posted on Feb, 8 2006 @ 12:18 AM
Last semester I had a conflict with a professor. I got sarcastic with him, he approached me in a threatening manner and started cursing, I stood up
and told him to get out of my space. When he didn't step back, I threatened to move him back, and we then agreed to take it outside. Luckily, several
of my friends saw fit to save me from expulsion by getting between us.
Now I was none too happy that this blow hard thought he had the right as a professor to get in my personal space and curse me out, but I wouldn't
report him to an outside organization, even if my first impulse was significantly more ill-advised.
If I had a prof who I felt was unjustly discriminating against political viewpoints in the classroom, I'd handle him the same way I eventually
handled the prof I almost brawled with:
I'd go to the dean of the department and tell him the entire truth (if there's anything in your profs favor, don't leave it out- you're
preempting his defense). To the extent that you're in the right, you'll get what your want.
(In my case, I went in and explained what happened. I said that I felt we were both completely out of line, and admitted that my actions certainly
warranted expulsion, but that if the professor were to seek that, I would have to seek his termination since he threatened me and agreed to engage in
mutual combat. The dean made sure that he and I called it water under the bridge, and I was allowed to drop the class.)
If I felt the dean had been unfair, I'd keep going up the chain of command. Only if I had come to the end of the line without results, and had
confirmation from objective listeners (not my buddies from school, but maybe a more sympathetic professor or someone well acquainted with the law),
would I then find it reasonable to go to some third party asking for intervention.
Earlier I stipulated unjust discrimination. What exactly is that? I do not believe that there is any harm in a professor telling jokes to liven up the
class, expressing examples or interpretations relevant to the class based on his opinion, or even saying just a few words off topic, because
professors are absolutely notorious going on tangents every now and then, and I'm sure it's easy to do when you have to give the same 1 or 2 hour
speil several times a week.
If a class is in discussion format and certain viewpoints are arbitrarily forbidden, while analogous statements from the opposite end of the spectrum
are allowed, that's out of line I think.
If you can demonstrate that you earned a certain grade, but you have been marked down for expressing political views relevant to the class, that's
out of line.
If you are required to learn blatant propaganda as part of the curriculum, ie: "for half your test grade, explain in 500 words or more why Bush is
worse than Hitler", that's out of line.
If Dr. G, my International Relations prof, catches the class dozing off and decides to joke that he thinks Bush and Condi are a little more than just
friends- for God sake, pretend to laugh.
Afterall, the poor SOB has so little. He used to know Bill O'Reilly, and is probably the smarter of the two, but now Bill's moved on from teaching
to TV and Dr. G is still lecturing at a community college. I think if Dr. G. want's to call him "Bill O'Moron", I don't think he's going to
accidentally indoctrinate anybody into a member of the Hillary Clinton fan club with that.
Last but not least, I think the payoff thing is very unwise, because it shades the motives of those who report. Watchdog groups and those who aid them
ought to be working strictly for their values, not for cash.