Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bad Professor: Schooling Derek Catsam of the University of Texas at Permian Basin

While making comments at, I bumped into the hatred and foul language of Derek Charles Catsam. His most recent comments are particularly unhinged and provide evidence of a rather extraordinary level of anger and bitterness.

He is a tenured associate professor at the University of Texas at Permian Basin (UTPB). This is a school located in one of the most depressing and barren parts of the nation—west Texas. UTPB is low-ranked Tier Two school with a shameful six year graduation rate of 34%. According to public records, he earns about $64,000 a year and yet imagines himself to be something of an extraordinary scholar and a gifted teacher.
Derek Catsam, Associate Professor
University of Texas at Permian Basin.

(In California, for comparison, the starting salary for a tenured professor with a Ph.D. at a community college begins at about $64,000 per year and then moves up to over $100,000 per year.)

I did a little research on this darling of the extreme left. The truth about Derek Catsam is quite different than what he likes to report about himself. For example, I found that the Rate My Professor website indicated that Derek Catsam was one of the lowest ranked professors at UTPB with an embarrassing 2.6 grade. Only two others score lower than him. Ironically, it turns out that Catsam's wife, Ana Martinez, teaches in the same history department as him and she scores a much higher grade of 3.3.
Thankfully, websites like Rate My Professor now provide undergraduates with an opportunity to get out the truth about bad professors like Derek Charles Catsam. Here’s a great comment from one of Dr. Catsam's own students which seems match my impression of him at Ephblog:
“Derrick is an egotistical, arrogant professor who looks like a dork. He was probably picked on growing up and is now taking out his anger and bitterness on his students. No one cares about the idiotic book you wrote Derrick so stop talking about it! Avoid this LAME teacher (he’s not worthy to be called a professor) at all costs if possible!”
Like any normal person, I judge academic performance as a scholar and as a teacher according to the quality of the institution that hires you. At UTPB, Rate My Professor shows Prof. Catsam is under-performing his peers by a large margin. He is literally the worst of the worst compared to other professors on his own campus. Here is a sample of what his students went out of their way to write about him:

“This guy knows his stuff and obviously loves Africa. He is not approachable though and never cared if his students succeed or not. During presentations he wasn’t even paying attention and then proceeded to give most of the class C’s on their work. It’s fine if a prof is hard, but they should be willing to help you succeed too and he is no help.”
“I agree with most of the other raters, he is an egomaniac.”
“Catsam is the epitome of the arrogant prof. He is more interested in telling life stories and supporting his stupid Red Sox book than actually teaching history. And, by the way, missing class so much b/c of A. Martinez or his trips is not cool for us who pay $ for class.”
Sadly, Derek Charles Catsam ranks at the very bottom of the Rate My Professor numbers at University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Out of 20 professors who are rated, he ranks in the bottom 15%.
Clearly, the comments from his own students make him look like an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. If he taught at Williams College, Derek Catsam's Rate My Professor scores would place him in the bottom 7%. In the Williams history department, he would be its lowest ranked faculty member. Ideally, Derek Catsam should ask his wife for help and advice...maybe she could break the news to him gently, saying: "You're a bad professor." 
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.


  1. I just read the following post by Derek Catsam at the Ephblog website. I don't know what personal problems are afflicting him right now, but his comments seem quite odd:

    I will give a hundred dollars to anyone here who can show me book from a legitimate press where John Drew is the lead author. (Hahahahaha! Look at all the sweet ass cash I get to keep in my pocket!!!!!!!)

    I’ll give: Fifty bucks for Two journal articles, in journals of any quality, where John Drew is the lead author. Two! That doesn’t get you tenure at a standard Masters comprehensive university! So obviously you get to make fun of my university, you loudmouthed little fat boy.

    Ok. How about you show me one journal article. Just one. I’ll give you Twenty five bucks. (Looks at relevant databases. Notices that resident idiot does not qualify.)

    In fact, I’ll pay sweet ass cash for a book review. Let’s say it will be $10. The lowest hanging fruit in the academic profession — a fucking book review, published. (Looks at relevant databases. Begins to think that person in question is a loudmouthed motherfucker with no actual record of accomplishment. Feels sad for loudmouthed motherfucker who doesn’t recognize that there are databases to understand that loudmouthed motherfucker is, in fact, loudmouthed motherfucker.)

    C’mon, John Drew: Bring the noise! How many books have you published? How many refereed articles? Book chapters? How many book reviews? I’m putting up the sweetass cash for you to simply show that you have published those things at all, never mind expecting a level that would earn you tenure (whoops — already missed that standard, eh?).

    Oh, and you decided to quote Trump and call me “low energy” a couple of months ago. The fat guy calling the athletic guy “low energy” is probably the funniest part of all of this. Let’s meet, tubby. Let’s meet. You live in Southern California? I have to go there soon for research (ask about it — it’s what actual academics do) maybe we can meet up? Or will that get in the way of your busy not-publishing schedule? C’mon shit pile. While I’m in the midst of out publishing your entire career I’m happy to have you insult the university where my wife teaches, and to show your soft tubby ass that there are consequences for doing so. Dick and David have no problem with you insulting peoples’ families. I fucking well do you burbling little cumbubble. It’s Orange County, right? I’ll send you a copy of my latest work. Don’t worry. I don’t expect the same.

    I hope those closest to Professor Catsam are aware of his comments and that they help him deal with his frustrations in a safe and sane manner.

    1. Here is the link to the website containing these comments.

    2. Here's a sample of the latest weirdness at the Ephblog website.

      Since Dave believes no posts deserve censorship, I am going to point this out regularly:
      John Drew PhD (because we need to know the PhD Part) claims to have published:
      “The Demons Also Believe, and Tremble: The Importance of Ethics to Charismatic Leadership” in Journal of Management, Volume 3: Spring 2005.
      “Bandwagon Fund-Raising: Why Not Try a Board Friendly, High Charisma, Group Solicitation?” in Journal of Management, Volume 2: Spring 2004.
      These articles appear not to exist. The Journal of Management, a very fine journal, has never published articles by these titles, nor has it published articles by this “scholar,” and his listing of the journal volumes does not line up with their actual volumes, which is classic academic fraud behavior.
      So: John Drew lists articles that he never wrote as part of his scholarly credentials. And, by the way, were they real articles it would be sad that he only had two journal articles to his name. He received his PhD during the first term of the Reagan Administration. But of course he didn’t get renewed at Williams because of hostility to white male conservatives. Otherwise his made up articles two decades after his being asked to leave TOTALLY would have done it guys.
      Facts are, Indeed, Stubborn Things.
      So, John, you didn’t get renewed (Oh, yeah — he did not get refused tenure, he got refused at the third year renewal process, which is to say: He had no fucking chance of getting tenure. Third year review, look at Drew’s record: Response: Are you fucking kidding me? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA)
      And I intervieweed people, and they said: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
      But, again, lie about your publications, please?

      Here is the link to the website containing these bizarre comments.

  2. Catsam sounds like a real winner. Teachers and all people should be motivated to make a positive influence in other peoples lives and teachers are given the best opportunity to do this and then they mess is up time and time again. UTPB is not a top college in anyones eyes however it does give lots of people a chance to better them selves and others and for that you have to appreciate it.on another note it has been said several times that catsman has had several inappropriate situations with his students over the years, and that is more concerning than his bad teaching. The best of luck to UTPB with all its students and god bless all.

  3. As someone who knew Catsam in a previous life, I can say that 99% of what you write is correct. That said, using is specious methodology; it's the Yelp of academia. Anyone with a Ph.D. should know this.

    1. I see your point. I wouldn't have used RateMyProfessor as a source if its results weren't in line with my basic understanding and previous experience in dealing with Professor Catsam.

    2. True. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

    3. I will second this.

      We all hoped he would grow up.

    4. I was a student of Professor Catsam's multiple times. In fact, I took his classes because he didn't bullshit you. Most of the people who write on the ratemyprofessor website in regards to him most likely took his 1301 or 1302 class in which he weeds out anyone who does not express genuine interest for History. Dr. Catsam, in my opinion is a great educator. He is one of the reasons I chose to receive a degree in History.

  4. Well let's see both of your CVs. Also, what is your H-rating? What is Catsam's? That really only is the true metric of scholarly output.

  5. Catsam is a textbook East Coast liberal who uses black people as mascots to conceal his deep-seated personal neuroses. Truth be told, while claiming to champion black history, he has problems working with actual black scholars.

    As evidence take a look at his actions on the National Register State Board of Review at the Texas Historical Commission. His actions concerning important African-American historical sites such as the Rosewood Courts public housing complex in Austin have been shameful and troubling.

    The only people defending this fool seem to be his employers at UTPB. It certainly isn't many of his peers, and it isn't his students.

    When confronted with the important history of Rosew