Why You Got a “C”

Gerard Van der Leun passes on a professorial rant entitled "Why You Got A 'C'" that's likely to be amusing primarily to those who have taught undergraduates.

Gerard Van der Leun passes on a professorial rant entitled “Why You Got A ‘C’” that’s likely to be amusing primarily to those of us who have taught undergraduates.  Number 7 is a possible exception:

Did I mention that in a game of Jeopardy! against Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, you would still somehow manage to finish fourth?

I’m pretty sure I had that student in my 101 class.

FILED UNDER: Education, Humor, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    If this professor has a gripe he should take it up with the college administrators who have the audacity to admit a “C” student. I suppose he should let his department head know he only wants the cream of the crop to darken his classroom from now on. Does he understand that “C” student he so despises contributed to that paycheck he cashed last week? I could go on.

    He should stop being a pompous prick picking in undergrads and understand if he was more connected with his students maybe that “C” could have been a “B”. Attempts at humor like this strike me as inside baseball for the Ivory Tower set. Ha ha, let’s pick on the kid with acne who didn’t get it.

    It would be nice if they just remembered who is paying who in this arrangement. Give the kid a “C” if that’s what he deserves but don’t make light of it. Time to grow up professor funny bone.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Steve:

    People in all customer service industries bitch about the customers. And, in this case, he’s complaining about the “grade grubbers,” students who sit on their ass all semester and then come crying when they don’t get the grade they were hoping for.

    In this case, though, the students aren’t meaningfully paying the prof’s salaries. In most cases, they’re actually a loss leader, costing more money with each incremental unit, that have to be subsidized. Educating students are the reason the professor has a job, of course, but they’re not the chief revenue source.

  3. sam says:

    You’re not going to convince Steve — he’s got a thing for perfessers.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    Pretty obvious, huh Sam. Over paid, under work, and mostly full of themselves. I saw too many of them hopping in bed with coeds, showing up rather than teaching, and generally forgetting what their job is. Like the guy at issue here, that student paid him not to make him the topic is a snide internet post but to teach him. Even if the student did no work at all the perfesser (I’ve used that a time or two) was rewarded with pay and benefits so what’s his gripe?

    I’m open to some convincing yet I doubt it can be done.

    James, This is not the waiter complaining about customers thing but a “professional” picking on someone for laughs. What disruption did the student cause other than ask about his grade? None that we know of. The professor is an arrogant jackass yucking it up with his peers. It’s just not funny coming from someone who should know better.

  5. Drew says:

    “In this case, though, the students aren’t meaningfully paying the prof’s salaries. In most cases, they’re actually a loss leader, costing more money with each incremental unit, that have to be subsidized. Educating students are the reason the professor has a job, of course, but they’re not the chief revenue source.”

    I’m not sure I follow you here, James. Who, then, pays the profs salaries? The good old football team? The school endowment? The taxpayer? If its the athletes (but I recently read that the vast majority of sports programs run a deficit) that’s a travesty. If its the taxpayers its a travesty. If its the endowment, then at least its the institution’s choice. Oh, and you are welcome.

    But its inconceivable to me that if not subsidized professor unemployment and compensation would not go down.

  6. Drew says:

    er, professor employment…….

  7. James Joyner says:

    @Steve

    Whining students are an annoyance. Professors bitch about them amongst themselves as a coping mechanism.

    @Drew

    At state institutions, they’re paid for by a combination of tax dollars, research grants, endowments, and whatnot. The share paid for by state tax dollars has gone down in recent years and the percentage paid by tuition up. But still not enough so that tuition comes close to paying the cost of the service provided.

    We’ve made a decision as a country to make higher education widely and easily available, so we’re doubtless over-supplying it.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    James, I understand the gripe as a coping mechanism but have no sympathy for it. Each student pays tuition, brings in state aid, or in some manner increases the revenue for the school. Why else would most colleges always seek to increase enrollment. If each additional student became a drain on funds I’m sure enrollment would be capped. Total costs are always met.

  9. Drew says:

    This is not snark, James, but a legitimate question. If a university or college was forced to fund all its expenses, including professor salaries, based upon tuition (the “customer”) or the endowment (an ex, and sympathetic customer), what would happen to the intitution’s, and prof salaries?

    And I’m not trying to be cute. The direct question is: are education costs – and by inference prof salaries – really market driven, or a huge govt subsidy.

    I’m not familiar with university P&L’s, so its a question, not an assertion, but I have my suspicions.

  10. James Joyner says:

    Drew,

    Public education is an expenditure that we partly finance by user fees, like state parks. It’s by no means funded through the market. If it were, it’d look more like the University of Phoenix and other degree mills, which are much more customer oriented.