H.W. Perry, Jr., PhD

Associate Professor of Government; Associate Professor of Law

School of Law

UT Austin

Few things beyond family, friends and deeply held values give me more satisfaction and meaning to my life than does teaching.

My primary functions are to help students develop the ability to think critically and to help them develop a lifelong love and appreciation of learning. Society expects coaches or ballet teachers to push their students and demand excellence from them; the same should be demanded in the classroom. When excellence is demanded, or at least when performing at the top of one's ability is expected, students usually rise to the occasion. It is important to set high expectations for students and then give them skills to succeed. When students are pushed and then realize that they can succeed at levels that they had not anticipated, it has untold benefits. It develops in them self-confidence in their own intellectual abilities. This, in turn, often leads to the desire and courage to pursue a lifelong quest for learning.