Charles D. Hedley, The University of New Orleans, hostující pedagog vyučující předmět American Political Institutions.

“I began to teach at Charles University in the mid-1990s because there was (and is) a Friendship Treaty between Charles University and The University of New Orleans and because the Dean of Academic Services at The University of New Orleans wanted to “give something back to Charles University” for using its facilities for a summer school. I was teaching a bloc course to University of Innsbruck, Austria, students in New Orleans in February between their semesters. I first taught the American Political Institutions for the Faculty of Arts (Philosophy) because of a connections – a University of New Orleans Professor of English had married a Prague woman whose mother was, as I remember, Dean of the Faculty of Law and her friend was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, so…. After several years, a Social Sciences (Political Science) student took the course, and we discovered the most appropriate place for our courses, but through the FSV International Office. Then the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences moved our courses from the International Office to the Institute of Political Science (although the FSV International Office remained responsible for us). The move filled the courses to capacity with Czech students, fulfilling the vision of the former Dean of Academic Services at The University of New Orleans.”

What did the experience give to you?

“The experience was an extension of teaching of University of Innsbruck, Austria, students to mostly Czech students in the still exotic Prague. I enjoy teaching students who have a serious interest in the subject, American Political Institutions.”

“The Czech students take American Political Institutions as an extra course in addition to their normal course load. For the most part, the students in the Czech Republic are very interested in the subject and in being taught by a native faculty member in the “American way.””

Is there something you would love to highlight from your career so far?

“This is a difficult question because I enjoy teaching, and I hope I am making a difference for the Czech students that I teach. For example, I served on a Magester thesis committee for the Institute of American Studies by invitation, and I was pleased that the Czech faculty decided to award a “baby doctorate” to the student rather than a Magester. I also have written occasional letters of recommendation for graduate school or special programs outside the Czech Republic, e.g., Central European University in Budapest, London School of Economics, the University of San Diego in California and others. It is nice to be a small part of every student’s success.
Incidentally, I retired from The University of New Orleans in 2006 with the academic title University Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science. When I teach at Charles University (and others) it is at my own expense (e.g., airfare and meals) other than housing because I enjoy teaching the Czech students. I have never received a salary, not in 1995, not in 2019.”

Humans of IPS je série krátkých rozhovorů se zajímavými studenty, absolventy, vyučujícími a zaměstnanci z Institutu politologických studií FSV UK. Těšit se na ně můžete každý čtvrtek odpoledne zde na webu a také na našem Facebooku.

Text: Tomáš Kouba
Foto: Tomáš Kouba