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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    1

    Unhappy Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Ohio

    I am an education major and was applying for a program that would allow me to move back home with family and complete my student teaching semester. I originally considered this program because of the cost and demands associated with student teaching and our inability to work during this semester. My professor lied on me in a recommendation letter and caused me to be removed from the application process without the option to appeal their decision. In the letter she stated that I was not a strong student, I had many late and revised assignments and that I was unprofessional and didn't complete my portion of group assignments. I had 1 paper late out of 20 and one paper that was revised due to mis-communication on the professor's behalf (I still have all of my documentation). Many of the students within the class had to revise the same assignment because she never informed us that it should be completed in a specific format. My grade in this class was an A.

    Nevertheless, I am the only student that received a negative recommendation letter from this professor, I am the only African American in my class as well as the only African American to apply for the distant teaching program. I met with the professor and she stated that regardless if the revised assignment was due to a communication error, it should still be considered in my letter, this wasn't mentioned in anyone else's recommendation letter that had to revise this assignment. I was absent from class once. This was the day my class was assigned to groups to complete an assignment during class, because my absence was excused I received and alternative assignment. My professor said in the letter that I neglected to complete my portion of the group work and in the meeting she said this was because I was absent, even though I was never apart of a group to neglect it. As a result of this decision I have to stay in this city my final semester and forfeit my opportunity to enhance my career by student teaching in another state, and I still have attend the same professor's class that was biased toward me in the letter. I feel as though the university is responsible for all of the fees I incur as a result of staying here. I also think that my future job opportunities have been jeopardized being that student teaching can give professional exposure in the district you would like to be employed in. I have tried to resolve this through the university and they keep ignoring me or passing me to someone else, I've even been sent to one department three times even though they never helped me the first time. What should I do?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    If there is a higher authority than the people you've already talked to, talk to them. It sounds to me like you're fighting a losing battle though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    It sounds like the professor is sharing an opinion, that happens to be unflattering, based upon what you agree to be an essentially accurate factual framework. Under normal circumstances, negative or unflattering opinions won't support a defamation action.

    I'm reminded of an anecdote about a letter of recommendation received by a college admissions officer from a prominent politician, to the effect of, "Dear Admissions Officer, Mr. Smith requested that I send you a letter of recommendation on behalf of his son. Here it is. Sincerely...."

    Why did you choose this professor to write the letter?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    The above poster is right unless you had to get a recommendation from this professor. If you requested this person to be a recommender then they are allowed to express their opinion and since you requested their opinion they can essentially say what they want, because you asked for it.

    If it was mandatory that this professor had to give you a recommendation then some sort of action may be available. However, a lot of the statements seem like opinions which the professor is entitled to have. Although documentation of you receiving an A in the course would be quite helpful if you pursued any type of litigation.

    There may be something here, but more facts need to be explained you should probably speak to a lawyer regarding the situation. In these type of lawsuits the attorney generally charges you on a contingency basis which means you pay nothing unless you win.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    Quote Quoting chicocats
    View Post
    There may be something here, but more facts need to be explained you should probably speak to a lawyer regarding the situation. In these type of lawsuits the attorney generally charges you on a contingency basis which means you pay nothing unless you win.
    I have my doubts about lawyers taking something like this on a contingency basis...unless they're retired, truly benevolent or smell class action with a big payoff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Professor Gave Student a Poor Recommendation

    If it was mandatory that this professor had to give you a recommendation then some sort of action may be available.
    In what universe? No, professor recommendations are matters of opinion, and no professor is obligated to do any more than express their opinion. It need not be peaches and unicorns.

    In these type of lawsuits the attorney generally charges you on a contingency basis which means you pay nothing unless you win.
    No. Dreamland wishes, not the way things actually work.
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