ERIC Number: EJ861810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 0
Numbers Are Not Everything
Cole, Milton W.
Academe, v95 n5 p30 Sep-Oct 2009
Numbers--of publications, grant money, PhD students, and invited talks, for example--play too large a role in assessments of faculty. The author's thirty-five years of experience in higher education have convinced him that overreliance on such numbers is a big problem, especially, but not exclusively, in the sciences. Every scientist recognizes the "numbers problem," but administrators, who need to assess the relative merits of faculty, sometimes find it difficult to understand that numbers are not really adequate or "objective" criteria for evaluation. In this article, the author discusses the questionable use of quantitative data in evaluating faculty in the sciences. He describes some negative consequences of the emphasis on numbers and offers possible solutions.
Descriptors: Numbers, Statistical Data, Statistical Bias, Teacher Evaluation, Evaluation Criteria, College Faculty
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A