Professor Fired For Trashing Colleagues On Professor Ratings Site

from the how-nice dept

Yesterday, we posted about the British politician who was caught emailing himself to increase his own responsiveness rating. However, if you can't make yourself look better by pretending to be someone else online, why not make others look worse? In the comments to that post, someone noted that there are many professors who go to the site RateMyProfessors.com and pretend to be students to boost their own ratings. We've written about how freaked out some professors are by the site. It appears one professor didn't just boost his own scores. He signed up, pretending to be a student, and gave bad ratings to a bunch of other professors he didn't like -- specifically ones who didn't agree with his political viewpoint. This wasn't a new professor either, but someone who had been on the faculty for over thirty years -- and who has now been fired for the little stunt. As for how he got caught? Turns out he brilliantly posted the negative reviews from his own office, making it easy to track him down. Of course, rather than using the same excuse as the UK politician (that he was just showing problems with the system), this professor also refused to help with the investigation and, when finally caught, blamed everyone else for the amount of stress they put on him, which he claims was why he did this.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    ?, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 10:19pm

    Excellent Example

    Just because you have smarts, doesn't mean you have brilliance.

    And we wonder why our young aren't doing so hot in school.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    HImso, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 11:44pm

    No Subject Given

    Yep... all our children are learning from him, that must be it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Paul, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 11:50pm

    No Subject Given

    I wonder what sparked the investigation, and why they made such a big deal about it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Hairball, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 12:15am

    Re: Excellent Example

    Just goes to show that the guys with 34 PhD's just can't hack it when it comes to technology. It's a big joke where i work on campus. Brilliant professors can't press the 'on' button or wonder why their powerpoint won't come off the (upside down) CD. Apparently this guy had no clue about ... logfiles ... or at least clear your history. I learned that trick when I found out about porn sites!!!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 3:57am

    Re: Excellent Example


    umm.. they tracked him by IP address. Empty your cache all you like, techdirt.com still knows what IP you posted _your_ comment from.



     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 4:36am

    Re: Excellent Example

    O.K. brilliant professor's don't know how to use a computer, but jealous students aren't helping to fix the problem. Don't forget "my young grasshopper" you sat infront of your first PC at what age 9 by the latest. Do you remember the last time you didn't have a computer to do work on? I bet your professor that doesn't know how to "press the 'on' button" remembers a time without computers. And, back to the fact that jealous students aren't helping, your professor at least accepts his deficiency and works to excel himself. Which doesn't say much for the guy trying to make himself look "smart" by ratting on professors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Jerry Hatrick, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 5:35am

    No Subject Given

    Its amazing... Now you thought students were the only ones evil enough to participate.

    -Jerry

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    crystal_tech, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 6:11am

    Re: Excellent Example

    really? what if he was running a proxy chain or using hide ip plat. lets see them find you as easily as they did here.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 7:04am

    Re: Excellent Example

    crystal_tech... who freaking cares? You're clearly just posting to on-up another poster, and congratulations, we all think you're better than us. You're overwhelmingly impressive expertise is awe-inspiring, and I'm not sure that I can go a single day without you showing me just how amazing your technical skills are. However, at least for a few days, let's try.

    Just saying! I realize it goes against the grain, and that whole maturity thing is just a bunch of hooey, I know, but what the hell... let's give it a shot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Andy, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 7:14am

    Why fire the guy...

    Who cares what someone writes on a website. I mean obviously the professors do, and perhaps the students do, but unless the University is basing is performance appraisals on the contents of the website, then who cares what it says or who posted to it. Don't see why there was a witch hunt or the need to fire the guy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    wolff000, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Re: No Subject Given

    "Yep... all our children are learning from him, that must be it. - by HImso on Wednesday February 22, @11:44"

    I think what the guy meant by saying our children aren't doing well was because of behavior like this, not specifically this guy teching everyone. I agree most techers today are no more mature than the kids they teach. I went to a parent conference for my nephew, his parents where out of town and i was watching the rugrat, the teacher actually complained because my nephew correted his grammar and pronounciation in class. The kicker here is my nephew is the 2nd grade! So why is this teacher complaining to me instead of bettering himself to teach our children correctly? If the teacher pronounces a word wrong of coyrse a bunch of second graders are going to learn the wrong prononciation. I told the guy he should brush up on his english skills and if he liked I could arrange a time for my nephew to tutor him. He said it wasn't funny and i said I wasn't joking. My nephew was moved out of his class shortly after. This is just one example of the many horror stories I hear about teachers, it's sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    wolff000, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 7:50am

    Re: No Subject Given

    yes I know I had alot of typos in my last post no need to point it out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 8:28am

    Re: Excellent Example

    If this site is such an independant third party, why were they helping the school track down the bad reviewers? So much for anonymity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    dani, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 8:34am

    Its the phone & cable companies fault

    Guess the professor spent too much time watching TV.

    The entire digital media service community seems to get ahead by bad-mouthing each other, it should work for professors too, right?

    Seems a little childish, especially since it was "other professors he didn't like"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 8:43am

    Re: Excellent Example

    most colleges are all behind one (or a few) proxies/firewalls. so the IP visible to the website he posted on wouldve been shared by a lot of the school.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2006 @ 8:58am

    Re: Excellent Example

    I wouldn't mind, but by replying to this micheal your maturity has gone out of the window. hypocrit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    ?, Feb 24th, 2006 @ 2:13am

    Re: Why fire the guy...

    You don't understand why this was wrong?

    Wow.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    ?, Feb 24th, 2006 @ 2:15am

    Re: Excellent Example

    Was school out today? Seems like there are a lot of flamn' posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Stalked College Student, Jun 13th, 2006 @ 6:05pm

    Hey! Try being a student who is STALKED ONLINE by

    I attended Elmhurst College in Illinois (USA) during the 2004-2005 school year, and the Tuesday evening classes that they ran were staffed by not professors, but ADJUNCTs.

    Someone over there in the administration was apparently tracking website traffic and told a bunch of classmates as well as all the adjuncts who were teaching what message forums people posted social and political opinions on outside of school (this wasn't even a school computer, as I live off campus).

    Why were they so interested? Ultra left-wing school, and I am a moderate (socially libertarian) Republican rather than a liberal. Also, the school is linked to a church called United Church of Christ, and the UCC members sit on the board of Advocate Healthcare system which is being sued over some price-gouging of the uninsured patients allegations. The lawsuit is moving forward on all counts, and since I had mentioned the price-gouging/charity care case around other people, I think they started getting really interested in stalking me around online. Just a theory, but it seemed that way, because one adjunct kept mentioning lawyers in class (how unusually coincidental).

    Then, when a student said she was interested in law, the adjunct instructor goes "It's a crowded field." I mean, don't ENCOURAGE your students to aim high, or anything, right? What an imbecile this man was.

    So yes. I agree that professors and adjuncts can be downright nuts if not creepy and unprofessional.

    They stalk their own students around online, they post their own reviews, and for even more info, see this website...

    http://www.thefire.org

    In America, we are dealing with some truly crazy professors around here. Must be from inhaling too much red ink, or something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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