TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bad Student Evaluations in Tax Courses

The following student evaluation at the University of Georgia has sparked a lot of commentary:

[Professor X] is a complete asshole. I hope he chokes on a dick, gets AIDS and dies. To hell with all gay teachers who are terrible with their jobs and try to fail students!"

The commentary has mainly concerned the appropriateness of the university's actions in sanctioning the student for, among other things, harassment in light of the professor's sexual orientation.  Dave Hoffman has taken a different tack and opened a Bad Student Evaluation Hall of Fame:

Now the first-amendment and privacy law implications of disciplining the student are outside of my area of expertise. ...  But the post does prompt me to put up a project I've been thinking about for a while: a hall of fame for bad student evaluations. The idea is for you folks (commentators!) to give examples of the most ridiculous, funny, and insightful negative evaluations you've gotten in courses you've taught.

Let's try a tax version -- the comments are open for you to share "the most ridiculous, funny, and insightful negative evaluations you've gotten" in your tax courses.

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Legal bloggers are talking about a recent state university that punished a student for an extremely inflammatory teacher evaluation. Problem is, of course, most schools promise anonymity with regard to student evaluations of teachers.So what should t... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 29, 2008 12:49:05 PM


One time when I was handing out the evaluation forms to my class and on my way out the door (our rules require that we not be in the room while the students fill them out), I asked if there were any questions. A guy toward the back raised his hand. "Is a*shole one word or two?"

Posted by: Jack Bog | Jan 26, 2008 1:50:29 PM

I once had a student write at length criticizing my necktie for being too short and not tied properly.

Posted by: Gwailo | Jan 26, 2008 3:45:20 PM

"I paid money for this? All I did was read the Code and Regs. I could have done that myself."

Posted by: Adjunct Tax Prof. | Jan 26, 2008 3:45:52 PM

Volokh gets it right. That the lawprof sought to hunt the law student down over a course evaluation is truly frightening.

Posted by: Jake | Jan 26, 2008 7:25:31 PM

A student once wrote that my "voice was annoying." Nice. Is that all you've got?

Posted by: Kelly | Jan 27, 2008 5:15:25 AM

I had one student say I was an awful teacher because she couldn't understand my lectures, especially when she had not prepared for class.

Posted by: Clare | Jan 28, 2008 6:23:10 AM

One of my comments was "lose the jokes". I guess the student wanted and expected a boring class and was disappointed in not getting it.

Posted by: Cheyanna Jaffke | Jan 28, 2008 12:19:26 PM

Comments from the SAME course in the SAME semester at Georgetown (true):

The instructor was ineffective in achieving the goals of the course; and The organization and instruction in this course was superb.

The instructor should be removed from Georgetown’s adjunct faculty, he is extremely rude and abrasive. He only showed contempt and disrespect towards the class; and Excellent quality of instruction, good rapport with students.

I have never met anyone who as been more callous or indifferent to the feelings of other people; and The most helpful instructor I’ve had at this institution.

My favorite:

If this professor continues to teach this course, the course should be dropped; and Retain the instructor to teach this course.

I have a framed montage of those comments in my office. I treasure it.

Posted by: Michael Mulroney | Jan 28, 2008 1:45:37 PM