ProfRecord, a program on the College’s website that lists professors’ grade distributions, is set to return. Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) just aren’t sure when.
Juniors and seniors may remember the program from its glory days — 2007 to 2009 — when ProfRecord was up and running at tcnj.edu/~profrec. Created by SGA and the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), ProfRecord provided searchable grade distribution data for each semester, dating back to 2005. Students could search by class or by teacher. A comment section provided a space for student feedback.
In the fall of 2009, the program was shut down after a period of inactivity.
“One reason (it was shut down) was faculty complaints, and another was that it was not being upkept the way it was supposed to be,” said Corey Dwyer, junior political science major and executive vice president of SGA. Dwyer is currently working to reinstate ProfRecord, along with the organization’s vice president of academic affairs, sophomore history and secondary education major Katie Cugliotta.
Junior political science major Gina Lauterio spearheaded the project during her tenure as vice president of academic affairs last year.
“By the time ProfRecord had been passed to me, it was no longer active. There was no way to log in and change any data on it or add new information,” Lauterio said.
“Therefore, I started working immediately, a year and a half ago now, to try and create a new system that we could actually add recent grades and could be more user-friendly, etcetera.”
The new system will not be accessible from the College’s website — it will be “an entirely separate” page, according to Dwyer.
Those involved with the project are currently looking for a developer. Dwyer said the SGA made progress on creating the new ProfRecord during the summer, but the arrangement it drew up ultimately fell through.
“We got really far this summer. We had a developer in mind, a contract drawn up and a tentative schedule about when we wanted it done,” Dwyer said. “This all came together toward the end of the summer.”
According to Dwyer, financial concerns were part of the reason the plan didn’t come to fruition.
As ProfRecord was initially operated by an on-campus organization, ACM, SGA didn’t need to pay a developer. Compensation was issued via a SGA-funded ACM social event.
However, Dwyer mentioned the organization received funding for the project from the Student Finance Board (SFB).
“We’ve been talking to SFB, and we have $800 allocated for this year,” Dwyer said.
SGA hopes to make the new website “easier to navigate and search,” according to Lauterio. Grade distributions will still be available via the office of Records and Registration. Members are still discussing whether a comments section will be included. A professor’s objection to a comment led to the program’s shutdown last fall.
According to Lauterio, the professor asked SGA to remove the comment. However, at that point, the website couldn’t be accessed to change data.
“After working with the webmaster, I was told that there was no way that we could just take down that one page that was inappropriate,” Lauterio said. “The professor was not satisfied with this and so to avoid any possible legal repercussions, (the College) and SGA both thought it was in our best interest to take the site down, as we were hopefully making progress with a new site anyway.”
Students who used ProfRecord praised the site’s usefulness.
“I found ProfRecord super helpful, especially for liberal learning classes where I wasn’t likely to know about teachers in a department other than that of my major,” Emily Dusedau, junior English major, said. “It was nice to see a grade distribution as well as the comments from fellow students. I found that on ProfRecord people were more likely to give fair reviews of professors, versus ratemyprofessors.com where people tend to rant one way or the other based on personal opinions. I definitely was upset when I went to use it and it was no longer there.”
“I really don’t understand why ProfRecord was deleted. If you are a good, fair professor, you don’t have anything to worry about, and if you aren’t, then you should worry anyway. Everyone just uses a different site for the same information now anyway,” Carrie Graham, junior English major, said. “Now I use ratemyprofessors.com, but it doesn’t seem to have as many of my professors as ProfRecord, and I liked the grade distribution information.”
Emily Brill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.