I have a horrible Biology instructor, should I complain to the college?

My professor isn’t teaching us from the book. He makes up his lectures as he goes and none of it makes since. This class is a Human Anatomy class yet all he’s taught is chemistry. Which happens to be his favorite subject. I’ve already taken Chemistry and really need a good anatomy teacher. He’s not even teaching chemistry right and he skips all over the place. To top it all off, he’s a chauvinistic pig! He compares his lectures to having sex with women. I few people have thought about complaining to the college but they would rather wait until their out of his class, their concerned that if they complain that he’ll give them a bad grade or even make to class more miserable. The college doesn’t have another Bio teacher to even replace him with. I’m really fusterated because I really want to understand Human Anatomy since I’m trying to get into the Nursing program. And this teacher sucks! Please help, what should I do?

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  • Elisa

    You should bring up your grievances with the dean of the college. However…..

    Chances are they already know. You should file a grievance, however, it will probably be one on top of a pile they already have on him. The professor is able to conduct himself in this manner because he brings a lot of research money, bring lots of reputation to the college by virtue of his research, or has substantial political clout. By now, it should be clear that it’s not his teaching that is enabling him to hold on to his post.

    Unless there are other professors teaching the same class for credit at this college, the reality is that you probably will need to self-teach or find sympathetic seniors/graduate students to help you learn.

    All of that said, you alone filing one more grievance is unlikely to generate results. If the dean tells you that they have more grievances on him and doesn’t give you a concrete plan of action for correcting this situation, chances are they will just sit on it. If you want things done, you will need to muster the larger student body and make a really big stink about it publically. If he’s been around long enough with this crappy teaching, then he’s probably alienated a lot of other students as well. Muster the student union or whatever academic organization you have. Make a big public stink. Record the lectures. Send them off to news or radio stations. Make it public to force the college’s hand. Don’t break the law or anything like that, but make it embarrassing for the college for allowing this kind of substandard teaching to go on at the college. Negative publicity (which will hurt their recruiting and enrollment) is probably your last recourse if the college has already heard grievances and have not done anything about it in a while.

  • bellajay

    I would not hesitate to speak to someone. I am guessing that you should go to the department chairperson. Make an appointment, and be sure that when you go, you have solid data to discuss so that he/she does not think that you are just a complainer. If at all possible, record the lecture or part of the lecture on a voice recorder so that you have evidence of not being taught anatomy. This class is very important for you to have to get into nursing,if you are not taught the material, you will not do well when you move on to more challenging anatomy classes. Please speak up before it’s too late. If the dept. chair does not do anything, you will need to take this to the academic dean or whoever is next on the chain of command.

  • Evan M

    I would doucment the behavior, and then talk to the Dean of the college.

    But unless you know the Dean and know s/he will be sympathetic and fair I would wait until after the class is done, as there is a non-zero chance of this getting back to the prof with your name associated. Should happen, but it could.

    Sorry to hear about it – that sucks.

  • Susan

    I definately think the school needs to be informed. At the VERY least htey might let you drop it with a W or other non-punitive grade. If you stick with this course & do evaluations at the end, AT LEAST be BRUTALLY honest on the eval. A word of warning…be careful if it’s a tentured faculty member…they me be politics involved that you DON’T want to be in the middle of!

  • sophist

    Begin first with the Dean of the school. He maybe called the dean of human sciences or the dean of science. It all depends on the size of the school. Tell him you will be discussing this with the dean of students and then do so. If the student dean thinks it should be investigated, either he or someone from personnel will do so. You have to stay abreast of this and show you are keenly interested in the outcome. If it doesn’t happen, write a letter the the Chairman of the college. Send all letters by registered mail and keep a photocopy. Wait ten days and if you do not get a reply write another letter, referencing the first and include in that letter that your next step is to go to the newspapers. Wait ten days and if you are not contacted. Write a letter to the local paper’s editor and the school newspaper copying the chairman. By then all hell should bust loose.

  • notrub

    There’s nothing wrong with a bit of discipline, but If you really think it is out of hand then I think you should defianatly complain to the college. I’ve complained about teachers before and nothing was done. I dont know what you college’s policy is but it is well worth a try.

  • avast

    You need to speak up. Think of it like you would if you bought a shirt, got it home, and found out it was a dress. You wouldn’t hesitate to return it because you didn’t get what you paid for. You (or the state through scholarships) are paying for this education, and if you’re not getting what you pay for, you need to let the school know so that they can fix the problem. Colleges rely heavily on student evaluations, and you need to use your voice. It may seem like he has the power here, but he doesn’t. . .you do.

    You need to go in, and speak to someone in charge. I’d start with the Dean of students or your advisor. Make a list with specific examples of his behavior, and include dates if you can. Bring your lecture notes to show that you are not learning anatomy. If you are able to bring another student along, then that gives the dean the option of saying, "some students have complained about your course," and the plural makes the statement more legitimate sounding. Do not worry that you’ll get a bad grade. Just be certain your comments will remain anonymous.

    Also, it is the college’s responsibility to find a new teacher or to force this one to do his job (the latter is the more likely solution). If they don’t have another one, I am positive that they will have a zillion applications as soon as they post his position. So that’s not an issue.

    You choose to go to college. . .and you chose this college. If you’re not happy, you can choose to go elsewhere. Of course, if you do then you’ll probably explain why you left. The college knows this, and they will do almost anything to ensure that good students are happy and stay, and tell their friends. They will do something if you complain–observe the prof, speak to the prof, or if enough complain, pull him out of the class.

  • Coyote81

    If he’s tenured, don’t bother. we have this idea that college is this place wherer we can expand our mind and learn new things, saadly, this isn’t true. College is, with few exceptions, a place where a people who like to hear themselves talk go to get paid to to what they love. I spent six years at college and I learned more by reading on my own than I ever did in a classroom. Just jump through the proffessors hoops and learn anatomy on your own.

  • You’re paying for the class, why not complain? If you don’t he will just keep doing this every semester, and even if you do pass the class when you get to part 2, you won’t know a thing. You should tell, and if anyone else in the class feels the same way, you should all go complain together, and take a stand for once.

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