Friday, April 16, 2004
I noted when I last looked that Miller had two articles listed in EconLit. That is now four, including this article last year. So he has continued to be productive, and Miller has had four outside reviewers read his materials. And students interviewed in the student newspaper were clear that while he's a Chicago-trained conservative, he's a valued professor.
"He's definitely a conservative," said Ami Dave '04. "He makes statements that might outrage you, but he provokes you into speaking. I thought he was adding diversity to the conversation," she said.There does not seem to be much question that on the basis of objective standards Miller deserves tenure. Tenure decisions are, of course, inherently subjective -- it's not like the LPGA Hall of Fame, where you're automatically in when you win so many tournaments. But we have a case where disagreements over methodological fundamentals -- Chicago-style economic rationalism versus what appears to be some who dissent from rationalism -- may be in play. Is that cricket?
Miller "has a reputation for being very conservative," said Merica Stoffan '04, who said some people may not sign up for Miller's classes for this reason.
Stoffan has taken three classes with Miller and enjoyed them, she said. "There are things you can learn by listening to someone you don't agree with that you don't get by listening to professors that try to make you feel loved all the time," she said.
Miller is clearly a conservative, but "it was definitely not a hostile environment at all," said Lauma Skruzmane '04.
Miller's game theory class "opened new horizons" for her in terms of different ways of looking at economic issues and at decisionmaking, she said.
"I guess I don't necessarily stand by him in the way he's handling the tenure situation or the way the college is handling it. I just think he was a good addition to the economics department," Skruzmane said.