May 22nd, 2015
In what is apparently a vogue of Republican state legislators exercising misplaced vendettas against college professors, Iowa Sen. Mark Chelgren recently made headlines when he introduced Senate File 64, “an Act relating to the teaching effectiveness and employment of professors” at Iowa public institutions.
Each year, the bill stipulates, any faculty who fails “to attain a minimum threshold of performance” based solely on student evaluations would be automatically fired regardless of rank or tenure. Lest you think that firing professors based on a questionable assessment metric
affords them too much dignity, rest assured there is more. Some
beleaguered governing body would also publish the names of the five
professors with the lowest acceptable evaluations, and the student body
would then “vote on the question of whether any of the five professors
will be retained.”