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Letter to the editor

Student shares concern over professor accountability

February 18, 2010

We’ve all had that professor. Whether s/he is, said respectfully, blatantly arrogant, intolerably inadequate for educational instruction, or profoundly apathetic towards his/her personal career choice, we the students make our way to class day after day. How do we get out of this situation? Rearrange our schedules to get in with a different professor? I think that it’s safe to say that for many of us, that’s simply not plausible.

Do we file a formal complaint?

The first step of that process is to express your concern with the professor, which opens the door to a litany of problems:

Would you care to respectfully tell your professor s/he is inadequate for the job in your humble, non-Ph D opinion? I realize that the previous question does not represent the purpose of a meeting like this, but considering the relationship between professor and student, there exists a “no-go” zone.

Students don’t establish the criteria that makes a professor adequate, therefore, it is not our “place” to say whether s/he is or isn’t.

So, do we simply play with the hand we are dealt? As it is, students aren’t thrilled about the idea of adding a semester or two because of various issues that share a common denominator in general education requirements. In light of this, I don’t find it attractive that we receive this instruction from relatively small group of professors with previously mentioned characteristics.

And, I’m a natural number cruncher, so how about this: let’s put tuition at $2700 and you’re ambitious at 18 credits. That’s $150/credit, or for a three credit, Monday-Wednesday-Friday class, you can just leave $10 on the desk as you exit. For comparison, a while ago I paid for two McChicken sandwiches but received something totally different. The manager offered to fix the order or give me a refund.

Just like I would say to the aforementioned professor, I told her that I don’t want a refund; I just expect to receive what I paid for.

Jordan Harshman
Student

Comments

Chaia on 20 Feb 2010: I 100% agree with you. It's also unfair that we have no way to give feedback on tenured teachers. There needs to be a system in place to handle student complaints. We're paying very good money to receive an education and when we feel like we're not getting a teacher's full attention, we need to be able to say something. I've been in classes where as many as 11 students have failed (out of 25) and because the teacher was tenured there was nothing we could do to complain.