Rohith Rao, DN
Faculty council votes to review teacher evaluation methods
Editor's note: A previous version of the story incorrectly quoted Yaron Ayalon. It has since been changed to reflect his proper quote.
Ball State's faculty council unanimously voted in favor of two new items at the meeting Thursday.
The first concerning changes to teacher evaluations and the second regarding the reconsideration process for adverse promotion and tenure decisions for faculty members.
The first item asked for the teaching evaluation committee to submit recommendations on new and improved methods for evaluating teachers.
These new methods would allow for teachers to use them alongside current end-of-semester student evaluations for purposes of promotion, tenure and merit pay.
They will also address implicit biases of the current system that may negatively affect women and/or minorities and that may penalize expressions of cultural diversity.
Yaron Ayalon, the chairperson of the council, said, “From what I understand it will preserve the very important element of having the voice of the students in the process, because that’s very critical.”
Ayalon gave examples of teaching evaluation methods at other universities and said Ball State could either look at them as models or adopt its own new one. He said the university needs a good system that will address teaching evaluations and encourage good learning among students.
He said avoiding teaching something because a student might be offended is not right and that most students want their professors to teach what’s supposed to be taught.
“You don’t want teachers to avoid certain topics just because other students might be offended. It’s college, you are supposed to be offended at some point by something," Ayalon said. "It’s OK if you’re offended by something.”
The second item that was approved asked for the University Promotion and Tenure Committee to consider adopting changes regarding the process of reconsideration after an adverse promotion and/or tenure decision for members of the faculty.
Another subject that was briefly discussed was a new structure for the university’s core curriculum. The University Core Curriculum Education Sub Committee will meet on Sept. 17 to discuss this new proposal.
Ayalon said he spoke with President Geoffrey Mearns and the Strategic Planning Committee who both beleive the university needs to update its core curriculum.
The council will hold its next meeting on Oct. 11, 4 p.m. in Letterman Building, room 125.