Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Filing A Complaint Against a Professor?

JMS357JMS357 Registered User Posts: 300 Member
Hi everyone,

My friend and I wrote an anonymous complaint to the Physics Department Chair about our Introductory Physics II Professor. In all honesty, the professor is a very nice man who's passionate about physics, but teaching is definitely not something he's good at. This is what we put in the letter:

1) The professor constantly goes off curriculum by teaching the class about advanced physics topics that involve biology (e.g. the process of random walks, resistive forces and diffusion, the physics behind gel electrophoresis). He's essentially teaching us his research and he believes that we will appreciate his lectures. Instead, he confuses the entire class and doesn't understand why people didn't do well on the first exam, which was all about fluids and biophysics.

2) A *lot* of people cheat in the class. When I mean cheat, these people do it so openly and the professor doesn't know what to do about it. To put this in perspective, this professor cannot control a class of 85 students who talk so loudly during a quiz. Yesterday, there was a quiz in the class and there were so many people talking that the professor actually said, "Guys, I'm okay with you guys bouncing ideas off of each other, but please try to keep silent".

So my question is that since my friend and I put the complaint in the Department Chair's mailbox, what would probably happen next, considering that we made this complaint anonymously?

Replies to: Filing A Complaint Against a Professor?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,199 Super Moderator
    edited April 2018
    My friend and I wrote an anonymous complaint
    what would probably happen next
    If it were me, nothing. If you have an issue, I would assume the college has a procedure to follow, which probably does not include anonymity in this case.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,894 Senior Member
    You lost me at anonymous complaint.
  • astute12astute12 Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    If there is blatant cheating going on, take a meeting with the department chair. That has got to stop (if your school has an honor code read up on it) and the prof may need help from the department to make that happen. As far as his lecture style, you may have less luck getting a change made, but I would go direct to him, the professor, and say -- "you are passionate about your work, but we need to know what will be on exams and how to do the problems."
  • JMS357JMS357 Registered User Posts: 300 Member
    So the thing is that me and my friend thought it would be best if we kept the complaint anonymous because we didn't want the professor to come after us. Now that I think about it, it would have been better to put our names on the letter.

    Since the letter was sent in already, unfortunately there's really not much I can do about it now. However, I remember some of my coworkers telling me that the same professor got in trouble for not teaching the curriculum a few years back so maybe that'll help out my cause.

    Other than that, there's a lot of things that we could have done better when we wrote the complaint.
  • thomas4881thomas4881 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    On google you can look up various sites to rate your professor.
  • RoaringMiceRoaringMice Registered User Posts: 615 Member
    It sounds like this professor cares, but that he's having some difficulty with classroom management and other organizational issues. If you'd like to help other students (and perhaps yourself), you can meet with the Dean of the professor's department (now, or after you've received your final grade), and let him know about the issues the professor is having. When you do this, it would be good of you to also mention something he does well. That's not required, of course; but it would be a kind thing.

    It's also possible for you to file a formal complaint. Every university has a specific process on how to do this. You can ask your advisor. You can do it now, or after you receive your final grade.

    In addition, most unis take student evaluations seriously. You can be honest on your course evaluation. Again, there, it would be nice of you to give some positive feedback as well, if there are things he does well. But be honest in your feedback.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,222 Senior Member
    I'd talk directly to the professor. "Dr. X, I'm having a lot of trouble concentrating during the quizzes. Even you commented on the noise in the classroom, and I just don't think it is fair that the exam is treated like a group project or open book if you don't announce that it is. It's not fair to those of us who are following the 'rule' that this is a quiz to be taking solo, without a book, to be graded against those who are, IMO, cheating."

    I'd also talk to him about the course material and whether he's following the syllabus. Tell him that it seems he expects you to know more than the pre-req to keep up with his lectures.
This discussion has been closed.