Professor Doom

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BusinessManIT, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member

    There is a certain educator who styles himself/herself as "Professor Doom". The true identity of this person is not known since he/she would like to remain incognito. This person has some interesting thoughts on education, especially on accreditation, distance learning, and online degrees. Professor Doom has a website where he/she states these ideas:

    Confessions of a College Professor

    I would like to know what everyone here thinks of Professor Doom, after perusing his/her website.
  2. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member

  3. GeeBee

    GeeBee Member

    His choice of words indicate that he is more interested in making people angry than engaging in serious discussion. As I was reading through his essay I started to pick apart his logical fallacies, then decided it wasn't worth my time. I will just say that none of the online courses I have taken have been anything like he ones that he describes.
  4. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member


    Yes, his views are something else. I also have taken online coursework that was very good, and I support online education. I like the part where he claims that as soon as employers learn that an applicant has an online degree, they immediately throw that applicant's resume into the trash. Every single employer does that. 100%. No exceptions! Amazing!
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I learned long ago to stop making pronouncements about what "every employer" does or does not do.

    Heck, I learned that I can't even make pronouncements about what I would never (or would always) do.

    Shortly after I became an HR Business Partner I said "Well, I would never hire a registered sex offender." Seemed like a safe bet. Then came the one exception and down my grand pronouncement went.

    What I simultaneously love and hate about the internet is that anyone can say whatever stupid thing pops into their head. I could start an anonymous blog called "Mr. Doom, PHR" and do the same sort of thing. The cool/sick part of it is that I am likely to gain at least a handful of followers.
  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    A few truths . . .

    First, bloggers are people who can’t be published elsewhere or who have lived out their usefulness in the writer’s marketplace. No one gives a crap about what they have to say except for others who don’t have a life. No exception.

    (If any of you are Doonesbury followers, remember when Rick Redfern was “retired” by the Washington Post and became a blogger? Suddenly he was no longer given the time of day by people of any importance. That’s a realistic picture of the world of blogging. Yes, there will always be mindless dolts who get their rocks off bhy reading – and writing – blogs, but they are insignificant twits. Yeah, all of them.)

    Second, people who write or post anonymously have zero credibility. Zero. Who am I to say that? I’m Steve Levicoff, and anyone who wants to know anything about me can find out everything they want to know with a little bit of research. That’s why John Bear, Rich Douglas, and even Jimmy Clifton, ad infinitum, will always have more credibility than people who post anonymously.

    There are a few exceptions to the above principle. Neuhaus, for example, has established his credibility by the quality of his posts, his obvious knowledge of and experience in the HRD field, and the disclosure of his credentials. And frankly, I don’t blame those who are credible for keeping the details of their identity to themselves – there are so many whack jobs out there (think the DLT gang) who would create havoc in your life because they don’t have lives of their own. (Don’t get me wrong, I think the DLT gang is hysterically funny sometimes, but what they did to George Gollin and Uncle Janko alone should be a crime.)

    Finally, I can’t say that I see credibility in anyone who lists their degrees in a sig line but does not indicate the institutional source of those degrees. By full name of the institution, not some idiotic abbreviation with which few would be familiar. Granted, most people around here know what TESC is, but that’s in-house language. Unless you graduated Oxon or Cantab (abbreviations are more common in Europe than in the U.S.), avoid the abbreviations. The average reader will not be familiar with TUI, SNHU, WNMU, or FHSU (especially TUI, which generally means Touro today, but at one time meant Union).

    Not to mention the idiots who write an inquiry post about a school and use an abbreviation that no one has heard of, neglects to post the URL for the school’s web site, and expects that people will be intimately familiar with every piss-ant program out there.

    Well, so much for my “blog.” I could tell you about how I think online universities and degrees in leadership are bullshit, but I don’t want to open those cans of worms. Oooooops, I just did, didn’t I? :yeah:

    P.S. Why, golly, gee. I just noticed that I now have over 400 posts!!! Okay, I realize that doesn't compare with those of you with over 10,000 posts. But I do have a life.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I will note, however, that "Neuhaus" is, in fact, my last name. The reason I never use my first name ("Joseph" in case anyone is curious) is because I seldom use my first name. I went by "Joe" at Scranton and before but the Navy got me used to the idea of being called "Neuhaus" all the time. My wife, in fact, calls me "Jay" because her father's name is Joseph and apparently that weirds her out.
  8. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    One of my degrees is online. The other two are very traditional on ground degrees. I teach full time at a regionally accredited state university of over 20,000 students that fields sports teams that compete at the highest NCAA D1 levels, including for bowl games in football. OK, so now you know it's not a podunk place. The online degree is what put me over the top and enabled me to get a tenure track position at such a university. So much for his premise that potential employers toss the online degrees in the circular file.

    I teach online (in addition to on ground in a very traditional classroom setting). I have taught online for 11 years, on ground for 12. Roughly 50 courses in each format. I have studied the pedagogy and effectiveness of both, I've read some of the research into it, I've published in a journal that focuses exclusively on online pedagogy. I bet I know a great deal more about this than Professor Doom.

    I read some of his gems of wisdom. E.g., Professor Doom tries to make meaningful extrapolations from online high schools to online universities. That is a patently absurd position to take. Professor Doom should know this.

    It is one thing to be ignorant. I am ignorant of many things. It is another thing to be stupid. Stupid is when you are ignorant, yet think you can strive forward and make definitive statements about things of which you are ignorant.

    Ergo, Professor Doom is stupid.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2015
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The anonymity really causes me to question the guy. I get why FTFaculty maintains anonymity. This is a forum. And, as we've seen, sometimes ANY of us can get a little charged up and say something we really don't want to put our name to. And we certainly don't want those things posted forever. We've seen how easily an old thread can be necromanced let alone how often people just read through old threads.

    But this guy has the luxury of carefully choosing his words. And a number of professors maintain blogs. And a number of professors have controversial opinions on those blogs. They have the academic freedom to be controversial (as long as they don't say, single out a grad student by name and cause your idiot followers to send her death threats, for example). So this guy (or gal?) is a) full of crap and isn't a professor at all b) is an adjunct who is angry about being an adjunct c) is a complete coward or possibly some combination of the three.

    I teach at a CC. And I am happy to offer my criticism of the current push for everyone to attend a CC. But, it's also a ludicrous statement that CCs are worthless and no self respecting university accepts their credits (Doom's words). I'm happy to offer that opinion in a well thought out, respectful manner because that's how intellectual discourse works. Lobbing insults from behind a computer screen anonymously isn't intellectual discourse and if Professor Doom IS simply angry about not getting tenure I'd say it likely has more to do with a pissy attitude and poor judgment than the state of higher ed in the US.

    Oh, and "Professor Doom?" That's too hokey to even be a good Bond Villain name. All signs point to "living in parents basement teaching English Comp 1 on a per semester basis."
  10. jhp

    jhp Member

    I, and many in my industry can share our research work only through blogs at a reasonable cost. Right now, I have three "blog posts" I am going to post and timeliness. It would cost me upwards of $10,000 to publish some, in an unacceptable timetable. Some other work results are so short, it does not warrant publishing in a peer reviewed journal, yet important for others in the industry to know.

    I would guess 99.2% of blogs fall into the category you describe.

    In my field, it is a legal liability, and possible life threatening to family, friends, and self to self identify in social media.

    Blog anonymity indeed creates a fascinating psychological issue, often abnormal.

    Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2015
  11. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I wonder where PD teaches? Because the great majority of universities accept CC credits, including many elites. Harvard accepts up to 64 credits to be transferred into their ALB program. Are they "self respecting"?

    Interesting anecdote: I taught first at a CC, then at a large state university, where I still am on the faculty. After having taught all those years at the "inferior" CC, I gave the same sort of exam my first semester to the big uni students that the CC students had been handling for several years with decent grades. First time out of the chute, through three classes the average at big uni was 60%; out of 150 students, no As, 2 Bs, all the rest C, D, F. Had to curve the daylights out of it and start dumbing the tests down or my chair would've had a coronary. It has taken many years of earning a reputation as the toughest grader in the department of my particular discipline (evidently marginal students have checked my difficulty rating on Ratemyprofessors and have self-selected out of my classes) before I've finally, gradually, been able to ramp up the difficulty level and get it back up to what it was with the CC students all those years before.

    So enough of this poor. paltry CC nonsense, I know that theory to be every bit as farcical as Prof Dooms' other theories.
  12. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member

    Professor Doom (Again)

    O my gosh, Professor Doom does not like our DegreeInfo site very much! He writes about us in his latest article called "Do Entire Troll Websites Exist?" Apparently he thinks that many people on DegreeInfo "bought" their degrees rather than earned them. :no:

    Confessions of a College Professor
  13. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Professor Doom,

    I read what you said of me, you wondered what I teach and assumed it must not relate to matters logical. In fact, you could easily have looked up what I teach if you'd done five minutes of cursory investigation on this very site--in other words, if you'd done the sort of research that one would expect of the average freshman. How ironic that you berate a poster on this forum for not checking into your background on your forum when you have failed to do the same to me on this forum. Had you done what you ridiculed one here for failing to do, you'd have found that I teach law and accounting; I've taught a section on logic in every law course dating back 12 years.

    The reason I took offense to your comparison of high school and university online education is because anyone who has taught a significant number of online courses recognizes that success in the online milieu is very much a function of maturity level. Graduate, upper division and non-traditional students typically have a great deal more success than underclassmen, and given this paradigm, to compare children in an online high school environment to university students taking online courses is specious and betrays your ignorance of the subject.

    The essential problem with your blog is you make absolute statements about community colleges and online education and fail to indicate your expertise to support such assertions. There is no nuance in your judgments, none of the consideration for all perspectives that indicates the mind of a bona fide academic. For all I know you are an adjunct on the fringes, neither publishing, researching, nor understanding that which you condemn, presenting yourself as a "professor" when you have never held the title.

    You tell us on your forum that it's obvious you don't teach English Comp--and indeed it is; never was a truer statement made!

    You certainly fit the mold of the fringe-dweller, the statements you make (community colleges = scam, virtually all online education = deposited in trash, online degrees are purchased) are more indicative of the polemics I see written by sophomores who have not yet grasped that subtlety that only a thorough education can provide.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2015
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I didn't buy my PhD. Sallie Mae did. I'm paying them over a very long time, though.

    I DID buy my DSocSci, though. Cash money.

    Or was he implying something else?
  15. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    That’s pretty funny, Rich.

    Anyway . . . Ladies and gentlemen, and those who have yet to decide:*

    I know it’s tempting, but try not to engage in a pissing contest with this joker (Professor Doom). Pissing contests go nowhere, and the dude is insignificant in the end run.

    It is amusing, though, that Doom could not get onto DI. Somehow, everyone else manages to join our happy band. Since Doom couldn’t get his act together to join us, he ended up making an ass of himself on his own blog instead of on DI. Now, that’s really funny.

    I’m so delighted that he quoted me. But he probably doesn’t even know who I am. Which is quite alright avec moi.

    As for our being a troll web site, I think that DLT beat us to that one years ago.

    * I wish I had thought of that line. It’s from Kinky Boots.

    P.S. Although I appreciate Rich's line of thinking, and his humor, I didn't buy my own degrees (although they cost me quite a bit). As John Houseman would say, I got them the old-fashioned way: I earned them. Final thought: Doom may have done us a favor - by posting the URL of DI, we may get some folks who see through his act and want real answers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2015
  16. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Yes, Dr. Douglas, same here. I am still paying for my master's that was obtained online and will for some time to come (the JD was earned so long ago it's been paid off for well over a decade--though I think psychologically I'll always be paying for it).

    I suppose as you mention tongue-in-cheek, he was implying something else. For one who states that others make "laughable" assertions and frequently accuses others of ad hominem reasoning, Professor Doom sure does make almost a laughably excessive use of ad hominem. Referring to an entire site as a troll site, with the implications that every single poster here is apparently a troll by association? Is that not virtually the textbook definition of ad hominem? Something like Mussolini accusing someone of narcissism.
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    People register to join DegreeInfo all the time and, to my knowledge, that component of the site is working properly. It's possible that he's having difficulty because he was previously banned but, other than spammers, we haven't been banning people much at all. I would invite this ummm-person to contact us directly so that any registration problems can be resolved. It might be fun.
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    There is limited space to list things in one's signature, but I have mentioned the colleges I've attended many times. There are some people who don't even have a signature. I maintain anonymity online because of the nature of the field in which I am trying to enter. Some people say so many stupid things, they should be anonymous.

    Obviously, Professor Doom doesn't understand the purpose of this website. The degrees are listed in signatures for informational purposes. I've had several people ask me about my PhD program (which is not online by the way).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2015
  19. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member

    Agree With Sanantone

    Sanantone is right. Degree listings in signature lines are for informational purposes on this site. In addition, if someone has earned a degree they have the right to display it or mention it and not hide it. Professor Doom should not get uptight about this.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    On the other forum, where members are allowed more characters, I've included the cost and time it took to complete my master's. That has also garnered interest from several people who didn't know about this option.

    For employers to discriminate against an online degree, they have to first know it was earned online. Not that I try to hide it, but no one has ever suspected that I earned my master's online because it came from a school in the same state. Even though my work history makes it quite clear that I've been in Texas the whole time, no one has ever asked me if I earned my TESC degree online. One HR person assumed that I was from New Jersey. If you go to TESC's website, it's easy to tell that it's a primarily online school, but most people have never heard of it. All they see is Thomas Edison State College, and that's good enough for them.

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