Professor tells student "Australia isn't a country" and gives her a failing grade



SNHU has a land presence with residential students. That campus, which you pictured, is physically separate from (by a mile or two) the large old mill buildings on the Merrimack river in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.

These beautiful old mill buildings are four floors wall-to-wall full of cubicles, with some meeting rooms near the windows and a few offices with doors for the higher ranking employees. The cubicles are filled to overflowing with people who are called counselors and advocates, and their sole purpose is to guide students through their education. They are not educators. They are local hires, usually 20 somethings (not that that’s bad, just inexperienced) and all they do is call students and intervene on their behalf to cajole adjuncts into giving those students better grades. Why? To make the student happy so that they keep sending the $$$ for tuition.

“Teaching” at SNHU is an exercise in wearing out your mouse. ALL YOU DO is click little boxes on the overspecified grading rubric to dole out grades, and make a few vague comments. Your role as adjunct is threefold:

  1. write a weekly missive to the class describing the week’s lesson
  2. respond to students in the blackboard discussion groups
  3. grade their work.

The grading scale is not a normal curve. The grading scale is heavily skewed towards the equivalent of A. They want their students happy at all costs. They have low standards. They expect adjuncts to comply. Counselors call and email you constantly to needle you into giving people higher grades. Students expect high marks for low work.

That’s their system. You don’t lecture. You don’t get to present new materials. At one point, they started doing away with video type “lectures” and information because video that has not been specially prepared is non-inclusive of hearing-disabled and vision-disabled students. So, no more youtubes. No addressing the class live in a Hangouts or Zoom webinar. What’s left? Nothing, really. Just writing a couple paragraphs. That’s not teaching. It’s a farce.

@Mindysan33, you get to lecture, right? Stamp your imprimatur on the burgeoning minds in your classes? Well, not so at SNHU. They want as little of YOU as they can dilute out, and to reduce the material to something that doesn’t even really resemble an in-person type of education.

I was teaching analytic courses with no problem sets or programming exercises. They wanted people to write essays and I was to grade them on participation in online message-board discussions. Technical, engineering-type material… and I was to grade them on their discussion participation, how many people they replied to.

Can you believe it?

Because it was never about the education. It was about getting that money. Pay your workers shit. Hire a bunch of people to make students happy. Dumb down the material. Skew the grading rubric towards high marks. Do away with difficult assignments. Get rid of difficult workers who want academic rigor. I have never taken part in a racket before or since and I hope never to again.

The residential programs at SNHU are fine. Those are normal. The online university is worthless.

That said, I met a couple of really stellar students who became friends. These were people who had no choice, due to life circumstances, but to get their degrees online… I’m glad I met them. They are great people, and would succeed at anything they put their minds to. I’m just sad they had to waste their time and money on such a crappy education.


They are nominally non-profit. They are for-profit in the sense that they need the non-profit status to scoop federal/veteran’s bill money to pay for tuition. That money is then funnelled to a few high-salary individuals, trustees and other trusts that the school has set up to launder its money. Do you think I am making this up? I am not.


I think they’re accredited, and nominally is the worst kind of correct.

Why you took a word dump on me for something I said to two other people is beyond me, and a whole other topic I’d rather not delve into. Sounds like a lovely place to work.


If you lived in New England you’d understand my statement.

SNHU runs TV ads at saturation levels here. IIRC they spend near $100,000,000 / year on advertising.

It’s president makes more than the President of Dartmouth. He’s certainly profiting.


Did you know that New South Wales weigh 120 pounds? Old South Wales can reach 12,000 pounds and live to be 100 years old.


I had a similar experience with a prof over empirical formula of glucose. I left it a cussing out the prof in his office. Today, I’d not.


In all fairness the US is a very large country and international travel is expensive and out of reach of a large portion of Americans. Most of us that do get more than 2 weeks a year off work aren’t allowed to take it in one lump.


It’s not about you… I was lending context to the conversation because I have first hand Intel on this particular topic.


Around 2 billion years ago the world was all joined together as one giant supercontinent named Nuna before each continent split and drifted apart.

I hear that they’re trying to get the band back together. Real old time rock and roll.

He was only using 10% of his brain. /s

Another Trumpster fire?



Revenue - $581,366,224.00
Assets - $549,581,871.00
Contributions - $0.00


If they are pulling in almost 600 million a year, tax free, and only have assets of half a billion, where is the money going? There is no way operating expenses are 500 million a year for that place. That money is being massively funneled somewhere.


Unfortunately, even in reasonably reputable non-profits, executive pay has followed the course of that in the for-profit world. The myth of the “super star” CEO is pervasive.

I’d guess that they also spend a fair amount of time helping the students with their financial aid forms. Because without those, the whole exercise falls apart.


Roger that.


Are you suggesting that all existentialists are oddballs, or that he might be an existentialist that is also an oddball? I can’t really see one arguing that the world doesn’t exist, since ithat’s what produces the phenomenon.


Apparently, the professor has been fired.


Ah, but that’s how the Dunning-Kruger effect works – there is no doubt. The professor was absolutely convinced she was correct, so why would she bother checking her facts?


“Please make sure the date, the facts, and the information you provide in your report is about…” Shouldn’t this be “ARE about”??? I once had a T.A. in college write “Opine is not a word” in the margin of a paper I wrote.


I’ve performed inspections of the mills you referenced earlier.

as for the 100MM/annual advertising budget, IDTYRC, but they’re your citations to bring into the discussion. And if you’d like to offer some deeper context for the salary figure, that’d be great too.

But don’t invite me to debate who I am. I’m not the subject, and that’s a fallacious move. Lends no credibility to your points, whether you discredit my bona fides or not. Your speaking to me are my bona fides, or you wouldn’t bother, right?

I hope you offer some citations about those figures, and heck, about where I live since you would seem to have those facts too. Why would I ever doubt the veracity of rest?!?


I think he means Existentialologists. It’s just like existentialism, but other people do the being and nothingness parts. If it didn’t exist, someone would just have to do it.