I dropped HR class. And I’m proud of myself.

In the past year, I’ve learned so much about Human Resources. I’ve learned how technology can improve the industry, I’ve learned symptoms of engaged and disengaged employees and how to prevent high performers from leaving, and I’ve also learned how to determine good HR practices from bad HR practices. (I detail some of them in a post I wrote “Do you trust me?”)

My initial reaction to the class began before I even started – hmmm… this sounds a lot like the candidate experience, doesn’t it? The syllabus was 25 pages long. I started to read the syllabus. The course materials were over $500 for this one class alone. Between the text book and online access code, this simulation technology, the case studies and more, it was a lot. In addition to the massive initial expense, before class 1, we had to prepare chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook, interview an HR director at our companies, and read/ prepare questions for two different cases.

Now, every respected HR professional I know, and when I say “respected” I mean “respected by their CFOs or other departments within your organization as business leaders,” knows that HR has to prove the value of their work and proposals before they can just ask the CFOs to spend a ton of money on their initiatives. So, why, on earth, if you’re a great HR professional, would you require students to spend over 500 dollars in materials and a butt load of hours reading 2 chapters, 2 cases, and writing a report based on an interview, all before you’ve proven your value in the first? (Might I add, this class is an elective, not required, and it does not offer any certifications at the end at all. In my mind, this is already 2 strikes against you…)

In the first class, the professor talked about “putting people first,” something I hear every day and something that I see being done, not just talked about every day at work. I thought for a minute “maybe there is hope.”

But, then I went to complete the post 1st week of class homework assignments and realized that the professor assigned homework deadlines three times a week. Now, this program is specifically designed for working professionals. Everyone in the program has a full time job, most of the students even are married with kids. And, almost everyone in the program is taking at least 2 classes, some 3, and fewer 4. But, how can one professor expect working professionals with families and other classes to have time to make 3 deadlines a week? This doesn’t seem like a very sensitive action that will lead to 15 weeks of engaged students….

I decided I should bring the issues to his attention. I approached him privately before class and said how difficult meeting 3 deadlines a week would be for students in this program and thought “maybe he just doesn’t know?” I asked if he could consolidate some of the deadlines.

He smirked and shook his head “no.”

I said, “Okay, then I have to drop your class. These expectations aren’t reasonable or realistic for this program.”

He said, “leave.”

I picked up my backpack and walked straight into Managerial Accounting (a required class that all my friends were in and that is taught by the nicest professor who asks after every section if we are following.)

How can the human resource professor of all people teach us to put our people first when he’s not even putting his own student’s first? How can someone learn good HR from something who doesn’t listen to the concerns of employees/students when they bring them up nicely to his attention? How can someone learn good HR from someone who sets the students/employees up to fail?

I dropped the HR class. And I feel good about it.