An Open Letter to Employers (Please respect our students.)

Dear Employers in the United States,

Many of your employees are students of mine. I have been teaching for ten years now, and I see it every single semester: Students, my students, have to miss class or even have to dropout sometimes because you will not accommodate their classes, because ultimately, you don’t respect their personal time.

I understand that because capitalism only rewards profit (and thereby underpaying workers and overcharging customers), you have a very different set of hopes and fears compared to those my students have.

Allow me to try to explain: 

My students are in college to improve their own lives (and that of their families) and, importantly, to improve their economic and social mobility, as well as opportunities. As their employer (or manager), you hold tremendous power over them. Getting another job is not easy, as you know. And almost no job pays a fair wage.

Frequently, I hear that you agree to accommodate my students’ school schedules but fail to uphold your word when things get busy or when they are a really hard worker or when someone calls in sick or when you get worried they might actually leave for a better job.

You may think–especially if you don’t have extensive experience in very challenging college classes like mine–that missing a class here and there doesn’t really matter. Students who miss class–even one class–are at a disadvantage. The classroom is a magical place. It’s impossible for someone who misses a class to know even a fraction of what we discussed.

All I really ask is that you respect the time of your employees, especially if you agree to work around their schedule for school or for other “stuff” in their personal life.

The progress of the world depends on having an educated society. Think how wonderful our society could be if college were truly affordable free?!

Try, please, to adopt a more longterm outlook and perspective: Respecting your employees, even financially investing in their education, will help you to have an even more successful business.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me, or any other professor.

Thank you for your time.


Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda