Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CBS Money Watch can take a long walk off a short pier as far as I’m concerned

Following CBS Money Watch’s annual article titled “25 Colleges With the Worst Professors,” I felt compelled to offer some…feedback.  It is especially strong since my alma mater somehow winds up on this annual collegiate hit-list because of the poor evaluations that reputable engineering institutions receive on ratemyprofessor.com

Here was the little gift comment that I left on the article:

This article is a load of bunk, and has unfortunately become an annual tradition. The folks who "data mine" ratemyprofessor.com have apparently never considered what type of students typically use it: those that fail. I have seen my fair share of horrible reviews of professors who deserve much better, and even THEY know to take information from this source with a big grain of salt.

As with two other commenters on this article, I am a student at Michigan Technological University, which is easily one of the premier engineering schools in the country and is in many ways superior even to the University of Michigan. What makes Michigan Tech distinct is its low(er) standards for admittance, followed by first-year "weeder" courses (like chemistry and calculus II). The retention rate for Michigan Tech is abysmal because of this, but it also allows only the high-achieving students to remain in school. The intelligent person would reason, then, that these students that were "weeded out" during their first year would be far more likely to leave unfavorable (and sometimes downright hateful) "feedback" on the most easily accessible forum for academic reviews: ratemyprofessor.com.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy and her colleagues at CBS money watch should be ashamed to publish such a poorly researched, and, frankly, OBTUSE piece of journalistic horse-hockey. Please discontinue this piece in coming years, as it does nothing but slander reputable institutions.

imageEven if you don’t know anything about Michigan Technological University, you may know something about the following reputable engineering institutions that appear on this list:

  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Iowa State University
  • Drexel University
  • University of Toledo

If I already had my Ph.D., I would be enthused to accept a postdoctoral fellowship or faculty position at ANY of these universities, since they have high standards and a good reputation.  Their good names should not be pulled through the mud by reviews posted by first-year flunkies which were picked up by a self-proclaimed college selection “expert” like Ms. O’Shaughnessy.  If this is what journalism has come to at CBS’s “Money Watch” division, I can certainly say that I would put little stock in anything else they have to say.

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