more on teaching & tenure

Leah Wasburn-Moses, after a long faculty meeting, went home and posted this on social media: apple-3256487_1920

“Friends on the Tenure Track: I feel as though our futures hinge on: (1) the amount of research we produce that nobody will ever read, (2) the extent to which our students like us, and (3) the number of committees we chair that will never do anything.”

In the Chronicle today, Wasburn-Moses discusses the race/gender biases of teaching evaluations as well as their meaninglessness, citing the 2017 study Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related.” 

Read the full article, with Wasburn-Moses’ recommendations: “We Make Tenure Decisions Unfairly. Here’s a Better Way.”


Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman has a lot to say about teaching effectiveness, as you likely know. Here’s an excerpt from a 2016 article on his work:

“For Wieman, the fact that most colleges and universities don’t even bother to systemically measure teaching quality is the bigger problem festering in higher education. Administrators, he argues, are instead obsessed with publishing and research funding, which remain the bedrock of tenure and promotion.

“‘The quality of teaching is not something that university administrators are rewarded for, and correspondingly know or care about,’ Wieman says. ‘If they improved the quality of teaching by 100 percent and in the process reduced the amount of research funding and publications by 1 percent, they would be penalized, since the latter is carefully measured and compared across institutions, while the former is never measured.'”

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