LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Oh Ricky you’re so fine

Re: “That evaluation you requested” by Ricky Kreitner (19.01.10)

Yes, Ricky, the world is that simple. Professors are desperately hanging on to the words of students so that they can “cater to [your] petty whims.” There’s no way that they might take some advice – “integrate the lectures more with the readings” or “spend more time on the anatomy section of the course and less on the functional part” – while disregarding that kid who never showed up’s advice to “like, slow way down in lecture.” The people looking at tenure applications surely can’t filter the good from the half-cocked advice either. And Professors should obviously treat us like their subordinates. As you rightly pointed out, this involves not giving a rat’s ass about how they teach the course, whether people get anything out of it, or if the information they offer is close to coherent. Being in charge means never having to listen to your subordinates to get a sense that you’re on the right track. That’s how all the best leaders operate, and if there’s anything academia is screaming out for, it’s to further isolate professors from criticism and the outside world. After all, there are so many other methods by which students can make valid criticisms of their experience here that have the possibility of being heard.

Thanks, Ricky, for your contrariness and authoritarianism. What would we do without people defending the rights of professors to act with complete immunity from criticism? And bless the coherence of your message as well. Students should definitely be angry that they’re not being treated as badly as they deserve because of their unwillingness to submit to academic rigor. Or something like that. Whatever your message was, thank you for it.

– Alex SilverU3 Psychology

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