July 7th, 2017 at 10:21 PM ^

Who was the mid 90s history prof that retired around 1996 that everyone said was the best? I don't think it was Fine. As an engineer I needed a few lsa classes and was told to take his. Took it spring term 1996 at one of the big rooms at Angel. It was a 930am class. I'd go, sign in when the sheet got to me, then run out when he would turn his back so I could jump back into bed with my bat shit crazy gf.

901 P

July 7th, 2017 at 10:39 PM ^

Haha--not sure who that was. Fine retired mid-1990s and he definitely had a big lecture class. Brad Perkins retired around the same time, but I think his classes were more of the 50-60 person variety. There was a Civil War guy--J. Mills Thornton. I think he was a senior guy around then. And I had a Europeanist too--maybe Tom Tentler? I don't think he was near retirement though.

That's all I can think of right now (not bad for 20 years ago!). I think there is someone here who did a PhD at Michigan around that time who might be able to chime in.

901 P

July 7th, 2017 at 10:47 PM ^

Tom Collier was also popular around that time--alternated teaching Vietnam War. He stopped teaching in the mid- to late-90s, but he didn't retire. But your description sounds an awful lot like Fine--he definitely had a reputation for being one of the most popular professors at the university at that time.


July 9th, 2017 at 12:42 PM ^

Man, I wonder if I can find his name on my transcript. Thanks for the replies. Those were special times for all of us!

I actually think it was Collier. The class was American History since the civil war. I just remember we had to read a lot of books then had a mid-term and final that was essay based on those books. So essentially the exact opposite for how my brain works.

Jack Hammer

July 8th, 2017 at 4:35 AM ^

Fine was pretty amazing filling Angel Hall lectures.  I was always somewhere in the back row listening while completing the Daily crossword.  Took History of Vietnam War early 90's and think I had Collier.  If it was him, then he was outstanding at describing the era to a shithead 20 year old.  Also recall a former pastor prof who taught Philosophy of Religion.  Loved that guy.  He was open to debate and encouraged discourse.  Changed my mind about how I thought about God.  Also recall some dick who taught Income Tax Accounting.  Mini Alex P. Keaton.  He changed my mind about wanting to potentially become an accountant - without a doubt a good thing for everyone.

901 P

July 8th, 2017 at 6:19 PM ^

Vietnam War was taught by Collier and Vic Lieberman. Collier was a vet I believe. Lieberman was a Southeast Asia specialist and I think more of a traditional professor type, if that makes it easier to figure out which one you had.


July 7th, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

Nah..not really a favorite, but memorable. 8 am with some young football players in a strength/training class (yes this was actually a thing), he really liked giving them a hard time... Entertaining.


July 7th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

I really did like many of my professors, but I think Dr. Robinson was the only person who could make a two-hour lecture on all things anti-cholinesterase seem entertaining, up to and including a sidebar about several near misses with snakes and how acetylcholine inhibitors work in the human body. If you can make things that inherently dry entertaining, you're doing it right. 


July 7th, 2017 at 10:16 PM ^

Now, I'm no Wiccan, but I took the history of Witchcraft with Derek Collin and it was a pretty entertaining class. All the ladies loved him because he was quite good looking (think Shane Battier meets Barack Obama), but it was a fun class too. Interesting subject matter and pretty easy A. 

Also, took symbolic logic with some adjunct guy from Canada who would come in hung over on the regular. He was frequently late due to "traffic coming over the bridge". Would keep a big dip in his mouth during class and just swallow the spit like a boss. Excellent teacher.


July 7th, 2017 at 10:18 PM ^

Marv Bolyut (Kinesiology) was awesome...he really captured my interest in movement science and was one of my favorites. Dr. Birdie anatomy at the med school same, just a great all around course.

Eleven Year Wo…

July 7th, 2017 at 10:22 PM ^

I am probably biased because I later taught for him (and he chaired my committee after the early 90s Com Department purge), but American Film Genres was a great class for a lecture course.

As an undergrad, I loved Ken Miklowki's writing poetry classes. Claudio Mazzola (italian Lecturer) was also great.


July 7th, 2017 at 10:24 PM ^

Fred made 500 person physics lectures quite entertaining, like the time he shot a water propelled rocket at a sleeping student.

And John Woodward did the same for Marine Engineering classes.

Toby Flenderson

July 7th, 2017 at 10:32 PM ^

well I did not attend U of M, however while in undergraduate I had some incredible professors that not only taught me the subjects, but how to improve as a man. The most memorable professor that I had was sophomore year in Intermediate Microeconomics. The class generally was for juniors and seniors but I somehow slipped myself into it during registration. I remember I got my first test back and received an 82% on it. At this time, I was pleased with getting B's and didnt really want to give the extra effort.

So, as we are going over parts of the exam in class. Being a small liberal arts school we have about 25 kids in a class so participation is really important . As a whole, we are not participating well and we were not applying ourselves in the review. Instead, people are on their phones and computers, and not answering his questions with 100% effort. In the middle of class,our professor then goes "ok everyone, we wont go over the rest of test, seems like you are are satisfied with your grades. Yup, live life like that, aim for those 82/100s in whatever you do." The whole class grew compeltely silent as he walked out disgusted with our lack of effort.

From the moment he said that, my mindset about school and life changed completely. No matter what the class, what the assignment, what the circumstances were, I was not going to allow myself to be satisifed with being mediocre. He was right, there is no point aiming for 82% on tests, or on anything. The great thing was, this professor was always available in office hours to give me guidance in concepts that I thought was difficult as well to just talk. This professor really cared about my well-being outside and inside the classroom and if it wasnt for his speech and class,  I dont know where I would be.

901 P

July 7th, 2017 at 10:32 PM ^

A few good ones from the mid-1990s: Brad Perkins (diplomatic history) Rhoads Murphy (Asian studies/history), Doug Dion (poli sci).

yossarians tree

July 9th, 2017 at 11:49 AM ^

Amazing how many remember that Linderman course. Excellent lecturer. Number one lesson learned was that men ultimately learn to hate war but in the end fight for each other.

Couple English dept profs I liked were Constantidos Patrides and Ejner Jensen. Jensen's Shakespeare course was riveting.


July 7th, 2017 at 10:45 PM ^

I can barely remember any, let alone my favorite.

There was one professor who put me on the path that led to my career. I was struggling mightily as a EE undergrad trying to figure out how to design a circuit that had more than 1 or 2 transistors. Then I took EECS 320, the Solid State Physics intro class. The professor was a young guy, very energetic, and dare I say, passionate about teaching. Shortly after that, he failed to get tenure and left the University. Sad. Bigly sad. The University needs to put more value on teaching and less on the amount of research dollars the faculty brings in. At least that was the case 25 years ago.

My new favorite professor at UofM is my cousin's husband, who also works in the EECS department.