Professor Jolie Comes to Town



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Angelina Jolie has made herself famous pursuing a number of roles, many admirable and challenging. She has been an accomplished actor and producer. She is a dedicated mother of five children. Working as a humanitarian, she has been a spokesperson for the United Nations and an activist for women’s rights in some of the harshest corners of the world. And now she can claim title to “college professor” as well. Jolie has accepted a teaching function as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. No surprise, her topic will be a master’s degree level class on peace, security and the role of women. The teaching gig is a year-long assignment starting with the Fall semester in 2016.

As soon as the visiting professor appointment was made, a number of faculty and critics made their displeasure known, arguing that the position should have gone to a teacher with a traditional resume of academia accomplishments. However, visiting professor positions have long been used by universities as a way to bring in live, practical instructors with notable field experience versus just book theory rank titles after their names. Jolie clearly qualifies with a good number of years in humanitarian work that no one will argue has been genuine and engaged; her resume includes multiple efforts in the fight against abuse of women and sexual violence, particularly in the developing world environments.

What Jolie does with the professorship stint is up to her, but hopefully she sticks true to her nature and makes the class a valuable one for the students.