For Rob Reich, the Socratic method of teaching is just as relevant today as it was more than 2,000 years ago. The associate professor of political science is known for engaging students in an open-ended dialogue propelled by questions—a give and take that pushes them to think critically, examine their values and beliefs, and consider how they ought to live.
In his class Ethics and Politics in Public Service, for example, he challenges students to approach their extracurricular service work with the academic rigor they bring to the classroom. Taught in conjunction with the Haas Center for Public Service, the course explores the motives, conflicts, and outcomes of trying to effect social change.
Reich is codirector of Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, which brings together scholars and philanthropists to examine how institutions and nonprofits address public interests worldwide. He also directs the undergraduate program in Ethics and Society.
Reich’s relentless spirit of inquiry also drives his scholarship in political theory and philosophy. He has written and contributed to books on education and citizenship and is working on a book about ethics, public policy, and philanthropy.