What would you do?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nomad, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I have a very weird situation going...
    Some of you are aware that I'm taking university courses. I have been enjoying them tremendously.
    Last year, we had a very "unusual" professor. Let's just say that he has difficult child tendencies...to put it mildly.
    His favorite words begins with the letter "F". He uses it FREQUENTLY. He also shows favoritism to students. He mentions his religion OFTEN and favors students who are of the same denomination. He doesn't try to hide it one bit. He name drops and is intimidating. He makes sexual references.
    We had him again this year. It was much the same. However, after one of the tests, he called everyone "idiots," with the exception of the his favorite two students, etc. Two students in the class ended up crying...one uncontrollably. He did not go to a break during this. When one person complained about a test score...he exposed her test grade to other students and ridiculed her. There was so much anguish going on...after it was all over...I LITERALLY could not get out of bed for 24 hours. My entire insides were a mess.

    Flash forward...
    He is scheduled to be the professor for an upcoming class of ours. We are in shock. It's a long story...but there are indications that some administrators are protecting him...a common practice.

    My question...
    I have thought of trying to see the Dean to discuss this matter. There are some students who are willing to do this with me. I have also thought of filing a formal grievance.

    Generally, these things do not do much good. On a rare occassion, they are helpful.

    I just don't want him to teach our classes anymore. We travel in a pack of sorts...a cohort. There are other classes he could teach.

    Some in the class say we should leave it alone. This guy is a trouble. He is vindictive. He has friends in high places.

    I am of a certain age...that this doesn't intimidate me excessively. I have my moments.

    It makes me wonder how one gets to be such an incredible BULLY. When does it end?

    What to do???? Take a chance and complain or grin and take it?

    by the way...I might be able to take this class at a campus ONE HOUR AWAY. However, I have to go on a waiting list....and if I get in, the drive will be very difficult.

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I really hate to say this but I would take the class at another campus if possible. If not, I would bite my tongue and get thru his abuse. I believe every word you are saying and agree that it hoovers. If there is ever a chance to put a complaint in anonymously, I would do it. But, I think you have to find a way to just get thru him, otherwise.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Start recording the class... for note taking. :winks: I'm the sort that would take this next class and actively build a case against him and present my evidence to the governing body once I got my final grade. Sometimes a person of a certain age carries more weight with administrators.
  4. judi

    judi Active Member

    Your education is a commodity and you are the customer. Needs to go up the food chain to the chair of the dept and then further up if you get no satisfaction.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Nomad! You might want to contact your local investigative reporter/consumer tv complaint guy/gal and advise them about it. Most reporters right now are hungry for anything other than the economy. Look for one that does a lot of reporting about a variety of injustices, inequality, bullying in the schools (that's a really good one - like the education reporter) and tell them that it would be a great investigative report. Tell them you wish to remain anonymous and ask them to sit in on a couple of classes.

    Otherwise, I'd escalate it straight to the Pres. of the College. With the tuition that you and ten other students stuck with this clown.

    Good luck!

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I like TM's suggestion. I'd tape a class. Then file a formal grievance with the other students who wish to do so. It looks better if you have other students who have issues with this guy. You should also check with students from other classes and see if they're willing to hop on your bandwagon. Then all of you head to the Dean. Odds are if someone happens to mention Lawsuit for sexual harassment........Heads will roll, and it won't be a student.

    The more students you can get to join you, the better.

    I hate this sort of thing. We had one like this guy for algebra.....funny thing......everyone usually failed his exams.......yet everyone passed with at least a C. The Dean has had complaints on him before and he's now smart enough to only push his luck so far.

    Just keep your fingers crossed that he's not tenure. I'm not sure how the Dean can punish his behavior if he's tenure, but I know they aren't supposed to be able to fire them. Which is stupid.

  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    REcord the classes. More than 1 of them. Do not let him know you are doing it.

    It will carry MUCH more weight if you have decent grades (I am sure you are working hard and do, if it is at ALL possible to get good grades from this person) when the complaints are made.

    Write down, in detail, what he says and does that are abusive or harassing. Include exact quotes of what he says.

    Record how many times he say "F" in class each lecture.

    Once you have this, and actually it may need to be after grades are in, then go and make a complaint. A formal one.

    I can ask my mom next week what the best way to make a complaint and have it be heard are. She was a professor for many years and did a LOT of advising.

    I know that HERE, if a professor was using foul language and making sexual references and innuendos in class, having parents (the ones who pay the tuition or are perceived as such) make complaints or join in complaints carries much weight.

    This may need to go to the Dean of the College (College of Business, of Education, of whatever), to the Dean of Students, to the President of hte University, I am just not sure. But I would be very likely to make the written complaint available to the alumni assoc and to the media. But before you do those things, let me check with my mom. Not the record keeping, before you make anything available to anyone.

    I am sorry - no teacher on any level should be able to abuse his students. I would look into taking the class at the other location, or taking other classes for a semester or quarter until someone else was teaching this class.

    It really sounds like this person is mentally ill to make those comments and act that way in this day and age.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I had a college teacher like this one....not the "F" word...but still, I couldn't believe half the things he said during class. I just kept my head down and my mouth shut.

    At the end of the course, we students we all given evaluation forms where we were supposed to rate the course using a scale of one to ten "How useful was the course.", "How useful was the textbook" etc etc.

    Well, I took advantage of the "Comments" section of this form and wrote that this teacher's personal biases have no place in the classroom.

    My comment must have gotten somebody's attention, because when he returned next semester--his persona was far more subdued.

    Definitely say something!

  9. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    To me, it boils down to how hard you want to fight this.

    On the one hand, you have gotten some very good advice if you want to do something. Tape the classes, file a complaint, get publicity, go over his head, get the other students to help, etc. This situation should not be allowed to continue; it is not fair to you or to the other students.

    On the other hand, the fact that this has been going on for this long and that he seems to be protected by those above may mean that you are in for the fight of your life. I do believe in karma and what goes around comes around and that he will get his in the end BUT I also know that right does not always prevail immediately. I have a feeling it will not be as easy as presenting the facts and expecting it to come out OK.

    I tend to mouth off a lot so I would probably take him on but I know from experience that it costs something to take on the bullies of the world. You could be facing retaliation if you have to take any more classes from him and if he has protection from the higher ups they could make it very difficult for anybody who wants to challenge the status quo. I'm not saying you shouldn't; I probably would but you should go into it with your eyes open and knowing that it could all come back to bite you in the posterior.

    Good luck!
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Okay, I had a loooong talk with a friend of mine.

    She is a KILLER attorney from a major city.

    She listened long and hard. The problem with this situation is that the ugliness is PERVASIVE. It's hard to say for sure, but the depth of the problem APPEARS to be deep within the department and the university system. This person SEEMS to have friends in high places. She feels it is doubtful that anyone would give me or others a fair hearing on this.

    Her thoughts...this guy will hang himself in due time.

    So, I think I will take the course in the other city as often as possible and keep quiet. If I have to take a class with him again, I might tape it.

    However, I am concerned that such inappropriate behavior is allowed to go on in this world AND that women, especially...continue to be discriminated against.

    What I have observed with this situation is horrendous. It is part of the reason I get a little upset with women when they are unkind to one another. I assure you, there is enough bias out there from men.