LitDaily

Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Controversial Professor is Removed from Teaching

Posted by litdaily on August 31, 2010

University of Illinois has “removed” a controversial professor from his teaching duties for making a sexual reference to students in an email and for letting one student videotape class discussion…more>>

The word “professional” comes to mind.  It’s certainly not professional for professors to make sexual references, however witty and/or minimal the comments might be.  This controversy obviously speaks of more than just a sexual reference.  While the professor’s removal might be related to other possible issues, classrooms seem to have ceased being professional spaces in general.  Professors can say or do anything they want (who reviews their syllabi?), students can freely abuse their professors through online ratings or disruptions in class without any consequences, students can take pictures with their cameras and post them on Facebook or sites like “Rate my Professor” without being sued or held liable, etc.

Higher education needs an overhaul if it wants to claim “professionalism” in the classroom. It’s not just about a sexual reference, about taping discussion, about biased and unwarranted ratings, or other liberties that professors and students feel free to engage in. It’s about standards, expectations, and respect for education.

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