Professor Lost It At Student's Loud Yawn

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:21:52 +0000



As a former Full Professor who retired early due to family reasons, I really sympathize with this Cornell U. “professor” who lost it. He’s Mark Talbert, a Senior Lecturer (not Professor or Dr.; he has a Master’s degree, not Ph.D.) at Cornell U.’s School of Hotel Administration.

But I also know that the way Talbert handled the yawning incident is most unwise and just plain ineffective. That student who made the loud yawn clearly was baiting Talbert — and Talbert took the bait. I would have either ignored the yawn or say something funny with a BIG smile.

I am 100% certain Talbert’s students — including those who did not yawn — will retaliate, giving him terrible reviews in their anonymous end-of-semester course evaluations and on the RateMyProfessor website, where he has an overall rating of 2.4 (out of a maximum 5.0). Ouch.

Students can be extremely vicious. I can safely predict that Mr. Talbert will remain a Senior Lecturer and will never get a “ladder” tenure-track position as a junior Assistant Professor.


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