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Doug Kahn: Class Master


Dennis E. Ross


Doug has always been a bit of a departure from the professorial norm. Teaching for Doug was no accommodation to the job, no activity collateral to his true ambition, but rather an openly genuine attempt to engage his students and pull them into a subject that he obviously loved. His evident joy when in front of a class closed any distance with his students, no small feat considering the subject matter. Tax is forbidding territory for many, and Doug was justifiably known for his refusal to dumb the material down. Thus, much of his class may have been there reluctantly, taking the course only because they’d been told “you have to have it.” I won’t claim that Doug reached all or even most of those, but it wasn’t for lack of effort—a fact that I believe all of his students appreciated, even those for whom the subject matter was a bridge too far.