The informal teaching style of Jeffrey L. Tanenbaum '73 wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows him.
Yes, he was a high-powered New York City attorney. Yes, he was involved in the representation of General Motors as it moved through Chapter 11. And yes, he was named Dealmaker of the Year in 2010 by The American Lawyer magazine. But as president of Hinman College in the early '70s, he argued for a closer working relationship between students and faculty, writing in a letter published in the Hinman Halitosis:
"[Students] need a system where they can make friends more readily, interact with people more on a personal level, faculty and administration included. The acquisition of the faculty into the collegiate structure is not going to accomplish anything if the formal separation of the two groups remains."
After 32 years in private practice, Tanenbaum had a chance to implement that philosophy this semester when he returned to Harpur College to teach "World of Corporate Reorganization," a one-credit course on the recent financial crisis and how corporations in trouble can restructure themselves and work their way through bankruptcy.
"It's almost a crash course on what's happened to us over the last five years," Tanenbaum says. "It's something I always wanted to do. I enjoy it a lot and it gives me an opportunity to give something back to the school as well. It's been quite rewarding."
Last Updated: 2/20/12