Tenured Canadian Professor Fired for Posting Comments to RateMyProfessor.com

Professors joke about this all the time. We know that our job performance is influenced, in part, by how others perceive our teaching. Websites like RateMyProfessor.com help shape these perceptions, but they are very unreliable because they do not confirm the authenticity of comments. Given how easy it is to game the system, wouldn’t it be funny [yuck yuck yuck] to boost our RateMyProfessor.com rating…and, while there, perhaps take a swipe at some of our colleagues so that we look better by relative comparison?

Stephen Berman, a 30-year math professor at University of Saskatchewan, found out that this is no joke. Berman went to RateMyProfessor.com, anonymously posted 80 comments where he bashed some colleagues he didn’t like and stroked some colleagues he did, and for this he was fired (sub. required). I’m not sure the firing was unwarranted, but it does reinforce the inherent unreliability of any tool that allows people to post anonymous comments about other people.