Professor Profiles: Philip Baruth

Professor Philip Baruth is a UVM veteran of fifteen years. His impact on the school has been felt by faculty and students alike, as well as recognition on a national scale.Fellow English professor Elaine Harrington is one of Baruth’s fans. He has been “very inspiring to the students,” said Harrington. “He’s come to my journalism classes and he was great.”He is also well-liked by his students. “I took Post-Modern American literature with him. It was the best class I’ve ever taken,” said Dru Roessly, a sophomore who is currently taking another class with Baruth. “He’s great,” added senior Lindsay Mays.Baruth has similarly warm praise for UVM. “I just love the institution. It’s a fantastic school,” said Baruth. He credits President Fogel for a “kind of energy that wasn’t there before,” said Baruth. “He thinks big and I’m all for that.”Burlington has provided Baruth with a fertile environment ideally suited to his political views. When talking politics in Vermont, “people nod and smile instead of, you know, throw rocks,” said Baruth. Fortunately for Baruth, Vermont’s liberal-leaning citizens have received his Web site, Vermont Daily Briefing, well. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Web site was awarded Best Vermont Blog by “Seven Days”.Vermont Daily Briefing is “a political blog, heavy on the politics, heavy on the comedy, lighter on policy discussion,” said Baruth. The blog “tends to have a pronounced left-of-center feel,” said BaruthFans of comical political musings need not agree with Baruth’s stance to enjoy the blog. “I have a lot of readers who are conservatives. They e-mail me questions and we argue about this and that,” said Baruth.Baruth was understandably pleased by Obama’s election win, but the victory was personal for him. “I started working for Obama long before he was a candidate,” said Baruth. He was part of Vermonters for Obama, a group whose aim was to get Obama on the ticket as the Democratic candidate. Of the verdict, the blogger was “ecstatic,” said Baruth. He was also a delegate for Obama at the Democratic National Convention. It was a “transformative experience,” said Baruth.One of the highlights of election season for him happened when “it was clear that states with predominantly white populations would vote for Obama and by a large margin,” said Baruth.For students who have become more interested in current events because of the recent election, Baruth recommends becoming involved in the College Democrats and College Republicans. Some students “feel like they don’t belong in politics but they do,” said Baruth.Baruth is also a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio, for which he has won a Public Radio News Directors Award, and an author. His book “The X President” was selected by “The New York Times” as a Notable Book of 2003. His newest book , “The Brothers Boswell”, comes out in May of 2009.