The Dismal Dozen: Worst celebrity profs, Part Deux

#7 MICHAEL BYERS
Political Science, university of British Columbia
Salary: $176,046
Rating: 2.8/5Michael Byers
“VAIN. Self-congratulatory, apparently knows all the most important people in the world. His divinely-ordained duty is to impart upon you special knowledge he assumes you do not have, but is actually regurgitated from mainstream news. Sycophants, you will love him. Self-respecting individuals, avoid him.”

“Avoid, avoid, avoid. Totally disorganized; doesn’t teach; forces students to take on his pet projects; is inaccessible partially bc he lives hrs away; and leaves students with no idea of what is expected of them. The quintessence of a tenured prof who teaches as minimally as possible. Don’t be fooled by his kindness: his grad course is just awful.”

Teacher’s Pet: “One of the best professors at UBC, in my opinion. So what if he sometimes mentions his famous friends that he’s worked with? At least he’s not stuck in the elitist academic ivory tower like the majority of social science professors. He knows what he’s talking about. Great class (very engaging) and I highly recommend taking a course with him.”

#8 JANICE STEIN
Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T.
Salary: $288,238
Rating: 2.7/5janice Stein
The Ayatollah of TVO-la is perhaps the most ubiquitous and relentless croak of reason in current affairs programming. Imagine, for a moment, the plight of her students, denied the redemptive power of the mute button. Or just read on.

“She speaks so damn slowly like we’re retarded babies or something. She also has a HUGE ego. I mean, professor of International Relations and she doesn’t even know what happened to the Americans in Somalia. I think when you’re making 6 figures a year, you should be able to rent Black Hawk Down. No?”

“When i asked her a question about a book she wrote, she said she doesn’t remember because it’s been a long time she wrote it, and that i should just keep on reading it. not very helpful.”

“Very over-rated. I can’t think of a single salient thing I learned in that class. Best lecture of year was given by the TA! No creativity or effort to meaningfully engage students was put into the class. She is helping to create yet another generation of heartless bureaucrats.”

“My God her voice gets so annoying to the point where your ears dont want to take anything in…. your body shivers as she speaks… your mind loses knowledge as she breathes. Suicide is almost a possibility with her…no joke she is that BORING!”

“Extremely boring…Simple minded biased War-Monger…COULD ANY ONE TELL ME WHY SHE IS ON TV? GAAAD!!!

Teacher’s Pet: “Brilliant professor! Her perspectives are worth listening to. Although not usually in lectures; it’s because she has conferences.”

#9 ANDREW COHEN
Journalism, Cartoon U.
Salary; $148,677
RATING: 2.5/5Andrew Cohen (r)

Appropriately, Last Chance U’s J-Skool and Dude Ranch houses this bottom-of-the barrel celebrity prof and foreign affairs essayist.

“Doesn’t really teach but rather talks about his ‘grand achievements’ and issues that are no longer relevant for three hours (which I wish I had spent elsewhere right now). He’s still living in the 1990s and praises the United States and the EU. Picks favorites on the very first day and they are the only ones getting A’s for the rest of the year.

“Thinks of himself as Walter Lippmann or Bob Woodward. Has bizarre psychological complex requiring him to trash others to feel good. Scary.” “Full of himself. Tries to name drop all the time. Rude to guest lecturers – in the way he speaks to them and when he (regularly) falls asleep while they speak. Puts people down. Has favourites. Not helpful.”

“Pompous ass, who likes to play favourites”

Teacher’s Pet: “Cohen is a strange guy with a weird sense of humour. I can understand why people dislike his class,but he’s a great prof. Tells you what you did wrong and how to fix it. Really improved my writing and research skills! Classes are easy too.”

#10 AMANDA PEET
Physics, University of Toronto
Salary: $136,881
RATING: 2.5/5

Amanda Peet (not exactly as illustrated)

Amanda Peet (not exactly as illustrated)

She is not, Frank was disappointed to discover, the leggy star of The Whole Nine Yards and Identity Thief, but a theoretical physicist who wanks in public about string theory, “a unified theoretical framework for all known matter and forces.” Trippy, sure, but still a letdown.

“Words cannot describe how horrible she is. thermal physics itself is more interesting than A LOT of other subjects. But this old woman ruined the whole experience with a test and an exam which had nothing to do with anything we supposedly learned in the course. definitely NOT recommended.”

“So basically, what I learned from this course is that all of physics is simply a prop for string theory…even though it isn’t even a widely accepted theory!”

“She’s rude, she tells stupid jokes, she wastes a lot of class time telling tales, she will not extend herself in anyway to help you so you better show up at office hours.”

“‘I just got back from an invite-only party at stephen hawking’s place…’—sound familiar????”

Teacher’s Pet: “Yup, she’s can be pretty rude and abrupt. But she can also be funny and personable. Total mad scientist. The bottom line is that I learned more in this class than I have in any other class, and she got me (a sociology student) totally hooked on physics. I’d still totally recommend the class.”

#11 CATHY DUNPHY
Journalism, Ryerson University
Rating: 2.3Catherine Dunphy

Rebarbative ex-Toronto Star hackette and Hank Morgentaler hagiographer proves once again that those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, teach journalism.

“Worst prof I ever had”

“Antagonizes students intentionally. When she gives advice, if you follow it, expect to get a bad mark. Worst professor I’ve ever had, and that’s without exaggeration.”

“She’s extremely demeaning.”

“Let’s just put it this way: she makes ME feel ashamed for the kind of person she is.”

Teacher’s Pet: One of the best journalism professors. I had her both semesters in my first year and she taught me everything I know about writing an article. Her marking is hard but it teaches you to not make mistakes. She might be strict in the classroom but once you get to know her, she’s a great woman. I recommend her to first year students.

#12 MARTHA JACKMAN
Law, University of Ottawa
Salary: $150,463
Rating: 2.2Martha Jackman (centre)

“All-round awful experience. Complete lack of professionalism and enthusiasm. Self-proclaimed ‘commie ****’. Beware…”

“Most ignorant prof ever! PS…Nfld is not a part of the maritimes!”

“Not exactly ‘open’ to conflicting points of view…”

Teacher’s Pet: This prof gets you thinking outside the box. It is challenging to keep up with her ideas at time, but this is law school… it’s to be expected!!! Learned more from her than most profs. Taught how to plead both sides and gave pratical exercices. Overall great experience!

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One comment on “The Dismal Dozen: Worst celebrity profs, Part Deux
  1. SandyC says:

    Having been a professor for many years myself, I know how memorably merciless students can be. One of my colleagues received the comment: ” She hates you already.” Another wrote of my wardrobe: ” oh dear!” ouch!

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