MAY 6, 2013


G. UT Faculty Response to the UT System Task Force Report on the Evaluation of Faculty Teaching (D 10362-10369).

Professor Susan Klein presented the response of the Faculty Council Executive Committee to the recommendations regarding faculty-teaching evaluations proposed by UT System’s task force in 2102 to develop faculty excellence. She said the faculty response consisted of four amendments and some other concerns. The first amendment recommended that each teacher in a team-taught course be separately evaluated. The second amendment recommended the addition of two questions to the five proposed by the task force, with the new questions providing for an overall rating of the instructor and an overall rating of the course. In case the responses to the survey questions were posted online, the third amendment recommended that the responses to each survey question be posted individually and not merely averaged for all the questions to obtain a single numerical score, which the committee perceived as making little, if any, mathematical or logical sense. The fourth amendment recommended that faculty members be allowed to choose paper evaluations instead of being forced to use the online evaluation format, which would not include student comments. Because students’ comments are only provided on the paper format and are protected by the Freedom of Information Act, the faculty committee thought this was an important provision to maintain since many faculty members like to read their students’ comments. Professor Klein also explained that use of the paper version limits the evaluation to students who actually attend the class, whereas the online version could be accessed by individuals that have never even come to class and observed the instructor’s teaching. Chair Hilley explained that the response to the task force’s report would be sent to UT System if the Faculty Council voted in favor of endorsing it. She called for the vote, and the Faculty Council unanimously approved the response and its recommendations.

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