Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability
The Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability (CULPA) is a professor ratings site which allows students to anonymously post their own reviews of their professors. The site is the main source of professor review currently available to the Columbia student body.
CULPA is not officially affiliated with the university.
CULPA is regarded as one of the most useful tools for students looking to enroll in a class, boasting over 10,000 reviews.
However, because of the candid nature of the submissions (students tend to use CULPA to praise professors they like and slag off those they do not), the site has occasionally been accused of harboring biased reviews and misrepresenting professors (both positively and negatively).
CULPA was founded in 1997 by Alex Feerst, CC '98. After Feerst graduated, the site continued to be operated by Jonathan McCarter, CC '98. However, at some point between 1998 and 2000, CULPA suffered an untimely demise. The site would have disappeared completely, except for the fact that the Columbia University Marching Band inexplicably decided to keep a copy of CULPA backed up on their servers. In 2000, Ashran Jen, CC '00, and Ben Wheeler, SEAS '00, resurrected the site from its (figurative) ashes on the Columbia University Marching Band servers. Morris Doueck (CC '03) and Nat Lin (CC '04), took over from Ashran and Ben. Ben Falik (CC '04) and Pam Terry (BC '06) joined the team in 2002. When Nat and Ben graduated, Jonathan Wegener (CC '07) and Carly Baratt (CC '06) filled their shoes. And in Pam and Carly's year of graduation, Michael Decker (CC '09) and Seth Berliner (CC '08) joined. In 2008, Ron Gejman (CC '10), a programmer, joined the staff as well. Since August 2008, there are indications of that an overhaul to the website is underway.
From time to time the CULPA website stops working, but so far it has always resurfaced.
Some students have been trying to get the administration to set up an official professor review site using the results of the official course evaluations.
There also exists a largely useless website called The SEAS Oracle.