Throughout my almost two years at UCF, I can safely say that a decent amount of my professors have made my time in college easier and more enjoyable. I’ve had English professors who have taught me to embrace research and find my style as a writer. I’ve had Journalism professors who remind me every class why I chose this profession. They are passionate, knowledgeable and have some pretty awesome stories. These professors encourage me to be my best and to use my time in college to its full advantage.
It’s so disheartening to see professors in the news for their wrongdoings.
I personally look towards professors for advice on school and internships. It’s upsetting to see articles about UCF professors being let go because they broke a few rules. I understand that the university cannot watch over every employee like a hawk but professors should know that they took their job for a reason. They should abide by the same rules that the students are required to. After all, the professor’s actions reflect directly on themselves and on the university.
Gerard Aubert was an associate president at the university’s medical school, but was fired in August of 2016 due to several accusations of misconduct. Aubert was accused of accepting gifts such as free vacations and being hostile to female employees. The Orlando Sentinel reported that once Aubert left UCF, he was arrested twice. Once, for being accused of punching his wife and later for backing into a deputy’s car who was responding to another domestic abuse call.
Casey Hill resigned in February of 2016 after an anonymous call through the ethics hotline said Hill was in a relationship with an employee and showed her favoritism. Hill supposedly helped this woman with her work, and did not do the same for the other employees. UCF later determined that Hill violated their sexual harassment policy.
Dr. Kenneth Vehec is no longer available to teach at UCF because was accused of selling grades for charity donations. According to the professor, this was all a misunderstanding, but it has affected his career at the university. He was even covered by the Central Florida Future in October of 2015 for his innovative teaching methods. Vehec apparently used hypnotism in class and liked to have in-depth discussions about what they learned.
While only one was a professor at UCF, these men still had influence on students and their fellow employees. Becoming a professor at a university takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It starts off with at least a master’s degree and involves all of the requirements that come from being a professor, like creating a curriculum and conducting research. Why would you want to throw that away for the possibility of pleasing other people or your own personal gain?
Being a professor, or any kind of teacher, is a privilege. You have the ability to help shape the minds of young people and show them the way of the world. It’s important to teach the with the students’ needs first. Being a professor should not be about personal gain, it should be about intellectual gain for the students.
I spoke with Anna DeSalvo, an Early-Education major, who commented on what it meant to be a teacher.
“As an educator, you’re supposed to come into it [education] and be unbiased and not show favoritism. Having nepotism and showing favoritism could tell our students that it’s ok. We need to be ethical and lead by example,” said DeSalvo, 20.