Nate Kreuter, an assistant professor of English at Western Carolina, mounts a defense of the professor wearing a tie similar to the argument I made elsewhere.
I’m increasingly convinced this is a significant generational difference. Older colleagues fled to academe as a respite from the corporate world, and increasingly they bemoan the corporatization of higher ed. Those of us who are younger are no greater fans of this encroachment than they are, but we still have to play its game. If a university’s values dictate a code of dress (and I, for the record, think they should) and that code coincides with corporate dress, we who are younger really have no choice but to meet those expectations. We don’t have the luxury of turning up our noses at the tenure-less young’uns in their suits and ties.
(The picture is neither me nor Professor Kreuter. That’s “NewYorkRanger,” one of my favorite StyleForum posters. He’s a Brooklyn history teacher who shows us all what classroom steez can look like.)