Rate My Professors, a professor-ranking website online since 1999, may soon be getting a marketing boost with its acquisition by MTV Networks' mtvU. But in most Christian colleges, that won't make a big difference in the way administrations mediate the professor-student relationship.
Rate My Professors (ratemyprofessors.com) has discovered the formula for college joy: a professor's balance of easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and ability to interest students. And, to the chagrin of some, "hotness," which earns worthy professors a chili pepper icon.
"This site seems to be designed to embarrass or provoke," said John Paff, executive director of communication and executive assistant to the president at Huntington University. The recently added ability to post photos, he said, proves his point.
Professors at Christian colleges seem to get similar ratings to those of their secular college counterparts, but comments do occasionally address the way faculty members encourage or discourage students' faith.
Shock and hyperbole aren't difficult to find on the site, although "bring your pillow" and "awesome!" are the furthest many students go in their comments. "It's like having the perfect date, only he's your teacher. He didn't try to convert us, but still told us how the Bible effects [sic] our faith. He needs to go on a date big time though," one preoccupied student posted about a Pepperdine professor. "Sometimes, I kind of wish that I could jump out of a plane and catch my eyelid on the bell tower rather then listen to him," wrote a Baylor student about another professor.
As genuine as these may sound, inaccuracies, including false posts, are a problem. "I'm rated on this site," said Paff. "A student was very critical. She wrote that ...1