The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Red hot professors

Three St. John’s professors were included in a list of the Top 50 professors on RateMyProfessors.com, a popular Web site where college students can comment on their professors.

This is the first year that RateMyProfessors has compiled such a list.

According to a RateMyProfessors press
release, the results were gathered from more than 1 million ratings of professors posted by more than 7.5 million students across the country.

Law professor Anthony Sabino was ranked number 15, business professor Joyce Boland-Devito was ranked number 32, and English professor Thomas Kitts was ranked number 49.

“It’s remarkable that St. John’s is leading the country,” said Stephen Friedman, the General Manager of mtvU. “It seems like you have an outstanding faculty.”

mtvU, a cable TV network, bought RateMyProfessors last year. According to a RateMyProfessors press release, “mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are, through a three pronged approach – on-air, online and on campus.”

mtvU is broadcast to 750 colleges across the nation.

St. John’s, along with Augusta State, the College of Charleston, and the Univerrsity of Houston, had the most professors on the list, with three each.

The professor with the highest rating on the list hails from Eastern Michigan University, while the school with the highest rated professors overall is Brigham Young University.

Although these professors were included on the list, according to Friedman, they were not contacted by the site.

Professor Wolfgang Jank, Associate Professor in the Department of Decision & Information Technologies at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. conducted a “thorough analysis of the last three years worth of ratings,” said Friedman, when asked about how the professors on the list were chosen.

According to a RateMyProfessors press release, “RateMyProfessors.com uses a five-point Likert scale, as well as a binary scoring system, for student-generated professor ratings.”

Ratings from the last three years were weighted and given a score from high to low. Ratings from the year 2005 were weighted by 15 percent, ratings from 2006 were weighted 25 percent, and ratings from 2007 were weighted by 60 percent.

Professors had to have at least 30 ratings to be considered for the Top 50 and professors with a greater number of ratings received a higher ranking.

According to comScore, a Web site that keeps track of Internet activity, RateMyProfessors is the “highest trafficked U.S. professor rating site.” In fact, more than 1,500,000 people visit the site each month.

“Over the course of the year, millions and millions visit the site,” Friedman noted.
RateMyProfessors offers ratings for more than 7,500,000 professors from more than 6,000 different colleges and universities.
In fact, many St. John’s students rely on the Web site in order to help them determine what professors they should take.
“RateMyProfessors.com has been very helpful to me for scheduling during registration,” said senior Christel Arslanian. “Almost all of the professors I looked up turned out to be the way the reviewers said they would.”
Junior Frank Luera added, “In my experience, it’s been fairly accurate.”

In addition to its list of the top 50 professors, RateMyProfessors also released “Professor Rebuttal” on its site, which allows professors to respond to the comments posted about them.

The Web site also recently launched an application on Facebook, where students have the chance to visit RateMyProfessors.com directly from their Facebook accounts.

mtvU recently launched “Professors Strike Back,” which is available on mtvU.com. It gives professors the opportunity to post videos responding to the comments posted about them on RateMyProfessors.com.

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