This archived article was written by: Laura Strate
Every student has filled out at least one teacher evaluation; most students share an ambivilant attitude because they believe their opinions don’t matter. “The point I would like to get across is the evaluations really are important,” says Michelle Fleck, Dean of the Arts and Sciences. “It is a general misconception that they don’t count, but they do.”
The purpose of the teacher evaluations is defined “to provide the faculty with an opportunity for self improvement, the college with quality performance, the student with a means of communicating an evaluation of the instructors and courses, and the college with information relative to reappointment and status of the faculty.” The College of Eastern Utah relies on the students’ feedback about a teacher to help determine if the teacher is performing his/her job properly.
Nontenured teachers are evaluated during every class of every semester. Once a teacher qualifies for tenure, only one class will be evaluated every semester.
The process of teacher evaluations begins with the three deans. Around the time of midterms, the deans’ assistant will have the departmental secretaries contact each teacher to set up a time for evaluations. After all the teacher’s evaluations have been collected, the papers are returned to the dean of that division. Once the deans read the original forms, the forms are taken to the Academic Vice President’s office where they are compiled and the results and returned to the dean. Teachers do not receive the compiled evaluations until after the semester ends.
At the end of the year, all teachers are required to meet with the dean of their division and the results of the evaluations are discussed. If the same comment about a teacher’s inadequacy arises repeatedly, the dean will discuss with the teacher ways to improve this area.
Nontenure teachers also have to meet with a tenure committee each year until the teacher is eligable for tenure. The committee will also review the teacher’s evaluation scores during this meeting.
There is no definite grading for the scantron part of the evaluations. A score of three or under would be considered poor, but it depends on the questions. If a teacher repeatingly receives poor markings on similar questions, then this would signify a “red flag” to the dean.
Since this is a long process, results are usually not seen immediately. The quickest results are seen with part-time teachers since they are hired simply from one semester to the next. If a part-time teacher receives poor markings and comments from the evaluations, CEU may chose to not have the teacher return the following semester.
So next time you have to fill out an evaluation in a class, take the time to answer the questions and comments truthfully. You may not personally see the results, but it will count in the long run.
The Academic Deans (Michelle Fleck, Russell Goodrich, and Jim Huffaker) always welcome any constructive comments from the students, so contact one of them if you would like to discuss the evaluation procedure or if you are having problems with an instructor.