To answer the question in the title, my husband isn’t planning to do anything. But I told him I was going to start a thread about this just because it seems so audacious. He is in community college, about to transfer to a 4-year school. One of his professors told the class the other day that this would be her last class at the school after 18 years. She was very sorry to be leaving. She just got her notice of termination (holds up a brown folder), because, as she explained, the dean is very conservative and doesn’t like her (she’s an outspoken lefty); she is a part-time teacher who also practices in her field, and the faculty is biased against practitioners, and biased toward full-time academics; and the community college is making cuts, etc. etc., so they got rid of her. After this speech, she asks the students to write letters to the dean and one other faculty member. She expressly says that the letters should include the following: that she is a very good teacher; that the students appreciate her real-world experience; and that the students wish there was a higher-level course offered in the same subject so that they could also take that. She also said NOT to mention in the letter that they knew she was leaving. My husband did write the two letters, but he honestly did like the class, was sorry she would not be back, and wanted to support her.
I thought it was strange that she would be so specific about what the letter should say. It’s not uncommon, really, to ask for a letter of recommendation in various contexts – but IME you ask people who you believe will speak well of you. You don’t tell them *what *to say. I also thought it strange that she would say, “Don’t mention you know I’m leaving.” If she wasn’t supposed to disclose that information yet, wasn’t it a little unwise/strange to tell a whole class? Anyway, tonight my husband talked to a classmate whose friend had the same professor a couple semesters ago, and guess what? They got the same speech. The friend also said, “Yeah she does it every semester to get good recommendation letters.” Wow. The sheer audacity. Also, doesn’t it seem a little risky? I’m surprised she hasn’t been found out by now. I mean, lying to get good recommendation letters? Rather low. Would you do anything about it? Isn’t that a crazy thing for a professor to do? Repeatedly?