Georgia Faculty Members Object To New Evaluation System

Jan 25, 2016

University of Georgia professors are voicing their objections to a new grading system for faculty members that UGA administrators began installing last year.

The Office of the Provost's plan to give all faculty members one of three grades every year is a bad idea, the faculty members say.

The faculty members outlined their objections in a letter approved Tuesday by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate, The Athens Banner-Herald reported.

The professors say that sorting faculty with a scorecard into "does not meet expectations," ''meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations" categories will not achieve fairness and equality, and doesn't recognize that expectations can't be the same for every discipline.

The Senate is a legislative body elected from among professors in genetics, history, math, English and 26 other departments within the Franklin College, by far the largest of UGA's schools and colleges. The college's professors teach about half the total credit hours in the university, five times more than the second largest school and nearly as much as the rest of the university combined.

The letter now goes to the college's dean, Alan Dorsey, to carry to UGA Provost Pamela Whitten, the Athens newspaper reported.

Dorsey will in turn meet with Whitten to talk about the letter and why he may or may not disagree with it, he told the Franklin College Senate.

"We emphasize that this is a matter of extreme importance," according to the Senators' letter, written by members of the Senate's committee on faculty affairs.

Departments should be left to evaluate their own faculty members within certain guidelines, according to the letter.

Faculty evaluations underlie decisions about promotion, tenure and pay raises, it states.

"To serve as a useful tool, the annual review must therefore be more than a summary of activity," according to the letter. "It must contain an evaluative component."