Monday, January 23, 2006

Mental Ward Churchill in the News Again

"University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who is being investigated for alleged plagiarism and other academic offenses, was given straight A's by his fall semester class on the "American Holocaust," the Daily Camera reported Sunday."

So reports the Rocky Mountain News. The weblog has a bit of silly commentary.

I don't understand why student opinions are treated as newsworthy. College kids are the least fit to evaluate a professor. If they could evaluate their courses properly, they wouldn’t need to take the classes to begin with. Students are easily flattered, especially if they've had teachers congratulate them on the brilliance of their platitudinous second-hand opinions. Churchill's class itself is self-selecting, picking up only the most lefty members of the student body.

Evelyn Waugh saw right through this laughable kotowing to student opinion:

"Every effort was made to encourage the children at the public schools to "think for themselves." When they should have been whipped and taught Greek paradigms, they were set arguing about birth control and nationalization. Their crude little opinions were treated with respect. Preachers in the school chapel week after week entrusted the future to their hands. It is hardly surprising that they were Bolshevik at 18 and bored at 20."

It seems student evaluations also return the favor of grade inflation. The Rocky article also notes:

The Camera reported that the school's tenured and tenure-track professors typically score a B for the instructor rating under the current student-feedback system.

All the professors are above average. Just call CU the University of Lake Woebegone.

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