Syllabus experiment from macro

Every professor, myself included, tells students to “Read the syllabus”.  Heck, even Snoop Dogg tells you to read the syllabus.

There’s good reason to read it. It tells you how the class will run, what you’ll study, and what your responsibilities are. It tells you what to expect and how to plan your time. Unfortunately most syllabi are grey, dull, boring, and approximately as interesting to read as the terms and conditions page on your cell phone service.  I want to make an effort to change that.

The thing is, few professors explain why the syllabus and the course is the way it is. Truth is, there’s often a reason why things are as they are. It’s really not all random and arbitrary, although I know it can often feel that way to a student.  I’m also aware that different professors do things differently and for different reasons. Learning to navigate the differences in courses and professors is part of your learning in higher education.


So with all that in mind, I’m offering this version of the syllabus. It’s what I call the “Professor’s Cut” version. It’s like the “Director’s Cut” version of a movie or a video game where the director explains why certain shots were done the way they were.  I believe if you understand where I’m coming from in the rules, etc, you’ll be able to learn better and use your time better.

What you’ll see here are direct quotes from the official syllabus in the LCC Concourse system. The entire official syllabus is quoted here in the parts that are indented and prefaced by the black side bar like this:

Principles of Economics-Macro  ECON-202

Fall 2024
Section 50647

4 Credits

01/08/2024 to 05/06/2024
Modified 12/14/2023

Then in the regular text, like this sentence, you’ll read my commentary on the official syllabus.  Why do it this way instead of just adding my commentary to the official syllabus?  Well, I’m not allowed.  The school requires the “Official syllabus” to be in a certain format on the Concourse Syllabus System and I’m not allowed to call anything else like this page “the Official Syllabus”.  In addition, I’m not allowed to embed GIF’s and videos in the Concourse version of the official syllabus and what fun is that?  Let’s keep going.

Contact Information

Professor: Jim Luke

  • Email:
  • Office: I am not on campus this semester due to disability and I no longer have an office on campus. However, I am easily available and eager to talk via telephone, online chat, Webex, or other video connections. Contact me and let’s set a time to talk. It doesn’t have to be during official office hours.
  • Office Phone: 517-483-5384 Since I’m working remotely, this number is guaranteed to go to voice mail. You’re better off with my cell phone and identifying yourself as an LCC Macro student
  • Cell/texting: 313-550-8884 – please let me know not only who you are, but that you’re an LCC student and you’re in my 202 class.
  • Department Phone Number: 517-483-1546
    NOTE: Department support staff are located in GB 1222
  • Website: blog) (note: these are not the sites used in this course. This is my professional site on the Web. Sites used in the course are described below in Required Materials)

Office Hours: Wednesday ONLINE, 12 noon to 1pm and other times by arrangement

I can meet online or talk by phone when it works for you– just ask me! I can talk via phone, video conference, or chat online.

I’m required to list an hour of official office hours. The reality is I’m very available and flexible -especially during this stay-at-home pandemic time. I mean, I’m an old guy with asthma, some disabilities, and some other health issues. Where else do you think I’m going to be during these Covid times? I’m most likely in my home office, researching the economics of higher ed for a book I’m writing or doomscrolling on social media while procrastinating the work I should do or otherwise driving my recently retired wife nuts.  If you need help or if you’re just curious or if you just want to chat some econ or higher ed stuff, I’m available. I teach all online. So call me. Email me (that’s often best). Text me. Tell me you want to chat or ask a question or meet. Let’s find a time and do it. Remember, calling my LCC “office” number is guaranteed to go to voice mail. Better to email or text my cell and mention who you are.

The one thing I ask is that when you text me or leave a voice mail, please let me know who you are and that you’re a student in my LCC macro class.  You see, that’s my cell phone and relative to you, I’m “an old”. And us “olds” get lots and lots of spam phone calls and spam texts because all kinds of scammers think it’s a great idea to scam old folks out of their money.  Help me recognize that you’re somebody I really, really want to call/text back because you’re my student and not some “foreign prince” that’s trying to sell me more Medicare insurance or tell me my account at The Federal Reserve Bank is being cancelled unless I tell them my Soc Sec number (these are all real scam calls I’ve heard). Students are the good folks. Scammers, not so much.

If there are specific days-hours listed, they’re “tentative”.  I just picked it more or less at random. I have no idea if that’s when most students could meet.  If it changes, I’ll tell you.

My normal routine is to open this course first thing in the morning each week day and answer emails, questions in forums, do grading, and monitor what’s happening. If all’s going well and you don’t have a specific question, I’ll let you keep at it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  But please don’t think that any silence on my part means I’m absent. I’m not. I’m just letting you all do your thing and follow the process.


This course addresses the theory of national income, employment and the price level, and government fiscal and monetary policies designed to influence aggregate economic activity. It also addresses exchange rates, international financial relationships, and economic growth. (F,Sp,Su)


Prerequisite Course: ECON 201 or concurrently
Placement Scores: Reading Level 5 and Math Level 4

Contact Hours







Total Hrs


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students