Barack Obama

    The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as “Senior Lecturer.”

    From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School’s Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.


  2. divisionstreet

    This is true, SCAM, but this is what the university told Lynn Sweet, for today’s column titled “No ‘Professor’ Obama at U. of C.:

    “WASHINGTON — The University of Chicago released a statement Thursday saying Sen. Barack Obama “served as a professor” in the law school — but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed on Friday.

    “‘He did not hold the title of professor of law,’ said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an assistant dean for communications and lecturer in law at the school.”

    Later, Sweet writes: “The school probably did not mean to imply that Obama became a University of Chicago professor a year out of law school. But the word “served” is key — Nagorsky said Obama carried out, or served, a function of a professor — teaching a core curriculum course — while at the same time not holding down that rank . . .

    “Nagorsky said there is a major distinction between a lecturer and senior lecturer, though neither is a full-time position. She said the status of a senior lecturer is ‘similar’ to the status of a professor and that Obama did teach core courses usually handled only by professors. Obama’s appointment was not part of an academic search process, and he did not have any scholarly research obligations.

    “In August 2004, I wrote a column about Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign literature saying he was a law professor at the U. of C. when he was a senior lecturer on leave at the school. Neither the school nor anyone in the Obama campaign complained at the time.

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