right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Should I file a formal complaint against my professor?

wmj1996wmj1996 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello everyone,

This is my first post, so I’m not really sure how this works.

My major (Clinical Laboratory Science) at my home school requires more credits than a regular Bachelor’s degree, so I’m taking 2 classes at my local community college as a visiting student this summer. I actually transferred to my 4 year from this community college, but only 15 credits were transferable, which is another reason why I’m back there.

Anyway, I’m having an issue with my General Chemistry 2 lecture professor. First off, he doesn’t seem like he wants to teach. He just gives us formulas and doesn’t teach us how or when to use them. Whenever someone asks a question or answers one of his questions incorrectly, he answers arrogantly and makes them feel stupid. It’s only the second week of class and no one wants to speak up because of this.

Second, the reason I want to file a formal complaint against him, is because of an email exchange. I emailed him to let him know I wouldn’t be able to make it to class, when there was an assignment due, because I was burying my father’s ashes. I asked if I could hand the assignment in the next class. He said no because he was going over the answers during the class I missed and would have the grades up by the next day, but that I could scan it and email it to him. That’s completely understandable, but he didn’t leave it at that. He said, and I quote, “If you did it, or any of it, scan it and email it to me by the end of class. This is why I gave it out last week. It takes time to do these problems.” I understand that students lie to try to get the due date extended, but I genuinely finished it the day before it was due. Also, what kind of sick person lies about burying their own parent? I felt sick when I got that email back, insinuating that I lied to have more time on the assignment, and sent it to him right after I saw that email. Not only was I burying his ashes, it was the one year anniversary of his death. It was already an emotional day and he doesn’t seem to care that it affected me negatively. He didn’t even apologize.

I’ve had plenty of awful and rude professors, but none have ever treated me like this before. Is this a valid reason to make a formal complaint? Or should I just blame my emotions for getting the best of me? I would drop this class, but it would mess up my schedule to where I’d have a missing semester and have to graduate in three years instead of two.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
14 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Should I file a formal complaint against my professor?

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you are going to have to take this up with the Dean of students. That office will likely have the procedures you want to know.

    As for the email issue, I don’t think it’s any issue. No, I don’t think it’s a valid reason for complaint. But I’m no arbiter of such things. Again the Dean of students can advise you better
    · Reply · Share
  • wmj1996wmj1996 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I’ve already sent him the assignment and tried to talk to him about more instructions. He told he gives good enough examples. Like I said in my original post, he’s arrogant. At this point, I think I’m just going to get a tutor. My main issue is the way he treats his students.
    · Reply · Share
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Go to office hours and any tutoring available to get help with the class. I also took it to mean that you could email the assignment even if it wasn’t complete. No need to lodge a complaint about the email.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34107 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't see the rudeness in writing, in effect, 'send me what you have, before I go over answers, in class, on the due date.' He didn't reject you for not turning it in exactly on the de date. A simple accommodation. Day before, not day after.

    "If you did it," can mean, if you had the time. Of course, he expects you did. Imo, he's not saying you didn't. That part is just words.

    Sorry for your loss.
    · Reply · Share
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1717 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I am sorry for your loss. I lost my dad last year too. I'm sure it's even harder at your age than mine.

    Honesty you are overreacting. Sometimes people don't phrase things the way you like or give you the emotional care and concern you'd prefer. That's life. I see nothing wrong with the professor's response.
    · Reply · Share
  • bjkmombjkmom 7941 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm sorry for the loss of your dad.

    If he thought you were cheating, he just would have said no.

    Like others here, I think he was giving you permission to hand in an assignment that, given the circumstances, you might not have had time to complete. I think he thought he was being kind, not insinuating anything negative.
    · Reply · Share
  • stradmomstradmom 5030 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm sorry for your loss. Grief has no timeline and an anniversary is always difficult.

    He may not have apologized for hurting your feelings (or even been aware that he had done so), but I'm betting the fact that you immediately sent the completed work to him was noticed and he has now realized that you weren't trying to game the system.

    Here's an idea: instead of labelling him as "rude," can you change your interpretation of his behavior? Might he have poor social skills or even be on the spectrum? Granted, he could simply be a jerk, but even then you could try the "kill him with kindness" technique. Worst case scenario, you've risen above it and practiced a more functional conflict resolution strategy than filing a (likely to be denied) formal complaint.
    · Reply · Share
  • LindagafLindagaf 9229 replies495 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So sorry for your loss.

    I also believe you are overreacting. The quote from the email seems innocuous to me. The prof says if you did the work, or part of it, scan and email it to me by the end of class. Why is that offensive or rude? Maybe there is more in the email, but I don't see where the prof is suggesting you are lying.

    As far as his teaching style, it's a shame, but it is what it is. Chalk it up to having a professor you don't like, which is a universal experience. I don't see what you have to complain about. Go to the tutoring center and professor office hours to be sure you understand the material. Good luck.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 7976 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP: The prof did nothing wrong. Doesn't seem to be any basis for a complaint.
    · Reply · Share
  • happy1happy1 22854 replies2248 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited June 13
    First issue: Sadly, not every professor is a great teacher or a great person. And at the college level many professors expect you to read and digest information from homework assignments -- it is can be different from HS where you are spoon fed most of the material in a class lecture. If you are having difficulty in class I would go to the professor's office hours or a tutoring center for additional help. If you think the professor is poor you will likely have a chance to write a review at the end of the semester.

    Second issue: I think the professor was being very reasonable in allowing you to submit all or any part of the assignment that is completed before class is over. I don't think the professor was making any judgement on your reason for missing class but rather he/she was explaining why the policy is in place. I'm sorry for your loss, but I see no reason to complain.
    edited June 13
    · Reply · Share
  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    1) Keep in mind that a professor at a Community College has probably heard every excuse known to humankind. I wouldn't complain about this to higher ups...in a summer class it is very condensed and you can't miss classes. It is hard for professors to validate every excuse. You still need to do the work no matter what is going on in your life.

    2) You may need to decide if you should withdraw from this class...

    3) Talk to the Dean of Students or head of the department about the teaching
    · Reply · Share
  • AndorvwAndorvw 355 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think OP should talk to the Department Head (Chemistry) and/or Dean to voice the concern.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity