What Professors Prioritize

Here’s an interesting longish read on how impossible it turned out to publish a study that analyzed which kind of professors prioritized knowledge and which kinds were more interested in SJWing.

Professors were asked to rank the following according to the degree of importance:

  1. Academic rigor
  2. Knowledge advancement
  3. Academic freedom
  4. Students’ emotional well-being
  5. Social Justice

For me it would be 2, 3 (understood as nobody telling me what to teach), 1, 4. I wouldn’t put 5 on my list at all because it has zero meaning other than a professor filling up class time with complete idiocy because she has no actual material she can teach.

Here’s what the study found:

  • Relatively conservative professors valued academic rigor and knowledge advancement more than did relatively liberal professors.
  • Relatively liberal professors valued social justice and student emotional well-being more so than did relatively conservative professors.
  • Professors identifying as female also tended to place relative emphasis on social justice and emotional well-being (relative to professors who identified as male).
  • Business professors placed relative emphasis on knowledge advancement and academic rigor while Education professors placed relative emphasis on social justice and student emotional well-being.
  • Regardless of these other factors, relatively agreeable professors tend to place higher emphasis on social justice and emotional well-being of students.

This explains gender disparities in student evaluations very well.

12 thoughts on “What Professors Prioritize”

  1. It’s a sad result for academia as a whole. I’d hope that knowledge advancement would be number 1 with all professors. Looks like universities are becoming reeducation camps.


  2. Imo they should have asked how much professors valued student conformity, since in my experience, quite a few professors want students to do what they want/follow orders/accept what the professor says unquestioningly to a significant degree in a way that is totally independent to body of knowledge/learning outcomes.


    1. Yes. I’ve been surprised to find how VERY many faculty want students to agree with them, I wasn’t educated that way and don’t expect it, don’t think it is normal to expect it, but it seems to be what many students and faculty are used to


        1. Where I studied, most. That’s why I think it’s normal. I notice a lot of students are very committed to the idea that they must guess the professor’s opinions and espouse them to pass. It’s very frustrating to have them do that — they mostly don’t do it well, and if they succeed in producing a realistic echo, it’s boring. This is another of the reasons I don’t try to pretend I’m neutral. I do distinguish between facts and interpretation and tell them what I’m hoping for is not a repetition of my interpretation but a different interpretation that is well enough founded to convince me I could, should might reconsider mine, or add another layer of nuance to mine, etc.


      1. When in university, I asked a lot of questions and let a few professors know when I didn’t agree with their answer or that their answer was inadequate. I also did things like skip lectures that were too inconvenient eg if there there was a single lecture first thing in the morning then nothing for 5 hours followed by 3 lectures straight, I would skip the first one altogether and tell professors to respect other people’s time.

        Faculty let me know that they didn’t like that kind of thing by consistently marking various assessments down so that I would be failing until the final exam, at which point I would pass, even though a passing grade was only achievable had I scored 120% in the exam or something equally absurd.

        It’s been a long time, but I haven’t forgiven any of them.


        1. I don’t understand why you thought it was your morning professor’s fault that there was a gap between their class and your afternoon ones.


          1. Also: your disagreements and claims of inadequacy may have been informed and interesting ones or bullheaded ones. I had a student who complained to and then about me because according to him his grade added up to 55% and according to me it was 75%. My arithmetic skills were better than his and it was a good thing for him since he was passing the course, but he really, really wanted to be able to say he was failing and I was failing him AND he was not strong in arithmetic.


  3. It depends on where I am. 1, 2 and 3 would be my priorities in an ideal situation but when students have horrible situations that must be addressed if we are to get to 1, 2, and 3, then 4 and 5 become important.


  4. For me,
    3 (without that the rest is irrelevant)
    2 whole point
    1 often a great thing, but at times can get in the way of 2, so….
    4 (to the extent that it’s the instructor’s business, which is in class and not much else…)
    huge (vamp till ready)
    5 (interpreting this very broadly as ‘instructor’s political hobby horses’ because it doesn’t matter what side it’s about)


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