For years, student emails have been an assault on professors, sometimes with inappropriate informality, sometimes just simply not understanding that professors should not have to respond immediately. Most often, student emails are a waste of everyone’s time because the questions are so basic that the answers are truly ON THE SYLLABUS.One of these days, professors will stop speaking of a "syllabus" when what they're really producing are the Conditions of Carriage.
In my effort to teach students appropriate use of emails, my syllabus policies ballooned to cover every conceivable scenario – when to email, when not to, how to write the subject line – and still I spent class time discussing the email policies and logged hours upon hours answering emails that defied the policies.Go read the article to see how that turned out.
In a fit of self-preservation, I decided: no more. This is where I make my stand! In my senior-level gender and media course, I instituted a no-email policy and (here’s the hard part) stuck to it religiously.
Perhaps, though, there's another source of income inequalities: people whose duties involve handling electronic mail inquiries effectively get compensated more, and people whose first response to any situation is to send an inquiry, inappropriately informal or full of errors, get separated from the payroll.