Faculty evaluations may go public

By Cheryl Fogle

Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA is considering a proposal to publish the results of faculty evaluations.

"This issue has been around forever," Associated Students President Ben Driggs said, "but this year we decided to research it."

ASUA staffers are calling two public universities in every state with student bodies as large as the UA's to see how they handle faculty evaluations.

Some universities publish results of evaluations because of student government action, administrative order or state legislation.

Once the research is complete, Driggs said he may present a proposal to the faculty senate for their approval.

Karen Anderson, director of women's studies, opposes publishing evaluation results.

"The same students in the same course with the same instructor will use different criteria to rate the instructor," she said.

Anderson said she is also concerned with how differences in race and gender affect evaluations.

"Men faculty members are expected to be authoritative, distant, and knowledgeable, but women are expected to be knowledgeable and nurturing. So a woman who's distant can get lower marks from students," she said.

The evaluations office compiles statistical summaries that show what percentage of students marked each choice on a question. This information is sent to each instructor two to three weeks after finals.

ASUA proposes publishing this information either on-line or in a book listing information by teacher and course.

Biochemistry Junior Steve Morrissy said, "I like the idea a lot. It will help students choose their classes."

Anderson said students can already find out which instructors and classes are good by talking to other students and faculty members.

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