Rating Professors from One to Jesus




By Maddy Saunders


Making up your class schedule? Step one choose the class. Step two go to the website Rate My Professors.


The site Rate My Professors has been a favorite tool for many years among Chapman students when forming class schedules, choosing which classes to take, or for those wishing to praise or criticize a certain professor.


But are Chapman professors even aware of the site?


Of course they are. Even more so if something nice is said about them. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to Jesus?


“My favorite two comments were ‘he could teach math to a monkey’ and ‘if math were a religion he would be Jesus’,” said Chapman business professor Brent Monte.


Of the fifteen professors interviewed, the majority admitted to visiting the site. While this is hardly surprising considering the site has been around since 1999, it still feels like they are eavesdropping, doesn’t it?


Of the majority of professors that had viewed the site many had not looked at it recently and had only been on it a few times.


“I have been to the site ‘Rate My Professors’ occasionally,” said economics professor Lynne Doti. “I rely more heavily on the evaluations the students do in every class.”


Like Professor Doti, Dodge College professor Steve Hirsen does not pay much attention to the comments: “Although I am lucky to have good reviews, it is hard to take the site seriously when a major consideration is ‘hotness’.”


Professor Andrew Lane of Dodge College said that he has never looked at the site because he gets feedback in class and in course evaluations.


“If an instructor is not sensitive to the class vibe, they have another problem,” he said. “I know when I’m effective and when I’m not.”


He later added:


“Just like the Internet is a place where anyone can say anything without identifying themselves or without any responsibility, those sites are suspect to me. I’m not saying they are never accurate, just unreliable.”


However not all of the professors repudiate the reviews, some have given them some serious consideration.


For example, Professor Monte said he stopped teaching Math for Liberal Studies, a class he didn’t like to teach, after seeing a review saying “He’s kinda boring.”


He does note that most of his reviews come from Irvine Valley College, where he also teaches.


Professor Eileen Jankowski from the English department said that the comment she paid the most attention to was from a student several years ago who commented that she seemed to favor English majors who spoke up in class.


“The next semester I tried noticing if I were calling on only one set of students and ignoring others- I assumed this is what the writer meant about favoring,” said Jankowski.


Most of the professors seem to agree with English Professor Mark Axelrod's sentiment of visiting the site: "What's the point?"

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