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July 07, 2011


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Jim Milles

I wonder if at other schools, use or non-use of the faculty lounge correlates in any way with the general level of collegiality and friendliness of the faculty? Or is it a matter of the general accessibility of the faculty and whether or not they spend time in the building other than when they're teaching?

Eric Muller

I wonder: was there ever really an era in which lots of people actually sat around and schmoozed in the faculty lounge? Or is this just one of those myths about how much better and more civil the past was?

Jessica Litman

In the 1980s and 1990s, I distinctly recall that the faculty lounges at both of the schools where I taught (Michigan from 1984 to 1990 and Wayne State from 1990 on) filled up every morning at around 10:00 am with men who sat around the large table and exchanged informed commentary on recent and upcoming sporting events. So far as I can tell, that's no longer the case at either of those two schools. Of course, many of the particular men in the story have since retired.


Does it have to do with the rise of the Internet, perhaps? I'm too young to know this, but I have a sense that the faculty lounge used to be the place to go to read the school's copies of newspapers and law reviews. With all of that available online in the comfort of your own office, there's no reason to make a daily or even weekly trip to the faculty lounge.

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