Monday, June 23, 2014

Changing Practices in Faculty Evaluation

AAUP National
June 2014

   Years ago, the process of faculty evaluation carried few or none of the sudden-death implications that characterize contemporary evaluation practices. But now, as the few to be chosen for promotion and tenure become fewer and faculty mobility decreases, the decision to promote or grant tenure can have an enormous impact on a professor’s career. At the same time, academic administrators are under growing pressure to render sound decisions in the face of higher operating costs, funding shortfalls, and the mounting threat posed by giant corporations that have moved into higher education. Worsening economic conditions have focused sharper attention on evaluation of faculty performance, with the result that faculty members are assessed through formalized, systematic methods.
   This study was undertaken to determine whether contemporary methods of evaluation differ significantly from those previously used. For comparative purposes, base data were derived from our 2000 study, which concluded that meaningful evaluation of faculty performance was rare and that judgments frequently were based on information gathered in haphazard, even chaotic, fashion.

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