Faculty

Overview:

With all the advanced degrees and years of teaching experience, one might think that Oberlin professors would have big egos. But our faculty is far from being holed up in ivory towers; they are eagerly invested in both their students and the broader campus community. Whether they are acting as advisors to student organizations or leading classes in discussion, Oberlin professors are devoted to teaching undergraduates. All courses at Oberlin are taught by faculty members - not by graduate students.

Entering students are assigned a faculty advisor to help guide them. Beginning on the very first day, students interact regularly with their professors and develop personal relationships with them. The college also encourages student-faculty interaction outside the classroom with programs like Faculty and Students Together (F.A.S.T.) meals, where the college pays for professors and students to eat and socialize in the dining halls.

Oberlin has 274 full-time faculty members, of whom more than 95 percent have earned the highest degree possible in their fields. Most are also active researchers and leading authorities in their disciplines. These facts, combined with frequent office hours and ample opportunities for collaborative research, provide students and faculty with plenty of personal interaction. And with a student-faculty ratio in the College of Arts and Sciences of 11:1 and in the Conservatory of Music of 8:1, students are known by their professors - and known well.

Blog Entries Related To This Topic:


My Classes, Spring 2016

posted by Kira Findling '19 | I can't believe I've never made a post about my classes, which make up a huge part of my Oberlin experience!

Location, Location, Location

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | What does it mean to be able to locate yourself within academic work? Can you see yourself in the very spaces and fields that you learn about or is formalized learning an isolated process for you?

Why You Shouldn't Trust My Psych Project

posted by Ben Reid '16 | Here are some forms of academic support I take for granted every day as an Obie.

The Challenges of Senior Year

posted by Paris Achenbach '13 | I started this post a few weeks ago and never finished it 'til now, a few days after graduation. In retrospect I may not have been so angst-y, but alas, it reflects a certain side of myself that I can't hide. Speaking of the self...

Ode to Professors

posted by Dara Lehrer '16 | I have had so many absolutely fantastic professors this year who have inspired me in all sorts of ways.

Before it's too late...

posted by Paris Achenbach '13 | Or, an open letter to my professors, old and new, on how they've changed my life.

Learning and Labor: The Oberlin Factory

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | At Oberlin we make stuff, things that last. This place is a factory of ideas, knowledge, art, and music. As it turns out, our annual output is actually quite impressive--and we are committed to sharing it freely with the world.

Sciences and humanities, comparatively

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | I took a Comparative American Studies class last semester and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Just kidding, it was pretty neat.

Time off for good behavior

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | "So, like, you're on vacation?"

Professors Say the Funniest Things

posted by Ruby Turok-Squire '16 | Also, a seagull.

THE Professor List

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | In Oberlin, I think professors are kinda like celebrities. And these are the ones I go goo-goo eyed over.

Endgame. And after.

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | In which a professor wrestles with time, flirts with an existential crisis, and wins the lottery.

Empty-Nest Anxiety

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | The end of the academic year always brings a sense of loss, a kind of annual attack of empty-nest anxiety. We think about the graduating seniors and heave a sigh. "What are we going to do?" we ask each other. "We'll never get a bunch of kids as good as these ones..."

Applying to Grad School, Ch. 3

posted by Will Mason '10 | Getting in

Tell me what you study and I'll tell you who you are

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | I've never liked the term "discipline" as a way to refer to what I teach and write about. It's harsh, forbidding, army-like. I much prefer to tell people that I work in a particular field--maybe because as a kid I wanted to be a farmer.

Transcripts

posted by Christine Chang '13 | It smells like baklava and/or cinnamon swirl glaze in my room which, although odd because there is no one in the kitchen to make either, reminds me of my pre-midterms diet and all the other things I miss about Oberlin.

Applying to Grad School, Ch. 2

posted by Will Mason '10 | Or, "This is a terrible idea!" (Inside: helpful faculty; I hate the GRE; Career Services rocks)

My semester in quotations

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | In high school, I did this thing called The Quote Book.

Open Access!

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | Much of the cutting-edge knowledge about the world is out of reach for most of the people who inhabit that world. But access to knowledge is a good in and of itself.

There will be dark moments

posted by Leslie Braat, Admissions | I had the good fortune of being in NYC last week when Ishmael Beah '04 and Professor Dan Chaon celebrated an evening of Oberlin mentorship.

Oberlin students at the G20 protests: Reacting to a turbulent two days

posted by Sam Jewler '10 | Why were we there? How did the world see us?

Enviro-mentality

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | The class, and the Environmental Studies department, is not Environmental Science, which is the big mistake in assumption that I made going into it. I'm glad I did.

Dazed and confused

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Since several students have written about the excitement and sense of anticipation embodied in the start of the school year, I hope I won't seem too cranky in saying that Orientation always leaves me feeling at least as disoriented as the first-years.

Latin America - Day 2, with a nod to our chemistry faculty

posted by Charles Grim, Admissions | If you are interested enough to know how clouds form, then you might also be interested to know about one of the really cool pieces of equipment that we have in Oberlin's chemistry department - a custom-built turbulent flow chemical ionization mass spectrometer.

Anticipation

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | I'm the kind of person who enjoys anticipation. I do like getting new stuff and experiencing new adventures, but I also really enjoy thinking about them before they happen.

For Randy

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I never knew how much Randolph Coleman meant to me and how much of an impact he has made on my life until he retired.

It's the end of the year. No, really.

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | "Zoë," one girl said, "You're halfway done with college." It didn't seem possible. It still doesn't. And, of course, it's true.

Contingency, Irony and Solidarity

posted by Max Strasser '09 | A rather esoteric blog post in which I discuss postmodernism, historiography, the Middle East, new professors, great professors, and the true beauty of a liberal arts education.

Trying to save my semester

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I must have gotten off on the wrong foot--my work this semester is not really up to par. I seem to be falling behind in just about every class I am taking, even the ones with no homework.

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 3

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | In this episode, our heroes answer questions about creativity in teaching and working with students.

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 2

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | So, who noticed that no less than three Oberlin professors cited 'girls' as their reason for coming to Oberlin?

8 questions for 8 Oberlin alums - part 1

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | What's better than a Brendan Fraser/Christopher Walken film named Blast From the Past? A blog post that features 8 blasts from the past! This one will be better. Guaranteed.

Ode to Team-Teaching

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | January is supposed to be a quiet month, but as usual I've got too many things going at the same time.

Teaching chemistry

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | It seems only a few weeks ago that I was trying to get myself psychologically prepared for the start of the academic year, and now suddenly I'm in the last throes of paper-grading. (And no, I don't actually teach chemistry. Bear with me on this.)

Finals Week

posted by Prof. Steve Volk | Rarely are student and faculty Circadian rhythms more out of sync than at the end of a semester.

Indoctrination

posted by Max Strasser '09 | "Professors' Liberalism Contagious? Maybe not." -New York Times "Am I supposed to be surprised? No." -Me

Monday night coffee with our new president

posted by Max Strasser '09 | No, not Barack Obama. Oberlin College's new president Marvin Krislov.

Happy Endings

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | The end of sophomore year brought the stress of finals, but also the fun of commencement week and parties at professors' houses.

A week in the life

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Spring means life in the fast lane for faculty as well as students.

First things first

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Okay, time to introduce myself.

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