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Howard Tolley

Howard Tolley

Professor Emeritus
Political Science
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Student nomination comments provide a window into Dr. Tolley’s teaching and impact:


“Dr. Tolley brought to the class (on modern day slavery) his usual passion and knowledge which have little comparison. What makes Dr. Tolley such an exceptional teacher is that he truly cares, not just about the material which he teaches, but also about the future of his students. He wants to make sure you go as far as you can go, both as a person and as a scholar.”

-Virginia Vega-Siferd, Sociology, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


“I was a student in his honors seminar, Abolition of Slavery in the 21st century, as well as his International Law and Politics of Human Rights courses.  In these classes I have witnessed Dr. Tolley inspire students to take up human rights and social justice issues, afford students the opportunity to speak to others about their student groups and interests, and most importantly help students further their causes by getting them connected to other resources, such as the Freedom Center and UC’s Law School.

Simply put, Dr. Tolley believes that students can make a difference. He encourages us to find our passion and get involved.  One small example of this – every student takes a survey at the beginning of his class, and the one question is “Are you a registered voter?”  It’s impossible to take a class with Dr. Tolley and not be inspired to stand for something.  Something important.  Something to make for a  better world.  This is Dr. Tolley’s teaching style and this is something that has inspired me and many other students.

This is Dr. Tolley's final year at UC. Why has Dr. Tolley put 27 years of his time into teaching students and encouraging them to be advocates for human rights causes and social justice issues? Because he believes his students can make a difference. Taking a class with Dr. Tolley means more than learning the material that he teaches - it means being encouraged to take a stand for something important to you and to work for a better world.”

-Jonathan Hilton, Interdisciplinary Studies, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences