Top-notch faculty

UD faculty featured in 'Best 300 Professors' book

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4:22 p.m., April 3, 2012--Two University of Delaware faculty members are listed among the country's best undergraduate teachers in a new book The Best 300 Professors, published by the Princeton Review. 

Listed in the book are the late Patrick J. White, assistant professor of English, and Christopher B. Wolfe, an instructor in business law in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and at the English Language Institute. Both are alumni of the University of Delaware. Dr. White died Jan. 29, 2012, after the book was in production. 

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For the book, the Princeton Review teamed with RateMyProfessors.com, the highest rated college professor ratings site in the country. The book covers faculty members in more than 60 fields, from accounting to neuroscience to sport management, representing 122 colleges and universities across the nation. A complete list of featured professors is accessible online.

The selection process included both qualitative and quantitative data from survey findings and ratings collected both by the Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com. The top 300 were chosen from an initial list of 42,000, with the final group constituting less than .02 percent of the roughly 1.8 million postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities across the country. 

Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president/publisher, said, "We developed this book as a tribute to the extraordinary dedication of America's undergraduate college professors and the vitally important role they play in our culture and our democracy.  One cannot page through this book without having tremendous respect for the powerful ways they enrich their students' lives, their colleges, and ultimately our future as a society." 

Patrick J. White

In its profile of Dr. White, the Princeton Review editors quote one of his students, "He really keeps the class entertaining by giving out hilarious examples of what not to do." They describe his goal as "total engagement -- diagnostics, instruction and hands-on assignments that provide the opportunity for students to 'work the material.'" The editors also quote Dr. White saying, "I love going to work. I was born to be a teacher because I'm a showoff. This is the job I was meant for." 

Christopher B. Wolfe

The editors quote Wolfe saying, "My goal is to help them understand the larger world … to understand and appreciate their individual rights, freedom and liberty; to understand the individual's relationship to others and to the state; and to understand the basics of the U.S. legal system and various fundamental areas of law." The editors say he "tries to instill in students the calm desire to think logically and accurately and recognize faulty arguments and to arrive at conclusions based on fact, history and logic, without being swayed by purely emotional arguments." 

The Best 300 Professors also includes profiles of the colleges where the book's professors teach.  The school profiles include information on admissions, tuition, SAT/ACT score ranges of admitted students and other data.  The section on UD says, in part, "According to students, there’s something for everyone who calls this campus home. Those who are looking for an extra challenge have the opportunity to apply for University of Delaware’s rigorous Honors Program. For individuals seeking to explore the world, UD has one of the top study abroad programs in the country."

Methodology

The Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com annually collect data from students at thousands of colleges across the country and abroad about their classroom experiences and assessments of their professors. For this project, the Princeton Review culled an initial list using its surveys to find colleges at which students highly rated their professors' teaching ability and accessibility. Data from RateMyProfessors.com identified more than 42,000 professors at those schools that students had rated on its site.  Combining this information, a base list of 1,000 professors was formed.  After obtaining further input from school administrators and students, as well as from Princeton Review's surveys of the professors under consideration, the editors of the Princeton Review made the final choices of the professors profiled in the book

The Best 300 Professors is one of nearly 150 Princeton Review books published by Random House in a line that also includes The Best 376 Colleges, the Princeton Review's flagship college guide. UD is among the 15 percent of the nation's colleges and universities that are featured in The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and is not a magazine.

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