At first it may seem like a trivial endeavor to make our
professors put their credentials on their Web sites. I was a bit skeptical about devoting this section of the magazine to it but I continued to think about it and it is a question we must ask ourselves for one reason: Not putting credentials on the Web site undercuts the entire focus of higher education: to think critically.
As students at a liberal arts college, we are being taught not
to take things at face value. One of the tenets of a critical mind is to not believe any information without evidence. Wikipedia is a prime example of this. If we are not supposed to trust Wikipedia when the research is not cited, why is choosing to accept what our professors teach us ok when we do not know their credentials (by credentials I mean experience, education, and other research that make them reliable sources)? It is not only preposterous; it’s antithetical to how we are being taught to think. If students aren’t aware of their professors’ qualifications, they not only are unable to have an open
dialogue with them, but they also are unaware of any biases a = professor may bring to the class.
In no way am I attempting to discredit or offend any professor. This is also not a matter of respect; disagreeing with a professor, or questioning what they say to be true, is–and should be–the right of any student. At the same time the student must disagree in a thoughtful, respectful manner. Each of us must respect one
another and at the same time allow for differing viewpoints and the free flow of information. It is essential for higher education.
However not requiring professors to post their CVs says a lot about the college as a whole. Many professors on campus chose to put it there, but others have not. What credentials show is that the professor is proud of their education and experience. The problem isn’t what it says about Ithaca College but what Ithaca doesn’t say. The lack of a policy that requires professors to display their credentials on their sites shows that Ithaca College is not willing to say that they are proud of their faculty.