A “Hartfelt” farewell

Final exams of the fall semester never seem to punctuate college life the same way spring semester’s finals do. If spring finals are a full stop, then winter exams are just a temporary pause in the action. After the holiday break, classes resume, friends reunite on campus and Miami University’s professors renew their efforts to impart a bit of wisdom and, if students are lucky, some wit in the new year.

For most, this semester’s exams will mark the beginning of that temporary pause in Oxford, Ohio. Most will return to campus in January, picking up where they left off in December.

Unfortunately for Miami, and most unfortunately for students and faculty of economics, however, this semester’s final exams also mark the end of a tenure that will not resume in January. Professor Rich Hart of the economics department will retire at the end of this semester. His loss will be most notably felt in the classroom, where he taught – really lived and breathed – macroeconomics with such vigor and energy that it was impossible not to be captivated. But the captivation was just a prelude to what is his lasting legacy – the tools for clear and honest thinking that he provided his students. This legacy will live on in his students once this semester ends; this legacy is the wisdom of Hart.

While his wisdom made him one of the finest professors any student could hope for, it was his wit that made students hope he would be their professor. Through his brand of wry commentary and contradiction, Hart kept his courses lively – illustrating the IS-LM model in multicolored chalk on “Diversity Days,” finding the connection between “marginal propensity to consume” and NASCAR, and delivering lectures doctorate students would be lucky to hear in his trademarked drawl.

Hart managed to balance his wisdom and his wit and became synonymous with economics and Miami. Those who have benefited from his teaching firsthand cannot think of Miami without Hart, nor do we want to. Even so, we wish him only the best in his retirement, with one caveat: Though he may wish to no longer be a professor, he can do nothing to stop us from always being his students.

Thank you for all you have done for us and the many other Miami students whose lives you have touched.

Steve and Michelle Porter Class of ’03mporter@micronomics.com

Public should respect Tiger Woods’ privacy

Josh Messerly’s recent column regarding the Tiger Woods incident (“Woods should come clean” Dec. 4) overlooked an integral piece of information. If Tiger “comes clean” as Messerly so eloquently wrote, he could potentially put his wife in jail. Florida is a pro-arrest policy state in regards to domestic violence issues. It is my understanding, as a layperson, that regardless of Tiger’s protests, his wife Elin would still be put in jail if she committed an act of domestic violence.

While I generally agree with honesty being the best policy as you wrote, I’m not convinced it is in this particular case. Telling the truth to save your image isn’t as appealing when the end result is seeing your wife in an orange jumpsuit. It’s a terribly complex ethical issue that we may never fully understand, but based off the limited information currently available I am reluctant to criticize Tiger for wanting this to remain a family issue.