When History Professor Niall C. D. Ferguson begins his lecture at 10:07 a.m., he abandons the podium, choosing instead to pace in a slow, deliberate loop around the lectern. He speaks with the kind of proper British accent that makes Anglophiles swoon. As he makes an argument about the French Revolution, his throat wraps around certain words with a silky aggression that he punctuates by cocking an eyebrow or gesturing with his left hand, index finger and thumb closed into an “o” around a stub of chalk. His words are actually improvised. His paper schedule book, full of cross-country speaking engagements, is not.
The article also makes clear that Mankiw and Lue are around and available for students all the time, and they are well known. But from the perspective of undergraduate education, what is better--to have a famous professor who gives good lectures who is rarely around, or to have a not so famous professor who gives good lectures who is always around?