The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that an associate professor of psychology at Harper College in Illinois was recently terminated by the school after being arrested for shooting at truck drivers and exchanging gunfire with state troopers near an interstate highway (no joke).
If only Harper officials had paid more attention to the student evaluations of this wayward faculty member on RateMyProfessors.com. Consider, for example, the dimension of “Likelihood of Discharging a Firearm during Class”: the professor’s score was 4.8 out of 5, well above the 2.7 average for Harper faculty overall. Also, student comments included, “It always freaked me out when he would clean his guns while we were taking exams,” and “If discussion started to lag on the topic of the day, he would open the classroom window and start shooting at pigeons. Seemed kind of weird to me. Easy grader, though, so I’d recommend taking him as long as you’re okay with the pigeon thing.”
Colleges and universities should take note: although RateMyProfessors might be too unreliable to use for tenure-and-promotion purposes, we could be underestimating its potential for preventing gun violence.