Dr. Phillip Stetz – A Review

[NOTE: This is a review I wrote for a Professor I had. Just uploading it here because it was funny]

Professor Phillip Stetz has been at Stephen F Austin State University ( “SFA”) since 2002 and has been an associate professor since 2008 and although he has received high praise from few sources (mainly from himself), under further review, anyone can see and surly does see that he is a joke to the department and is anything but helpful to students. In fact, he is the lowest rated professor in the college of business we can see why. His outdated expertise is unhelpful and defiantly unavailable to students.  If a student is unlucky enough as to take this professor (usually because all the other professors fill up so quickly to avoid his course) they will have the opportunity to take the worst professor known to SFA, and the college of business is finally catching on.

After calling his own son a ‘pussy’ for switching jobs, one should first point to his faculty vita: a long list of repetitive, half-truths, that mean to show his professional expertise but merely leave the student to wonder “how is this guy tenured?”. His son, having worked four years at a Big Four Accounting Firm outshines his dad who worked only two years at a Big Eight Accounting Firm Coopers and Lybrand. Maybe, in his seniority, he forgot this fact before throwing his son under the bus in front of his class? No, this is merely an introduction to the character of Phillip Stetz. Any former student should add “hypocrite” to his name. I also recall his advice that, in the professional world, you should stay with a firm for no less than 5 years in order to be a faithful employee.

Those who can’t do, teach. Nothing rings louder than this saying for professor Stetz who, in 1975 after ending his unsuccessful career in Auditing and Tax, began his reign over the family business: Stetz’s Enterprises. Although one may quickly see there was a “660% growth” in the company, Professor Stetz closed the company in 1990. Maybe the growth was too much for humble Stetz? In any case, Dr. Stetz closed the business in a hurry to begin his long bought of unemployment and to go back to school to get his master’s and doctorate degrees. Why would Stetz close an apparently successful business venture that has lasted generations just to become unemployed for multiple years? It was not actually successful. If it were successful, he would not close his business. Perhaps it would be good advice to Stetz to have him take his own class. If one took his class MGT 463, he gives a semester’s worth of excuses as to why businesses fail. This must be his biggest area of expertise because while he boasts of being an entrepreneurial professional, he defiantly knows how to fail in a career and in business.

If his students were each made into a metaphor as an entrepreneurial business run by Dr. Stetz, even he would admit and has admitted to them that they are not prepared for success; and he is proud of it! In my evaluation of Professor Stetz, I quickly covered his competency as a professor:

If I could give one bad evaluation in my entire college career, it would be for professor Stetz. He is unhelpful and proud of it. He provides vague lectures and answers no questions in class. If a brave soul is crazy enough to attempt to talk to professor Stetz outside of class, they will be greeted by the most unpleasant professor at SFA. He will do nothing short of screaming and throwing things to avoid meeting with students during his office hours. The students are all on their own against this vindictive, arrogant, outdated, malevolent, bully of a professor. If these evaluations were taken seriously, he would no longer be teaching at SFA.

And perhaps these evaluations were taken very seriously by the department. According to a few management professors, who informed me anonymously, he is equally as unpleasant to his coworkers as he is to his students. Additionally, his core class, which has been taught by him and only him, is now offered by three other professors and his once open selection of classes is replaced by only one class period. Meaning, the department is catching on and started phasing him out – good for them!

Because very little feedback is available, only ratemyprofessor provides a true look at what the students think of this man. Graded on his helpfulness, clarity, and easiness from a 1 to 5, professor Stetz stands out as the lowest ranking teacher in the department of management, college of business, as well as the SFA Campus as a whole. Out of 31 ratings, he has an average of 2.1. Seems his coworkers and students both see his stain on the department and are reeling him back in from a position of any sort of usefulness. To parallel the very very few positive feedback Stetz conveniently provides on his own faculty vita, students here often say:

Absolutely the worst professor I have ever taken. He is extremely unhelpful and is incredibly rude to students. – 11/09/2015

Worst professor I’ve ever taken! He is a professor who only helps males. Whenever I would go ask questions he would say read the book or ask your classmates (Even if I came in with a question from the book). My guy friends however, would get help. If you didn’t pass and you take his class your adviser understands why you didn’t pass. – 08/29/2015

He has the experience and expertise but does not share it with his students. He waves it in the student’s face and gets a kick out of students that try to grab it. His way of teaching is outdated, dated from 2002 at the latest. If this were the 90’s he’d be top notch. Don’t bother challenging or sharing new, creative ideas; they will be wrong. – 02/02/2015

Worst experience I have ever had at SFA! The material was very simple, but he tries to make it hard. Tests are almost all T/F. Won’t answer questions, won’t help you (even if you go by during office hours). The second B in my college career despite an understanding of the subject. – 04/27/2009

by the far the worst professor I have had in my 4 years at SFA. DO NOT TAKE. Entertains questions but will roll his eyes, tell you to recall a lecture from months prior and then never answers it. kept me from ever asking a question even in the confidence of an e mail or in his office. -05/13/2009

I can almost hear his airy, nasal, sadistic laugh when reading these. Taking pride in his failures is only the beginning of why professor Stetz should not be at SFA and his record proves it. In a clear recollection of the business simulation I participated in his class, over 1,700 teams were compared nationally online. Over a decade of teams (about five every class giving him over 50 teams) to compete nationally, he has never had a successful team. In a rage of frustration for the reality of this lack of teaching competency, he chewed us out for not preforming better for the class period (nothing new if the reader has had a childish professor). In an anxious and helpless plea of help in a different class, Professor Stetz refused to help multiple teams in their struggle. So, in addition to his bullying during class and abuse for seeking help, the Professor will happily fail you. And if you are to perform poorly in his class, a failing grade as well as a point reduction in the project grade is all too easy for him to hand out. I say again, “The students are all on their own against this vindictive, arrogant, outdated, malevolent, bully of a professor”

This explicitly horrible professor, having received tenure after doing time at SFA, is put into a position of professional responsibility. The position of tenure is a professional contract between Stetz and the College of Business where the department gives Stetz a guarantee of employment in exchange for his continued work as a professor and continued academic work. Can Dr. Stetz who, with disregard to his lectures, continually fails to provide his students the best possible service, still hold up his end of the tenure-bargain? Most professors at SFA do, Dr. Stetz does not. Again, we must look to his faculty vita.

Just as repetitive and vague as his doctoral dissertation (being titled An Examination of Strategies Across the Spectrum of Diversified Corporation, one can get an idea how boring and unnecessarily complex his lectures are), his faculty vita is rattled with journal writings he has published. His profile provides a little over eight original articles and writings he has contributed. I say original articles because he actually, by mistake or by vanity, repeated many of his articles throughout his profile. Most contributions consist of fewer than ten pages and co-authored leaves the reader wondering how much work he actually produced. Are his classes so hard as to steal his effort away from these academic works? No, of course not. His power points, facts, and lectures look as old as him and date no later than 2005; far from accurate. If I may repeat the evaluation for emphasis: “His way of teaching is outdated, dated from 2002 at the latest. If this were the 90’s he’d be top notch. Don’t bother challenging or sharing new, creative ideas; they will be wrong”

Dr. Stetz’s favorite work is A-1 Lanes and Currency Crisis of the East Asian Tigers published in 2008 in the Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice Journal weighing in at 12 pages. Unlike his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Stetz has had help in this work and so it is not as repetitive nor a massive waste of time to read. The article is mentioned no less than six times in the vita and yet has failed to put any impression or emphasis in the work toward the university that so kindly tenured the professor in trust he will provide some sort of return. According to Washington times columnist David Levy in his 2012 article, Do College Professors Work Hard Enough, Professor Stetz has also failed in his academic work. Having 22 weeks of time to work on articles in one year, Dr. Stetz only provided seven articles (totaling 69 pages) over six years. What is he doing other than milking his tenure?

Let us not neglect the rest of his profile or we may miss some sort of meaning to Dr. Stetz’s career. Passing his attempt to seem valuable in his long list of “professional services”, we find his services to SFA. Fortunately, professor Stetz stopped his repetitive rambling and has gotten to the meat of his service to SFA. Listing “Course Coordinator”, “Advisor”, and “Mentor” is a stretch made by our professor to seem useful by fulfilling his basic functions as professor. Sparing Stetz the criticism of his own lecturing, we should focus on his role as an advisor and mentor. Please rely on the, again anonymous, feedback from his students. One of whom actually approached Stetz’s office during office hours and was yelled at for merely asking to advise on major projects. As a mentor, Stetz attributes his skill in resume preparation, interview techniques, and phone interviews as being a valuable mentor to his students.

His last failure I wish to cover is regarding his attempt to open an Entrepreneurial center at the College of Business. As phrased in the vita:

Although the initial funding was withdrawn for the proposed Entrepreneurial Center, several candidates have been identified who may be interested in changing their career paths to become the new director of the center, once funding is identified

Finally our professor has been brief but honest in his failures. No examples say to why it failed is stated but it can easily be imagined by the reader if one refers to his teaching philosophy.

This toad of a professor, if he can be caught in his office during his office hours, will turn away any student who begs for help. The multiple and consistent occurrences of his brutal “help” he provides students proves he not only is a failure as a course coordinator, advisor, mentor, provider of special (or ordinary) accommodation requests, and as a decent human being. Dr. Stetz has failed on all accounts: as a professor, as an advisor, as a mentor, as a tenured employee at SFA, as a business owner, and as an employee.

Again, I must say and the reader must be wondering why Stetz is still at SFA. If the evaluations are taken seriously, the campus will be enlightened to rid of Dr. Stetz. The fast growing and innovated campus has been gifted with new programs and magnificent buildings. The hard working and effortless work of most tenured professors at SFA can be compared only to these successes. Whereas Dr. Stetz’s contributions can only be compared to the stale urine stained floors in the library bathrooms, all students are more than aware of.


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