The evaluation forms distributed to students in each of their courses at the end of each semester are used as a tool to ensure the teaching staff at the University of Hartford are the best fit.
“Student evaluations of faculty is absolutely essential in higher education. You want a measure of quality control,” Dr. David Goldenberg, the dean of Hillyer College, said. “In the sense of first giving feedback to the faculty member from the students themselves. The faculty I know takes this very seriously.”
Faculty do not have access to these evaluations until after student’s grades are submitted, and at the start of the next new semester. Full time faculty get their envelopes first and are not required to share their results, while adjunct professors are required to have their evaluations reviewed by the chair of their departments.
Robert Logan, chairman of the English department, feels students often don’t take the time to fill out the forms to the best of their ability.
“Students sort of get a fixed notion sort of what they’re going to rate high and what they’re going to rate low and they’re always the same,” he said. “I could tell you from my own class evaluations, they aren’t as helpful as they might be, that there’s no constructive criticism. It’s as if students want to get rid of [it].”
In addition to the evaluations completed by their students, all faculty members are required to complete a yearly personal evaluation, which includes their reactions to the comments written by students.
Adjunct faculty who receive negative comments are subject to be denied rehire.