Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Decoding Rate My Professors

Hearing from the best and worst UTSA professors on the site
Bela Ross

If you are a college student and have yet to hear of (RMP), you must be living off-grid and somehow stumbled upon The Paisano. 

If the above is true, you should know that RMP is a website where students can anonymously assign ratings to their professors. The site has been around since 1999 and is now the largest online destination for professor ratings, with over 8,000 schools and 1.7 million professors featured. 

Users rate their professors on a one to five scale in categories such as “overall quality” and “level of difficulty.” They can also leave a written review or comment about the professor and their teaching style for a given course.

Now, a bad rating does not necessarily reflect a bad professor. More likely, it reflects a hard class where quite a few students got Cs and decided to take out their anger anonymously online. 

But you never know until you ask, so we decided to dig deep and delve into the depths of RMP. For better or worse, we have compiled a list of some of the best and worst-rated professors at UTSA and interviewed them to see if the students are correct or if the professor was misunderstood. The professors below attributed their poor rating to class difficulty, academic dishonesty and high expectations. 

Geneveva Cruz – 1.7

Cruz has 55 “awful” reviews and willingly admitted she is “a pretty demanding professor.” 

“In all honesty, I try not to look at those comments,” the writing professor continued, explaining that she would rather shape her teaching around what students say directly to her. 

“I always say you get what you give in a course. College is not easy. It never has been. It takes effort and dedication to gain all you can out of each course. You can make the experience horrible by putting in minimal effort, or you can give it your all and take something positive with you. That is how my course works.”

In the end, “I give my students what they need to be more confident writers and students. What they choose to do with the opportunity is up to them.”

Benjamin Anderson – 1

Anderson only has three reviews on the site, but all of them are “awful.” All of the reviews mention his strict anti-cheating policy. 

“If asking my students to not cheat in my class (or any class) gets me a one-star rating, I am happy to have it,” Anderson explained.

He responded specifically to one review on RMP, which claims that they “honestly haven’t met a professor so crazy about his students cheating, if you care that much then make exams that are or not easy to cheat on!” Anderson retaliated with “The answer to cheating is not to make the tests harder to cheat on, but for students to display integrity and follow the Roadrunner Creed.” 

Imran Khan – 1.3

On RMP, marketing professor Dr. Khan has 37 “awful” ratings. Students explained, “For an intro class, it [MKT3013] is very challenging.” According to the site, Dr. Khan’s classes are test and paper-heavy, and he is allegedly a strict grader with no exception for late work. 

Upon asking Dr. Khan why he believes he is rated 1.3 out of five among students on this platform, he suggested we take an “analytical approach to first understanding the scope and structure of the site you referred to.” Furthermore, he encouraged students to look at “how social media has created a culture that has led to students viewing teachers differently.” Lastly, he suggested “taking a practical look at how real/unreal these ratings are and to what extent these ratings impact any material outcomes for academia in general.”

Another professor shared similar sentiments about the RMP platform. He explained that he has been teaching at UTSA since 1982, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, “the system has changed and the attitudes [of the students] have changed.” He elaborated that “the internet has been good and awful for education, and the expectation of the students has changed.” He strives to influence their students, but the courses he teaches are difficult, and if people are not putting in the effort, they will fall behind fast.

Honestly, it was hard to dig for these low reviews, and it was much more common to find perfect scores. Among the slew of pedagogic perfection are four of the bunch’s fastest email warriors.

Chris Packham – 5

Packham has 62 “awesome” reviews on RMP. One student stated, “Professor Packham is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. He is very smart and cares a lot about what he teaches as well as the success of all of his students.” Many students described Packham as “understanding” and “passionate.” 

“As a professor, I like to take feedback from any source, including the course evaluations and free-format of,” Packham explained. “I hope that through reading these broad spectrum of inputs, I can optimize my teaching style and approach. Like anyone, I’m happy and content should I receive good ratings on any platform.”

Abraham DeLeon – 5

With 30 perfect reviews, DeLeon believes that his high score “can be attributed to an engaging classroom environment that I build along with my students that cover compelling, provocative and complex concepts.” 

“I try to assign readings that challenge them intellectually,” he explained. “I have a genuine enthusiasm for teaching and have extensive experience in the classroom.” 

His goal is to “foster diverse sets of viewpoints during class discussions and course assignments.” For him, “teaching is always a reciprocal process, and I find joy when my students are successful and walk away from my class with powerful lessons and better understanding about the world around them.”

John Newsom – 5

Newsom only has perfect reviews and is described by one student as “one of the best at UTSA.” 

He explained that he is “honored to be one of the ‘cool kids,’ but from my perspective, a perfect score on RMP is a designation that has little statistical value.” He compared these ratings to a Yelp review. 

“I see reviews that either trash or gush over a place; those are the types of people who like to provide feedback. Their feedback depends on their experience and mood at the time. I’m sure many former students hated me, but they aren’t the review-writing type.”

He concluded, “I feel like I’m the beneficiary of a perfect storm of students who loved me and also provided feedback.”

Ada Zamarripa – 5

When reaching out to Zamarippa about her perfect score on RMP, she exclaimed, “Wow! I didn’t know I had a perfect rating on Rate My Professor! I feel humble.”

Students describe her as “nice,” “friendly” and “understanding.” The Spanish professor explains that “A perfect five out of five score on Rate My Professor is not just a reflection of my teaching ability; it embodies the trust, respect and appreciation shared between myself and my students.”

“Teaching Spanish is my passion. It signifies an environment where learning thrives, connections are forged and excellence is celebrated. To me, it’s not just a rating; it’s a testament to the meaningful impact I strive to make in the lives of those I teach.”

Victoria Gentry – 5

With only “awesome” reviews on the site, Gentry explained that, as a student, she never utilized RMP because she feels that “anonymity gives people so much boldness.” 

She said that “Obviously, it’s nice that I have a good rating,” but she takes the student evaluations she gets at the end of each semester into consideration as well and uses all feedback to ask herself, ‘What was that student thinking?’ so that she can try to make her teaching “more effective for that student so I can then reach their needs.” 

So, maybe these professors’ views on their ratings changed your views of RMP, or maybe they did not. But, the next time you are a second away from leaving a scathing review on a past professor, consider if you are evaluating their effort towards the class or yours. And, when you are mindlessly scrolling through reviews, remember that, in the end, a handful of comments can never perfectly portray a person.

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About the Contributors
Lauren Hernandez
Lauren Hernandez, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Lauren (she/her) is a second year English student at UTSA. After graduation she plans on attending law school. Outside of The Paisano you can usually find her at a concert taking pictures, hiking in the woods, watching movies or thrifting with her sister.
Bela Ross
Bela Ross, Staff Writer
Bela (she/her) is a first-year psychology major and CAP student from San Antonio. Outside of school and writing or creating graphics for The Paisano, she enjoys playing guitar, watching movies and embroidering. This is her second semester at The Paisano.

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