professor
Matthew Lacombe

Mar 2021

Lacombe is great! His lectures are well-organized, and the assignments are straightforward and relatively easy if you pay attention and take halfway decent notes. The readings are a combination of dense theory-driven pieces and recent news articles, which keep the nightly workload balanced. It's a lecture-driven course, but Lacombe poses questions to the class frequently and tries to incorporate small-group activities most days. Every period also ends with a student-led discussion of current events (called a "sidebar"), which keeps the course topical and allows for some healthy debate, if that's your thing. This isn't an "easy" A, but it certainly isn't a "hard" A either, especially considering it's a 3000-level course. TLDR; Would definitely recommend it for anyone who is interested in the presidency, even if you're not a political science major.

Dec 2020

Professor Lacombe is an incredible professor! He is very knowledgable on the subject matter and is also super understanding. The class is relatively easy in comparison to other high level polisci courses but I also learned so much from it and I know many of my classmates felt the same way. At the end of every class there is a current events sidebar which every student provides an article and discussion questions for once during the semester. I enjoyed this part of the course because we got to apply what we were learning to what was happening in the country. I took this class in Fall A of 2020, it met everyday because it was an intensive course which was a bit more challenging than normal but it still managed to be my favorite class. I am confident that is only a matter of time before Professor Lacombe receives a nugget. In terms of the workload, the average for the midterm I believe was in the B range but if you pay attention during the lectures and understand what the significance of the key terms, it's pretty easy. The final paper really isn't that bad, especially if you are passionate about the subject. Professor Lacombe is always easy to meet with if you need help with any of the work or just want to discuss things outside of class.

Aug 2020

I loved this class! I took this class in Spring '20, so it was the first time Lacombe taught it I think and obviously it became remote halfway through, but I still really enjoyed the class. I thought the content about the history of the presidency and theories of the presidency were really interesting, and I learned a lot. Lacombe is very nice and he/the TA seemed like a fair grader, even based on his feedback on assignments after class was pass/fail. The class is definitely lecture-y (aka he talks a lot, though he is aware of it) but I didn’t mind that, and he tries to incorporate student discussions when he can and he makes time for current events discussions with the whole class in the last 15 or so minutes. The workload is not bad at all - we had a midterm exam and midterm paper (5-6 pages), and a final paper (10-15 pages) and then regular readings plus a weekly discussion post but all of it felt reasonable. For Fall '20 and Spring '21 the class is becoming an intensive/half a semester, so I don't know how that will change things, but I recommend the class in general and Lacombe is a great professor and very considerate towards students.