"Excitement can only spread"
Website rates profs
Jimmy Flaherty cases Western for voters
Drunkards steal squash trophy
Lobby groups lack self-esteem, bicker for friends
Website rates profs
Dr. Mike deemed "sexy"
By Daren Lin
A growing website allows university students to rate their professors on
integral qualities like helpfulness, clarity – and sexiness.
RateMyProfessors.ca lets university students rank their professors and
comment on their teaching, said website administrator John Swapceinski.
The site has been up since 1999 and now boasts over 85,000 ratings from
over 1,300 schools from across the United States and Canada, he added.
The site offers reviews of a number of Western professors.
One comment about psychology professor Mike Atkinson reads, "Made me want
to pursue psych. He's kind of like a movie star on campus."
Another said, "A great prof with great hair."
"That doesn't bother me – I'm glad somebody likes the hair," Atkinson said
when informed of the comment.
Professors can also be ranked on a scale of one to five in three
categories: easiness, helpfulness and clarity, Swapceinski added. While he
acknowledges the easiness category causes a lot of controversy, he feels
it has merit.
"There are some classes, like electives, that people might have very
little interest in, but they need to fulfill a requirement," Swapceinski
While the existing instructor evaluations at Western do not have an
easiness rating, vice-provost and registrar Roma Harris said the Western
evaluations do allow students to state what grade they think they will get
in the course – that in turn can be used by students to figure out what
courses to take.
Unlike the RateMyProfessors.ca site, the Western evaluations play an
administrative role, Harris said. "They play very heavily in the tenure
process and the annual performance ratings for professors."
Swapceinski said the site also has a sexiness category – a good-looking
professor would get a red chili pepper next to his or her name.
Atkinson was lucky enough to receive one such chili pepper.