Duffy, Bernard  

Communication Studies

3.11/4.00

47 evaluations


SCM 101


Freshman
B
General Ed
Oct 2001
Dr. Duffy is an extremely hard grader. He expects absolute perfection on speaches to get a good grade. You would have to be a professional speaker to get an A in his class. Out of 50 students in two classes he gave only 2 A's......enough said


Freshman
A
General Ed
Feb 2004
Duffy is a nice guy. he will do his best to break the ice and get people to be unafraid of speaking. he grades very, very tough, but the final grade is curved. he's a thourough lecturer, but he is very specific and goes into details far too remote for an intro class. as an upper division teacher, he must be awesome. nonetheless, his 101 class is still a great one and i recommend him highly. he gets to know his students well and will really help you when you need it.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Dec 2005
Dr. Duffy does not give out A's no matter how good your speeches are. the worst speakers in class would get the same grade as the best. he had an unfair grading policy.

SPC 101


Freshman
C
General Ed
Aug 2001
Duffy and I butted heads all quarter. I took it in the summer and it was for 2 hours a day, 3 days a week which equals a daily Duffy overdose. As a person he's cool but I think that he's pretty biased towards some students. I also didn't think that he really LISTENED to my speech. I have had lots of experiance speaking publicly but for some reason the Duff-ster didn't approve of my technique or seem to like any of my speeches. This class was nothing but a waste of my time and a hard blow to my self-esteem.


5th Year Senior
A
General Ed
Feb 2002
I think that professor Duffy did an excellent job in the class. Since the course is only a short 10 weeks, he quickly broke down the barriers between everyone in the class by using humor. His joking with everyone enabled us all quickly overcome the apprehension of speaking in front of a group of strangers. The relaxed atmosphere enabled us to quickly regard each other as friends--this is the only general ed. course that I learned all of my classmates names in my 5 years at Poly. I heard more than one person mention that this was the one class they actually enjoyed coming to. He expects you to work; however, so take the reading assignments to heart and do not miss class since a part of the final (we didn't have a mid-term) was directly from class lectures. Besides, politeness dictates that you be there as an audience for your fellow classmates as they are there for your speechs too.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jan 2005
Dr. Duffy was a pretty good teacher. The majority of the quarter is spent on giving speeches and he does not lecture all that much. The only thing that I didn't like was that the final was on the reading, which we didn't really discuss or keep up with throughout the quarter. I found myself cramming to read up on chapter right before the final. The final however, was not too difficult. The majority of the speeches are 8 minutes long and he grades tough. He doesn't really give A's on speeches, so the only way to get one in the class is to make up for it with the final. He is a good teacher, however, and I learned a lot. I would definitely recommend him!


Freshman
B
General Ed
Aug 2005
I just finished my class with Duffy. Not a bad guy at all, very interesting, funny and nice. He grades very roughly on your speeches, but the final was very straight-forward and easy to get an A on. Have a very clear idea of all the vocabulary in the chapters listed out in the syllabus, and memorize all the 'columns' 'stages' 'steps' and 'cornerstones' of different processes. That's a high A right there. Go to every class, that's common sense. Missing out on a class, even when it's just other student speeches, hurts your grade and your personal standing with this professor - you do NOT miss your peers speeches. He does know your name. I earned a B because my speeches were higher than average (84, 88, 89) but my term paper sucked (84), keeping me at a high B in the class. Do your work and this class is a lot of fun to have in your schedule, no worries.


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Sep 2005
Duffy wasn't a hard teacher, but I don't know one person that got an A on any speech. He is a B grader. Don't memorize or write out a speech because he knows when you do. He tries to be funny, but really isn't. Duffy isn't a bad guy, he's actually relatively nice. If you don't mind a B take his class, it's an easy B.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Sep 2008
An excellent speech professor. Makes the class entertaining and non-stressful. Apparently this class can be brutal with some instructors, but Duffy keeps it pretty laid back. Definitely take him if you get the chance.

SPC 201


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Aug 2000
He does have a tendency to ramble, but he is very fair about grading the speeches and the assignments really aren't that hard.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Apr 2001
My first impression of Duffy was that he was really conceited. I could tell he thought he was a really good professor, and he may be, but in this class he really doesn't teach anything. Every skill in public speaking is pretty much common sense, it just takes practice, which I think is the point of the class--to practice, not so much to learn. By the end of the class you are no longer really nervous about public speaking. Your grade in Duffy's class depends on three speeches, one on a problem, one on a problem and solution, and one on a value in society, and an in class midterm or the final. He will let you use your midterm if you are satisfied with that grade, and you don't have to take the final. If you do better on the final he will replace your midterm grade, and if you do worse he will average the two. Pretty much it is impossible to get an A, but the worse grade he will probably give you is a B-. Overall, I'd think there are a lot of professors who would make it easier to get an A than Duffy, therefore I do not recommend him, but if you're happy with a B then go ahead and take him.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jan 2002
He seemed to pick favorites the very first week of class and his preconceived notions reflected in his grading all quarter. I could just never overcome some invisible barrier --- What? Because I'm female? Because I'm Hispanic? Who knows at this school.

SPC 320


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Oct 1999
This guy's a speech teacher and he stutters and rambles!

SCM 322


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2006
One of the funniest, most intelligent, honest, warm, respectful, interesting teachers in our major--and he knew his stuff. Unlike all the others in our discipline--some more than others (with the exception of Conway and Jackson), didn't present an anti-Bush diatribe the whole quarter--refreshing!--though he was somewhat like that the first five weeks or so (confining his comments to the war more than Bush). Is so far my favorite teacher.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2007
Duffy is the man. I was scared that there were no good teachers at cal poly but Duffy proved me wrong. he is extremely smart and knowlegable. he will respect you as long as you respect him. he is legit take him

SPC 322


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2002
Dr. Duffy is the nicest, smartest professor I have ever taken a class from at Cal Poly. He really cares about the students. Everyday is filled with class discussion and you come away from the class feeling smarter and more open-minded. Take ANY class from him. You won't regret it.


Senior
A
General Ed
Jan 2004
Duffy is a very intelligent guy with a great, dry sense of humor. He always makes class entertaining, but he can stray too far sometimes in class when discussions get off topic. All that means is wasted time sometimes. That and the people that take communications classes are morons. Aside from that, Duffy is a bad ass. Take him if you get the chance.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
May 2007
Coolest in the speech majer--class is easy, he gives all the answers to the tests and you dont really have to do the readings. Take him, it makes learning speech easy. Totally easy class.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2011
First half of the quarter started off really good with interesting reading. The class is discussion based, so I really learned a lot about the topic and enjoyed coming to class everyday. The about half way through the quarter, the material changed, and the class went downhill from there. Duffy assigned too much reading that we weren't able to cover all in class. The class only had two tests, a midterm and final, which determined your grade along with participation. The midterm was fair, and the final was ridiculous. Here is Dr. Duffy's email about the final and you might understand how 200 mc and optional essays is excessive: "Revisions to Final Exam: COMS-322-01-2108 Hi everyone, When I looked at the final exam I realized that there were not enough questions on Gladwell--only about ten. Therefore, I added twenty true/false questions on The Tipping Point. The exam is now 200 objective questions covering the entire quarter. The broad majority of the questions are true/false. As I mentioned earlier, I incorporated questions on Cialdini because I thought it would make the exam easier. That is also part of my thinking in adding additional questions on Gladwell. I cannot easily tell you how many questions there are on J.A.C. Brown, Hoffer, and Ellul, since these questions are scattered throughout the exam. I revised some of the questions on propaganda since we read less Ellul than in previous quarters, but there are still quite a number of questions on propaganda from lecture, Brown, Ellul, and the other propaganda reading. I will ask you to write one essay question from three choices. One or more of the questions takes the form of comparison/contrast. Don't forget that you are entitled to use both sides of a 4x6 card for notes. You should avail yourself of this opportunity. If necessary, I will curve the exam, particularly because some of the questions are new. There are a lot of objective questions but you should be able to answer most of them quickly. Having more questions reduces the impact of any single question." I did take a lot of knowledge from the class, enjoyed it and suggest the course to a lot of people. But just a fair warning you get screwed with a lot of reading and an unnecessarily massive final.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
This class with Duffy is mostly reading and not very work intensive. The reading is split between modern, social science books with interesting topics and handouts that are dry and boring. Lectures are basically him going over the readings. The tests are pretty long (200 question final eh) and they make up most of your grade, unless you decide to do the optional term paper or essays. The class is interesting but unbalanced between the slow reading load in the first half of the quarter and the much heavier reading load in the second. But i guess that is pretty usual at poly. Duffy is pretty cool, he knows his class material very well even if he is a bit unorganized at times.

COMS 330


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2012
I LOVE DUFFY!!!!! hands down, one of Cal Poly's finest and knowledgeable professors. Although the tests were challenging Duffy really cares about his students and wants everyone to do well. He is so funny but also makes the material interesting. I literally hated the reading, but he made it so much more clear in class and highlights what is needed to know in class and in the course handbook. Seriously take him you won't regret it.


Sophomore
C
Elective
Jul 2012
Duffy is an amazing teacher, however he is very intimidating. He is a very learned man, which means that his lectures are at a very high level. This also means that you need to put in a lot of work into this course, which is already fairly difficult. Be prepared to grind studying for his midterm, which is probably the hardest test I have taken at Cal Poly. his final was a lot easier, but still worth a lot of studying. Duffy knows how much effort you put into the class, so if you make the effort and show it, he will give you a passing grade no problem. You will learn a lot taking Duffy, however be prepared to work an immense amount.

SPC 330


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2002
Dr. Duffy is an extremely personable prof who really desires that his students learn the material. granted, there is a lot of reading....(which you should DO!!!!).... but he really knows his stuff. I am NOT a rhetorical thinker and got an A in this class by 1)not missing a single day, and 2) reading everything. Dr. Duffy is an outstanding professor!


Sophomore
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2002
Dr. Duffy is a very intelligent professor who loves the subject that he teaches. If you want to learn a lot and really feel like you left the quater with useful information!!!! Take his classes, it is worth it.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Sep 2002
He is one of the best professors I've ever had, as well as my advisor. He actually cares about his students and if they are learning or not. I've never had a professor more welcoming to office hours or appointments. He amazes me as a professor. Dr. Duffy is the most intelligent man I know. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't have an appreciation for a true intellectual. And they probably didn't do the assigned reading, either. If you really want to get something out of your time spent in class, take Dr. Duffy for as many classes as possible.


Junior
C
Elective
Dec 2002
I read everything, I went to every class and I still got a C. It could just be the fact that I don't think rhetorically, but I don't know. Duffy was a great guy, but assumed I understood what I didn't. That didn't help me so much. This is a very time consuming class. Take only if you have the time to put in. 10% is class participation, 30% is the mid-term, and 60% is the final. Yeah, like I said... Have time to study!!


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2003
Duffy is the most awesome man and professor at Cal Poly!! Classical Rhetorical Theory sounds so hard and boring, but Duffy made it so much fun and entertaining, the class is hard but he tries to make it easy!! He give so much extra credit and truly wants you to do well in the class. He knows you on a personal basis and cares about each person as an idividual. He definitely should win the best teaching award, every person I talk to thinks he is the greatest. Take Duffy even if you are not a spc. major, I'm not and he made me want to become a spch. major!!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2003
Prof. Duffy is probably the most understanding and compassionate teacher I have had. He truly cares about his students and went out of his way to help and support me in a time of need. Duffy enlightens the class with his humor, keeping the course interesting and fun. His tests are difficult, but he gives you the opportunity to earn a 4% increase on each exam. He is definetely an A professor; charismatic, specialized in the SCOM field, funny, and well rounded. Take him - you won't regret it!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
Dr. Duffy redeems the image of communication majors everywhere. While I continue to be frustrated by the lack of scholastic effort required in this major, Dr. Duffy embodies the type of professor the rest of Cal Poly should strive to become: one who truly requires effort, uses elevated speech, and discusses topics that stretch and challenge and broaden our perspectives. I felt smarter everytime I entered his classroom and have walked away with a true understanding and reverence for philosophy and rhetoric. Duffy respects and recognizes the types of students who will thrive in the communication realm, and in life in general, which are the outspoken risk takers who appreciate what University systems are trying to develop: higher education. Those dissatisfied with Duffy's courses perhaps have forgotten why we are here at Cal Poly-- to earn a degree rather than expect one. I would highly recommend Duffy if you are willing, waiting, wanting a professor who pushes you as a student!


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
Sorry, but he is biased towards females. Its a known fact, if your a male you will most likely struggle through his class. His test hit you out of left field and are very subjective. I don't mean to be a downer, he seems like a nice guy but if your male and are worried about your GPA find something else.


Sophomore
B
Elective
Jul 2005
While Classical Rhetorical Theory is in most people's understanding a boring subject, Dr. Duffy made it interesting, alive, and fun. Not only did I feel that Dr. Duffy was fair, but his classes were never dull, his attention was clearly focused on the student, and the material was presented with a deep understanding and desire to help students along a sometimes rocky path. I found the material to be rich, however, because it seemed to fit well with the other classes I was taking at the time. I got a B+ in the class after studying my butt off for the final. He is fair and he relys heavily on the final. Note before taking the class: do the extra papers. They are great extra credit. Just make sure you do them well in advance. Good luck!


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Nov 2005
I have taken every class Dr. Duffy currently teaches and have enjoyed all of them. (He would hate it if he knew I was writing about him on here!) I personally have enjoyed all of the classes I have taken from him and I find him to be one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. This factor has its ups and downs. Since he is so brilliant sometimes he captures an idea on such another plane that you will find yourself confused. No need to worry though, just ask and he will explain it as many times, in as many different ways as you need until you understand it. This leads me to my next point, he truly cares about his students. I believe his ultimate goal is to see his students succeed. That does not mean everyone gets an "A," however, ask for clarification in class and see him in his office hour; he will always be there for you! My tips to do well: Don't miss a class and write down everything he says because you may understand Plato while he's talking about it, but once you throw the sophists and other rhetoricians in the mix it gets harder to differentiate between them without good notes. He is the best professor if you are a serious student who


5th Year Senior
A
Elective
Dec 2006
Prof. Duffy is easily one of my favorite professors in my 4+ years at Cal Poly. The class is difficult. He expects you to do (and understand) the reading he assigns. The midterm and final are both very difficult, but there are study guides and if you understand the questions on the study guide you will do fine on the tests. I was afraid this class would be boring but Prof. Duffy went to great lengths to keep class amusing and interesting. This class will challenge you but it isn't impossible. It helps to write down the main people/themes in each book as you read it because it can be kind of confusing to differentiate all of them the night before a test. If you have questions or problems go to his office hours. He is very personable and genuinely wants what is best for his students. I would highly recommend him and his classes.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2009
I LOVE Dr. Duffy!! He is the only smart, qualified teacher in the COMS department, and he really knows his stuff. The classical rhetoric class is hard, and there is a TON of reading, but I hardly did any of it and I got by with a B. He makes the Sophists and literature interesting, he is very funny, and extremely fair. I wish he taught every class in the COMS major, because I know I would learn something! Take Duffy every chance you get, speak up in class, and try to do the readings to make the class more applicable.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
Oh man. Duffy is crazy. He has been teaching rhetoric for 10 years and his class notes are from 2002. His a nice enough guy, but his class is extreme. This is so much to read for this class. And so many books to buy. Stay up with the reading. Its a lot, but it is even more if you have to go back and read. Believe me, just read it. Also the packet of notes that you buy for this class is what you need to focus on when you study. you have to keep up with this class you can't let the reading go for a week and think that everything is going to be okay. speak up in class and go to office hours, even if its just for the face time. participation is worth 10% of your grade and Duffy knows when you are not there. The midterm is crazy hard, so study! He gives group mini essays --if you do them you get five or ten points toward the midterm or final. sometimes he will shout out an extra credit assignment do it cause you will need the points. The midterm is worth 30% of your grade. The final is 60% Crazy. multiple choice tests. duffy is a really smart guy, he has been teaching this class forever and he knows this stuff backwards and forwards and for these tests he will expect you to too! Also, don't buy the Murphy book. its expensive and we only used it for the first week. i can't remember any test questions on it, despite the fact that I read it. This class is a lot of reading and boils down to just two tests, so if you think you can handle it with Duffy--go ahead and try.

COMS 333


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2017
Vile man. Conceited, arrogant, little regard for the feelings of others. Strongly dislikes women.

SPC 435


Junior
B
Elective
Jun 2002
Best teacher I have ever had- by far!!


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Jul 2004
Dr. Duffy is very personal but he can throw you for some loops. I had a great grade going into the final and somehow got a C with no explanation. I like how he understands that students need to graduate in 4 years but he doesn't explain anything in class so when the tests come, you have no clue what to study!!! He is a wonderful man, but as a lecturer, I grew to not like him so much after 4 years.


Graduate Student
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2007
Dr. Duffy is hands-down one of my favorite Cal Poly professors. When I took him for American Political rhetoric, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my future. As a result of Duffy's class, I've been challenged and encouraged in many ways, and am now a grad student majoring in political rhetoric. Dr. Duffy definitely challenges his students and the tests are difficult. Howver, if you attend class, prepare, and are ready to add to the discussions you will do well. He is always available during office hours and communicates well with his students. A side note: Dr. Duffy bailed me out when another professor fell through with a letter of recommendation at the last minute. He truly cares about students and encouraged me to expand my level of knowledge. He's one of the reasons I'm even in grad schoo, and I can't say enough about what an amazing teacher he is. P.S. Make sure you call him "Dr. Duffy" and not just "Duffy" unless you want to be mildly chastised.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2007
Dr. Duffy is easily the best professor I have ever had. He has an enthusiasm unmatched by anyone in the major. He enjoys teaching and is a joy to have as a professor.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2007
Being given the answers before the test and then reguritating them is not a measure of teaching or learning. He does nothing to help you learn to be a better student, he just encourages you think that being elitist and snobbish are the mark of education. Entertaining to hear him rant but not educational.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2007
DUFFY RULES!!! He is by far my favorite teacher at poly. he truly cares about his students and will make sure everyone passes his class. he is hilarious, highly intelligent, and very interesting to listen to. take good notes because that is what he tests on! good luck!!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2011
Very informative class. You do not need any of the required text. All of the speeches are online. Take notes and show up to class everyday. One midterm and one final and you get to use a note card for help. Paper's are optional. Very witty guy.

AGC 660


Senior
C
General Ed
Nov 2016
What the guy/gal below said. Amen. I too took this class and have long since graduated from Poly, but I was cruising Poly Ratings for a kick and thought that I should pipe in and let you know how much of a joke this prof is.


Senior
A
Elective
Nov 2016
Prof. Duffy does not teach AGC 660.


Graduate Student
A
Elective
Nov 2016
The negative review above is completely fallacious. AGC (Agricultural Communication) 660 does not exist, and Professor Duffy is a Communication Studies Professor.


Graduate Student
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2016
The exact comment that purports to be about Prof. Duffy's teaching in Agricultural Communication 660 (a fictitious course) has been posted for numerous other Cal Poly professors. Other comments have been posted similarly for fictitious courses that the professors to which the comments are assigned could not have taught. AGC 660, as noted above, does not exist, and if it did exist, Duffy, who is in a different department, would not have taught it.