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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter: Hire Rob Lewis for tenure track

We are writing to express our deep disappointment in the History Department’s decision not to hire Professor Rob Lewis for a tenure-track position in Modern European History. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to take a class with Professor Lewis know that his passion for his subject is unrivaled, and his energy is infectious. His classes are always full, and he has inspired many students to major (or double major) in history.

Not only is he an engaging professor, but Rob Lewis is also willing to dedicate vast amounts of time towards helping students with whatever project they are working on—even beyond the bounds required for the actual class. Be it an essay contest, a scholarship application, or internship advice, Professor Lewis always makes himself available to help. We attend Grinnell College for the opportunity to be taught by professors like Rob Lewis, who care about teaching and interacting with their students just as much as they care about their own research.

During the hiring process, students displayed overwhelming support for Professor Lewis by packing into ARH 102 for his Friday evening job talk, some of us sitting on the floor. The crowd was an academically diverse group of students, and included majors of not only history, but of all disciplines; the student body of Grinnell expressed broad-based enthusiasm for Rob Lewis’s candidacy. We wish the History Department had placed greater value on this outpouring of student support as well as his consistently outstanding class reviews, and we urge you to reconsider your decision and hire Professor Lewis for a tenure-track position.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Lewis for the two outstanding years that he has devoted to us, his students. Professor—on behalf of every Grinnellian who read a little deeper because you engaged them in conversation, on behalf of every student who researched for your papers and forgot that it was work, and on behalf of everyone who you introduced to the world of the Parc des Princes, of Haussmann, of Dreyfus or De Gaulle—thank you.

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