Good professors are enthusiastic, thought provoking, and engaging. Unfortunately, few contain all of these qualities and usually students are lucky to get one or two of these qualities in their professors.
Further, these attributes must be in balance with each other, if not, class becomes silly, meaningless or just plain mind-numbing. Currently at UVM balanced professors are often overlooked, to make sure that the “good” ones are noticed campus-wide the Cynic staff will periodically update the “Professor You Should Know” column. Our intention is to bring awareness, to both students and the administration of Professors who need to be appreciated and supported.
Too often UVM students have seen quality professors leave the university because of push-pull factors. Professors are pushed away from UVM because of poor financing and ideological differences. On the other side, Universities are able to pull professors away from UVM with greater financial opportunities and higher levels of respect from the administration. The Cynic wants this to stop!
Professor Matthew J. Moore, from the Political Science Department is someone you should know. He has all of the afore mentioned virtues in good balance. In class students are completely engaged by his style of teaching. He consistently urges people to speak their minds, fostering some of the best intellectual classroom debates on campus. Moore is able to keep class fascinating with humor, easily relatable anologies, and stories.
Most classes begin with lighthearted discussion between friends. Stories and veiews are exchanged in a familiar and friendly way. Once class begins Moore brings clarity and understanding to complex issues from a wide range of influential thinkers. Brady Fletcher, a Junior and SGA senator says “Professor Moore breaks the most complex philosophical thinkers in history understandable. His approach makes college students excited about political philosophy.”
Professor Moore brings excitement and interest to his profesion. His enthusiasm spreads through the class andarouses everyone from the front to the back of the room. Class engages students and creates an environment of intellectual debate and curiosity. Students push themselves through dense texts in order to keep up with class discussions which move fast and cover many ideas. Discourse in the class is of a higher standard then most others. “He does not impose ideas, rather he pushes you to find and articulate your own” said Marta Ascherio, a sophmore who is currently in Professor Moores intermeiate level class. Last spring, I took a seminar level class called “Socialism Reconsidered” with Prof. Moore.
The class was well organized as it took us from Karl Marx’s writings of the early 19th century to modern day interpretations like F.A. Hayek and everything in between. The extensive range of the course required a costly trip to the school book store. Although the cost is high (over a hundred dollars worth of books) the cost of not enrolling is higher. The list is well chosen, and the books happily fit on anyone’s shelf. Unlike many classes which require students to buy books that are hardly interesting and barely used in class, Moore’s list is well used. Although it requires a lot of reading students are able to go into depth on most of the books.
Be warned, Prof. Moores ‘classes are not easy, rather they are very difficult and require high levels of effort on the students’ part to receive a good grade. Students can expect to write papers which will recieve incredible scrutiny and a red pen’s worth of ink on it. He is not only a PolySci professor, he is also a teacher of writing. People who want to become better writiers will find his class extremely helpful. Personally, he pushed me to write the essay I am most proud of in my college career. Professor Moore teaches 4 classes, three of which are introductory level and the forth being a 100 level course on 20th century political thought.
The administration should make efforts to encourage Prof. Moore to stay at UVM because currently his contract is about to expire. He has expressed desire to stay at UVM, andthe administration and Political Science Department should make every effort to keep him here. Anyone who has taken one of his classes only has positive things to say, and it is urgent that his contract be renewed and extended.