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Abstract” ratings of the easiness, helpfulness, clarity, overall quality, and “hotness” of 407 criminal justice and criminology faculty members from across the United States were collected. Data were analyzed to determine what faculty characteristics determined these ratings. Experience working in the criminal justice field predicted higher ratings, while years of teaching experience was predictive of lower ratings. After controlling for instructors easiness and “hotness” ratings, the instructors’ ascribed characteristics (such as race and sex) explained the greatest proportion of variance in clarity, helpfulness, and overall quality scores. Professional characteristics, such as years of experience, publication rate, and possession of a doctorate were less influential on scores.


This article first appeared in the October 2012 issue of American Journal of Criminal Justice, the member magazine of the Southern Criminal Justice Association, and is reprinted with permission.

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