Unruly Aggies or Academic Distemper? Texas A & M Professor Flunks Entire Management Class

2811863A00000578-3057785-image-m-81_1430152263545Texas A&M Galveston professor Irwin Horwitz has become an instant legend among academics around the country (particularly with most of us starting the grading period) by flunking his entire management class after saying that he hit the “breaking point.” The university responded however by replacing Horwitz as the course instructor. He has become the academic equivalent of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater.

The situation became so bad in Horwitz’s class that the school posted “security guards” during the class to protect him. He said that the students verbally abused him and even spread vicious rumors on the Internet. The students recently received an email informing them of his decision. He declared “Enough was enough . . . Yesterday I reached the breaking point.” Horwitz hardly creates a positive image of Texas A & M: “I was dealing with cheating, dealing with individuals swearing at me both in and out of class, it got to the point that the school had to put security guards at that class and another class.”

The problem is that he cannot flunk the class, according to the university’s vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Patrick Louchouarn: “None of them have failed until the end of the class, meaning the only reason a student would fail is because he or she has not performed the expectations for that particular class.”

According to his university website bio, Horwitz is an Instructional Associate Professor, Department of Maritime Administration (2014). He has a B.S. from Loyola University of Chicago (1987); a M.S. from Loyola University of Chicago (1991); a M.B.A. from University of Illinois (1991); and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (2003).

Source: CBS

18 thoughts on “Unruly Aggies or Academic Distemper? Texas A & M Professor Flunks Entire Management Class”

  1. The forces of ignorance are alive and well in Texas. No surprise here. Pop culture teaches kids to expect fun and endless gadgets without any effort on their part. A big surprise awaits them.

  2. From wikipedia, the source of all truth:

    “Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) is an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees that are awarded from Texas A&M University in College Station. Students enrolled at Texas A&M University at Galveston, known affectionately as ‘Sea Aggies’, share all the benefits of students attending Texas A&M University (TAMU) campus in College Station. The by-the-sea island campus environment complements the unique curricular offerings, and includes ocean voyages, sailing in Galveston Bay, beachfront experiments and independent study that complement a traditional rigorous classroom experience. The overall campus atmosphere that is fostered by the faculty, staff, and students distinctly emphasizes the intimate relationship between the Texas-based university and the sea, thus attracting an international faculty and student community that all share a common interest in the ocean. TAMUG is nationally recognized for academic excellence, which is illustrated, for example, by Time Magazine’s Princeton Review ranking TAMUG among the top 650 colleges in the U.S. Only 8 other public colleges in Texas are included.”

    Sounds like a permanent “semester at sea” and we all know how much studying takes place on The Love Boat.

    Top 650? Keep shooting for the stars, Sea Aggies!

  3. As I former teacher I can feel his pain. I never had this situation but I did have a situation where about 90% of the papers written for my class were failing. Classes are like living beings and each is different than the others. Some can be totally evil. For some reason every bad student in North American is in that class at the same time.

  4. With what little information is given, I see it as plausible that none of the students were doing the work, and all of them were a problem.

    Then again, if say just a few of them were good, would you want to be singled out in this group?

    “My thanks to Jenny, Raquel, and Jose, for actually doing the work and being competent students.” *cut to shot of unruly mob pounding fists and making cut throat gestures at the three*

  5. I can understand reaching the breaking point and throwing a giant hissy fit. But. I’m not really clear about what the actual problem was.

    Why did they require security guards?
    Was it the entire class being threatening or just a few?
    If it was just a few, why didn’t they eject those from the class or even the school?
    What kind of threats or were they just making fun of the Professor and driving him nuts?
    How can you flunk and entire class when there surely must have been some students who are doing the work and not threatening him?

    He said that they couldn’t do the most basic things. THIS I do believe having seen the product of some high school graduates and even college graduates. They are illiterate, undisciplined, ignorant of the most basic facts of math, writing, history. While I agree that it would be difficult if not impossible to teach these lunkheads much of anything, it really isn’t their fault. By the time you get to college your K-12 education should have prepared you for the work. Obviously our eduction system is a total failure for many students.

    This is a “management” class. It doesn’t seem that anyone is managing very well.

  6. I have several observations:

    1. Reasoned comment: Flunking the entire class is similar to keeping the entire class in after school detention because an unknown person threw an eraser. It is unfair in grammar school or college.

    2. Reasoned comment number two: Professors should have the right to eject unruly students in their discretion.

    3. Ad hominem comment: Aggies.

  7. We have an overly permissive society in which the “adults” tolerate too much crap from the youngins. Why did he tolerate their criminal threats against him for a whole semester until a “breaking point” at the end? So it’s GOOD they replaced him.

    Anyway, forget the thousands and thousands of dollars wasted in tuition and textbooks, and you can find many online academies that are just as good and for almost no cost at all.

    The truth is, college is a scam and the best way for future managers to learn is to get experience working, starting in their high school years or younger.

  8. More profs need to follow his lead. I can´t imagine attending a college class where security guards are required to protect the professor. The students are scum of the earth. Especially the “innocent” ones. They could have gone to Academic Affairs with the prof to demand the unruly students be removed from the course. After all, they are all adults who are paying for a course because they are really, really, really interested in learning the subject matter, aren´t they? – So sad.

  9. It’s rather amusing that these are future managers. We have had a few horrible, abusive, bully managers in my agency, and the inevitable question is, “Where on earth did he/she go to management school?” Now we know! Texas A&M. Ah well, more future billables for employment law attorneys in Texas.

  10. Are professors, at a university, supposed to be addressing behavior prior to handing out a syllabus? What is this? Prison? He is supposed to warn them about making threats? Seriously?

    If the school decided to fix the problem by posting security guards, doesn’t that tell one who is at fault? Obviously, there were no ramifications for the wrongdoers, merely a posting of security guards to protect the professor. Ludicrous.

    There are some other articles online which give more details.

  11. I’m curious as to if and how the teacher addressed behavior in his classroom even prior to handing out the syllabus. It is a “management” class, is it not? Why did he allow students who cussed and disrupted class to remain in class, in the first place? Curious mind…

  12. Justice Holmes

    Beyond grades, what about threats being made against the professor? The school actually posted security guards, SECURITY GUARDS, to protect this person’s safety and then the school fired him? Where are the consequences for these students? Threats against another are considered criminal conduct, and these students are being rewarded for their behavior. No mention of any student being put on probation or investigated for the alleged threats, foul language or cheating.

    I’m curious as to the professor’s track record and prior teaching experience. He appears to be someone who has been around the block a few times. Many professors are listed on Rate My Professor.com. I’m anxious to see if he is listed.

  13. Students have unfortunately become uninterested in learning but are very interested in getting good grades! As I don’t know the real facts of this case it is hard to be sure but I bet the professor had a very good basis for failing most of the students. I feel sorry for those who paid for the course and actually wanted to learn.

    Question: will the new instructor now give these “students” all As?

  14. Sounds like something out of the film Blackboard Jungle. Not sure if anyone on here will get that reference. Gotta love how the university chose to replace him as an instructor instead of dealing with the rampant cheating, inappropriate language and threats by the students. Were the offending students ever disciplined for any of this behavior? Did the professor ever bring charges against any of these hooligans? Did he bring these issues to the attention of the administration prior to just flunking all of them? I would assume that he did, since he had guards. What the F?

    Bottom line is that these students are the lifeblood of the university, since the cumulative amount of the tuition generated by these losers makes them more important than a Dr. Irvin Horwitz to Galveston, Texas. I’d say go back to Chicago, Irv, and let Texas find some uneducated bubba to teach these morons management.

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