|Proposal: ||1. The incoming University APT Committee should be told by the Senate that they cannot use the number of declined invitations to review as a negative factor in determining promotion when the number of outside reviewers meets the number required (or more) by the promotion guidelines, and all letters received are positive. The number of declined invitations should not be a relevant, let alone an important factor, in decision to promote in such a situation. |
2. The incoming University APT Committee should be told by the Senate that raw student evaluations entered by computer should not be used as the determinative metric in evaluating teaching ability. They constitute both inadequate data and highly skewed data. In many Departments the rate of return is both low (for instance, 43% in once case this year) and distorted (especially towards those who dislike a course). In addition, several studies have shown that there is a significant statistical correlation between high student evaluations and the easiness of the course. Numeric ratings given by computer in Week 13 of a tougher than average course cannot be the determining metric for showing if a professor is a good teacher. In my own Department the method of computerized student evaluations is viewed as so dangerous and inaccurate that the untenured are advised to stick to the old in-class paper evaluations, which give a much higher rate of return and a more accurate evaluation. The University APT should be told that the raw data of student evaluations is not a valid tool for evaluating the quality of teaching. The quality of dissertations directed or mentored, new courses developed, the quality of A papers in undergraduate courses, all of these would be better ways by which to judge the effectiveness of teaching.
3. In Arts and Humanities Departments, and often in the Social Sciences, the basis for promotion to full professor is usually the publication of a second book (the first book having brought tenure and promotion to associate professor). The incoming University APT Committee should by told by the Senate that hiatus in publication of a second book should not be considered an insuperable obstacle to promotion to full professor as long as it is followed by significant publication.