Publicize evaluations


Making faculty evaluations public is a great idea. Fears that reputations could be hurt by malice or poor judgment are largely unfounded.

First of all, students tend to give unbiased answers to objective questions about specific aspects of their instructors' method. Questions such as "Was the instructor's syllabus organized?" or "Did the instructor respond to questions in class?" get honest responses. Secondly, on more subjective questions, students have a strong tendency to give their professors the benefit of the doubt. Much more than 50 percent of instructors are rated "above average" in the vaguely defined property of overall quality.

If faculty evaluations are made public, the message the public will receive is that we are actually doing a good job in our educational mission.

Bruce Bayly

Associate Professor, Mathematics

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