UND Ranked 23rd Among Universities With Worst Professors

This according to data culled from RateMyProfessor.com, a controversial website that allows students to rate and review their instructors.

The upper Midwest is a hot bed for bad professors, according to data an education think tank culled from millions of RateMyProfessor teacher evaluations.

Among the top 25 schools with the worst professors, six of them hail from Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Nearly a third come from all parts of the Midwest.

The pair of schools with the lousiest teachers are service academies – U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Here’s what curious about this — two other service academies – United States Military Academy and the Air Force Academy – earned spots on the list of colleges with the best professors.

The list with the poor teachers is just about evenly divided among private universities (13) and public universities (12).

Here’s the full list in order:

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy NY
U.S. Coast Guard Academy, CT
Tuskegee University, AL
Michigan Technological University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Milwaukee School of Engineering, WI
Bryant University, RI
Bentley University, MA
St. Cloud State University, MN
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Western Michigan University
Widener University, PA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MA
Central Michigan University
Seton Hall University, NJ
Pace University, NY
Iowa State University
Drexel University, PA
University of Toledo, OH
Howard University, Wash. DC
St. John Fisher College, NY
University of North Dakota
Truman State University, MO
Mount Union College, OH

There are reasons to be wary. Some of these institutions could have higher levels of participation on RateMyProfessor.com and thus skew the results, so take it with a grain of salt.

That being said, during my own college experience here in North Dakota one of the chief complaints I heard students making was that so many of the professors had thick accents that were hard to understand which complicated already difficult areas of study. And the professors, at least according to the students I spoke with, seemed to care little about whether they were understood or not.

This is what happens at institutions that pride themselves more on the prestige of their faculty and the federal grants that prestige can reel in than educating students. This is definitely the vibe I get from UND (and NDSU for that matter), and when I see the universities crowing about new record-breaking enrollments what I wonder about is how many of those students are getting a quality education as opposed to being pushed through like so many cattle through a chute.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    I don’t know when the focus became being a “research” institution. I think the focus of higher education should be on preparing OUR kids to be successful in whatever they might do.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      It happened when it became clear that the “research institution” stuff was a path to a federal gravy train of grant dollars.

      • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

        Wouldn’t you think the federal government should be more interested in
        education than spending money on research projects that never produce
        anything?

  • Jimmypop

    “so take it with a grain of salt.”

    the ‘grain’ should be a chunk of salt about the size of a mac truck.

    that said, id LOVE to see real results on this. i bet wed be shocked at how good our schools really are….. further reinforcing the logic that tuition should be raised.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Says a total apologist for the university system.

      You need to stop buying into the idea that the universities are bringing
      prosperity to the state, Jimmy. They’re an expense, not a boon.

  • devilschild

    There are alot of arrogant people associated with UND. It doesn’t surprise me that they rank so low on the quality of education provided by their faculty.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      The faculty is more worried about antagonizing the public then in doing
      their job of educating our kids.

      • Guest

        I have to respectfully dissent on this one. I’ve been extremely impressed with almost all of my professors in both undergrad and law school. I feel like they understand the subjects well, but more importantly, can communicate effectively with students. There are a few exceptions of course, but for the most part, they do a great job.

        I’d even go as far as to say that our public primary schools (grade, middle, high) have done a pretty good job as well. I will admit that there are a few more marginal teachers in these schools than in college, but again, most of them did a good job of preparing students for college.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Well sure, but that’s just your anecdotal experience.

          Again, RateMyProfessors is most assuredly an imperfect metric, but I don’t think the experiences of any one given student proves anything one way or another.

          • Guest

            “The list with the poor teachers is just about evenly divided among private universities (13) and public universities (12)”

            You want to cite this study as at least somewhat valid, yet you ignore the fact that more private universities made it on the list than the number of public universities.

            As public universities make up a larger percentage of schools (and number of students) than private universities, it would only seem appropriate that public universities would make up a larger share of the “worst” colleges.

            Applying your inconsistent and simplistic logic to this data allows you to reach the conclusion you want, without recognizing that other variables may be at work.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Of course, the solution to public anger at universities like UND is to privatize them. Then the only people the universities have to worry about pleasing are their customers.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            Privatize them and then if we want (and I’m for it) help fund our students
            to pay for the education.

  • ec99

    Part of the problem began when universities started establishing quotas in hiring. Ever read the end of a university faculty job announcement? It goes something like: “Women and minotirites particularly encouraged to apply.” or “Women and those belonging to traditionally underrepresented groups especially welcomed to apply.” My son had a teacher from China at UND whose English was so incomprehensible they had to replace her.

    • http://pocketjacksblog.blogspot.com Jay W.

      I had a similar experience while in college back in the nineties. I’m pretty sure, however, that my professor is still there unless he retired.

  • aw

    Well there may be an end in sight to the federal research dollars. We are now facing national bankruptcy. The state universities may be forced to focus once again on the students. Now they are simply a means to an end.

  • Erstrath

    this is based on what is essentially a ‘hot or not’ website. there has to be a better way to do this

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