ERIC Number: ED426114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Student Evaluation of Faculty: Galloping Polls in the 21st Century. ERIC/AE Digest.
Haskell, Robert E.
Despite a history of conflicting research on its reliability and validity, student evaluation of faculty (SEF) has typically not been viewed as an infringement on academic freedom; it has generally been taken for granted that SEF is appropriate and necessary. However, informal and reasoned analyses of the issue indicate that because SEF is used for faculty salary, promotion, and tenure decisions, there is pressure to comply with student classroom demands regarding teaching style, grading and a host of others demands. It is suggested that this pressure to comply with student demands leads directly to an infringement upon academic freedom. As the findings of this paper suggest, SEF is not the benign instrument it may appear to be or may once have been. Its primary impact goes to the core of academic freedom and to the quality of instruction. This paper explores the implications of SEF by presenting: a brief look at academic freedom and tenure; faculty assessment of how SEF infringes upon academic freedom; releasing SEF to students and the public; SEF and administrative control of academic freedom; and SEF and academic freedom in the 21st century. (Contains 22 references). (LMD)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Evaluation Problems, Faculty College Relationship, Faculty Evaluation, Faculty Promotion, Freedom of Speech, Grading, Higher Education, Legal Problems, Libel and Slander, Privacy, Reliability, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Attitudes, Tenure, Validity
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, University of Maryland, College Park, Schriver Hall, College Park, MD 20742-5701, 800-464-3742.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, Washington, DC.