AU on

By Lindsay Cameron

If the professor has an overall rating of less than three, Caleb Young, sophomore, sees it as a red flag. is a forum of professor ratings by undergraduates, which students across America can consult for advice when scheduling classes. Anyone can rate a professor from any school, and professors are ranked by an overall quality score (an average of their helpfulness and clarity scores), an easiness score and a “chili pepper” rating if a rater thinks the professor is “hot.” Each rater also leaves a comment. Professors can register on the site and rebut comments they believe to be unjustified.

Ashland University has 261 professors listed on, with a professor average of 3.46 out of five.

Young left one comment on during his first semester at AU.

“I disagreed with the teacher’s methods,” he said. “I felt like she wasn’t relaying the information enough in a proper way that students would be able to interpret.”

Young said loses some credibility because of the red hot chili pepper ratings, and professors should not be concerned with their ratings, according to Young.

“It could be incriminating, plus it’s not a professional website,” Young said. “It’s a social network.”

Even though the comments are usually written by students with extreme satisfaction or dissatisfaction, Young said they still validly represent the professor. He thinks the low ratings on the site correlate with some of the professors who were fired from AU in the past.

Young said he uses the site to schedule for his classes and will be using it this semester as well.

Junior Kaylee Clark said if a professor is rated as a hard professor or has a poor overall rating on, she will schedule for the course with a different professor.

The site is somewhat unreliable, Clark said, because students who rate the professors have had either fantastic or atrocious experiences- rarely anything in the middle.

Clark, however, rated two of her professors in rebuttal to the unfair comments she read while searching the site.

“Two of my favorite professors got some bad reviews,” she said. “So I felt it necessary to express my opinion about how I felt about the professors-they were getting a bad rep and didn’t deserve it.”

Clark had Professor William Cummins her freshman year for intermediate Spanish, only because she had taken four years of high school Spanish. comments said Cummins would not stop class to answer questions and that he was not helpful, Clark said.

“I could not speak Spanish at all when I went in there and I almost dropped the class, but he encouraged me to stick with it,” she said.

“He was more than willing to help me after class and I learned a lot, and that was the complete opposite of what they were saying on there [].”

Clark said professors should consult their ratings on the site because students do not take the end-of-semester evaluations seriously.

Senior Bryon Black has rated two of his professors and uses the site as a guide for scheduling his core classes at AU.

“If I were a professor being rated on this site, I would take the comments into careful consideration,” Black said. “Students may say things on this website that they otherwise wouldn’t say on an evaluation or directly to the professor.”

Dr. Dan Lehman, professor of English, said the site is not valid because any student can rate any professor, regardless if they have had this professor for a class.

“The fact that an opinion is posted on the web does not make it true,” Lehman said. “Imagine if one’s livelihood depended on Facebook comments posted in anonymity.”