In the United States, there are an estimated 400,000 college and university professors. However, determining who the best teacher is can be a difficult task. That’s where MTV comes in. Earlier this year, the popular music channel purchased RateMyProfessors.com (RMP), and the site has now released its first-ever "Annual RateMyProfessors.com Top 50 Rankings."
RMP gathers feedback from millions of college students who rate their professors. Based on this data, RMP has recognized the professors with the highest ratings in the country. The site also listed the schools that love their professors the most. Students who cannot find their professors on these lists are encouraged to rate them on the RMP site.
Surprisingly, none of the top 50 professors are affiliated with Ivy League schools or other prestigious institutions known for their high costs and academic rigor. Instead, the winners came from less competitive places that are often looked down upon by top-ranking academics. For instance, the hottest teacher, Maria Disavino, teaches chemistry at Manhattan College, which many people have never heard of.
It’s worth noting that the top-rated institution by student vote is Brigham Young University, followed by Southeastern Louisiana University, Christopher Newport University, and Stephen F. Austin University. Not a single Ivy League or high-ranking university made the list until number 50, which is Cornell University.
The most striking revelation from these rankings is that less prestigious schools have higher levels of student satisfaction. Undergraduates at schools like Rhode Island College and Stephen F. Austin University feel they’re getting a better deal than their Ivy League and top-tier counterparts. This might be due to lower fees and humbler students, or it could signal that these less-famous institutions provide better “value for money.”
Although this MTV/RMP poll is not entirely reliable as a conventional register of quality, it does offer some valuable insights and food for thought. Overall, this ranking system should motivate all professors to improve their teaching skills and receive better ratings from like-minded students.
If you attend EMU, Prof Citino will be within arm’s reach, familiar with your name, available during office hours (and other times), and impart knowledge that will remain with you forever. This same accessibility applies to Professors Disavino and Schray. In contrast, Professor Worldfamous at the University of Ivory Tower isn’t endorsed to this extent.
Another discomfiting consideration is how little importance is placed on effective teaching in achieving professional development in both the UK and the US. You could be the most exceptional lecturer and classroom educator, but if you lack publications, attaining tenure is unlikely, at least at the most prestigious institutions. On the other hand, you may be an inferior lecturer to Professor Spooner or Mrs. Malaprop, but possessing the necessary publications in the appropriate places can ensure your future job security. This situation seems awry in certain respects.
Thus, peruse those rankings- however low-cost or reminiscent of MTV they may appear- and make your personal conclusions. As for me, I find the conclusions to be discomforting.