Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgThere is an interesting controversy at the University of California (Berkeley) after history professor Brian DeLay tweeted  that it is time for the school to get rid of the use of end-of-semester student evaluations for hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Such evaluations have long been a critical measure of a professor’s credentials.  However, Professor DeLay insists that such evaluations tend to be lower for female instructors and people of color. Thus, his proposal is to stop the use of evaluations for all faculty in decisions related to hiring or promotion.

DeLay noted that, as students finished this term, the evaluations are likely to disfavor women and minorities; “Over the next few weeks, students will get the chance to evaluate their professors and TAs. They’re going to get it wrong. They’ll be harder on women and people of color than on white men. Tenured white male faculty, in particular, should help their students understand this.”  Citing a study showing systemically lower evaluations, he added that “tenured faculty – especially tenured white men – should explain this stuff to our students…”

However, student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are a key input of students in the performance of faculty.  To bar the use of SETs would radically diminish student voices in key decisions in colleges and universities.

What do you think?


27 thoughts on “Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors”

  1. Teachers are the only service providers that demand to ignore their customer/students experience. i taught high school for 9 years and could only find 1 other teacher willing to count student evals as part merit pay. Teachers hate merit pay. Makes you wonder why. They want admin that observed 2 times a year or no evals at all, but were scared to death of students that saw their performance every day. Ironic? given they evaluate students every day.
    Sad really, no other service industry could survive such a customer service market.

  2. America began by requiring immigrants to be “…free white person(s)…” with certified bona fides.

    Every parasite in the world is an American-in-waiting and allowed in by liberal collectivists to skew and corrupt the vote.

    The University of California system, the People’s Republic of California and the American welfare state are voted into existence by liberal

    collectivists through anti-American, anti-Constitutional, adversarial immigration.

    Chaos may be considered to be insurrection and rebellion.

    Chaos is the condition of America from the corrupt Mueller Inquisition to college campus derangement.

    The executive branch has constitutional contingency power to support the Constitution and preserve the nation.

    As “Crazy Abe” Lincoln said, “Let’s get this party started!”

  3. do alumni get a vote? I’d say keep them, just take them with a grain of salt. In similar situations employees probably have insights employers would benefit from but often choose to ignore in typical hierarchical protection-mode. If decisions to minimize female and minority tenure are being made, let’s not blame the excuses used- but look at the deciders.

  4. As we move forward toward a post-racial, meritocratic society, there will always be those who refuse to give up multiculturalism, and its excuses and standards-variations based on racial classifications. The fact that students elevate excellent professors of all racial backgrounds and genders CANNOT be denied by Prof. DeLay. He cannot explain how this is possible given his hypothesis of systematic prejudice. He is not tuned into excellence as a way to categorize human behavior, but rather insists on racial classifications. I’m pretty sure his racial classifications are informal, subjective classifications biased by his own personal history. If he were to adopt scientific classifications based on genetic analysis, he would find out that virtually all Americans are of mixed-race heritage. His colloquial system of racial classifications is inaccurate and deceptive, meant to divide rather than to unite Americans around ideals and behaviors. DeLay is a relic of a fading past.

    1. “As we move forward toward a post-racial, meritocratic society…” What a wonderful idea! Too bad we’re madly dashing the other way.

  5. It’s the old, ‘Ya see what you want ta see and ya hear what ya wants ta hear.’

    I can prove that you’re not here.

    Are you in Toronto?


    Are you in Fargo?


    Are you in Miami?


    Well if you’re not in Toronto, Fargo, or Miami; then you must be someplace else, and if you’re someplace else; then you can’t be here.

    It’s that sort of logic.

  6. I’m confused. Does this guy believe that most students are so sexist and racist that they will not give an honest evaluation of the faculty? Or does he just want to protect poor performers? Or is he just virtue-signaling by jumping on the “poor, put-upon women and POC” bandwagon?

  7. SOME women and minority professors receive outstanding evaluations.
    How does he explain that if students are systemically biased against women and minorities?

    A rational person would say that the women and minority professors who students rank highly have the skills, aptitudes, experience, etc. students value in outstanding professors. They are very good at their job.

    Why might it be that students rank white men, as a group, higher than they rank women and minorities? To satisfy the demands of the diversity Gods, maybe there are fewer seats available for white men. Maybe the lesser qualified white men get weeded out to meet quotas for females, minorities, pygmies, left-handed redheads, etc. So the white male professors who are not weeded out make higher quality professors.

  8. I had the same minority teacher for Calc III and differential equations. He was brilliant but horrible. No one could understand him and our grades suffered and I didn’t get the most out of those classes as I should have being that I was paying for them. When he would ask us a question we would all give him this blank stare because no one would know what the hell he just said. He would eventually say, “Why you look at face? Answer not on face! Answer in note or book!” I will let you guess what minority he was.

  9. The faculty want complete autonomy (including input into administrative matters they know nothing about) but now you have one telling us that faculty don’t know how to read SET forms. Put the SET forms in one pile, the syllabi in another, a memorandum producing the median grade, the mean grade, and the standard deviation of grading of the candidates courses in a third pile, and a video of a random selection of his lectures and seminars in a fourth pile. You should be able to get a picture of what the candidates skills are.

    There’s a reason minority faculty have issues with the students. Academic training, recruitment, and retention practices give you a pool of minority faculty who do not meet ordinary performance criteria. It also gives you faculty who are disproportionately ensconced in pseudodisciplines or whose research is fixated on race matters. Recruit, train, and retain minorities with the same methods you apply to everyone else, and you’ll quit having these problems.

    There’s a reason people tend to be less satisfied with female faculty than they are with male faculty. Women are multi-taskers by default and their syllibi, lectures, and examinations have less focus. A few of them have serious issues with men qua men and it shows. As a college student, I had one effective female history teacher, several effective foreign language teachers, and a geography teacher who was at least engaging and interesting. Beyond that, the lady professors were a big meh. As a secondary school student, I had one very capable biology teacher, one capable French teacher, one capable art teacher, and a biology teacher who was engaging and interesting. This is just life.

  10. “What do I think???”

    I think protecting the sensitivities of blacks, women, and SJWs is faaaarrrrr more important than receiving input to evaluate one’s teaching skills! Why it is the most important thing in the world! Evaluations are HATE SPEECH! And the very forms themselves should be thrown into a public bonfire!

    Oh Wait! Self-Dace-Slap! Thanks, I needed that!

    Whew, I was having a momentary Democrat Moment, which is something like a Senior Moment.

    Really, I wonder if the Democrats here are proud of their fellow Democrat, Brian De Lay??? It is always Democrats who seem to be promulgating this type of silly crap. Why does anybody still vote for Democrats, the party that supports this sort of crap???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Seen this post by JT a mile away, another look over here by JT when it gets to hot on Trump.

      1. Maybe you would have liked pictures of his vacations or what is this person arrested for posts? At least I see the problem unlike you and others on this site that act like there is nothing there because you have come to believe that a man who is in the White House was working with a mob a Russian crooks and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

        1. At least I see the problem…

          It’s called myopia…seek help.

          You can appeal to Turley to become a guest blogger and post content you find important; continue to wait in anticipation for the posts you approve; OR do what normal people do and not rely on one blog to satiate your blood-thirst.

          Good luck with that.

          1. You discounting discomfiting evidence of JT distraction, deflection on any bad news about Trump literally changing perception of reality is itself deplorable. Rejoice in your ignorance. You should get the life time achievement of a person portraying someone with a critically thought process that shut off facts and truth.

            1. Fishsticks, do you have any idea how weird it is when you post comments directed at your own self???

  12. Typical bs from a Berkeley academic. I’ll bet his evaluations are not very good. Add this to safe rooms, trigger warnings and student/faculty refusal to hear speakers from the Right and there will be no accountability and no growing up there.

    1. T L Morison – I was kind of wondering about the professor’s personal evaluations. Maybe we should be seeing them.

  13. are they going to throw out the critiques of peers as well. Maybe that should apply to evaluations of students such as candidates for Doctorates, or masters or Bachelors or better yet. Why not give social promotions like the rest of education? Tongue in cheek comment with an injection of real life. .

  14. I certainly wouldn’t eliminate them. I would be careful not to give them too much weight either. Student feedback is critical but it might reflect things other than race and gender. Demanding teachers may suffer and “cute” one may get higher ratings.
    He is citing a study, I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand, he may be right unless lesser ratings for women and minorities solely on that basis is an acceptable result?

  15. We have already dumbed down the coriculum to accommodate underperforming students to comply with political correctness, it seems only logical that the next step would be to do away with any process that might hold the teachers acculountable to any standard regardless of race, sex.etc.for the same reason.

  16. Another crazed academic overcome with — yet clueless about — his own racism. How do they get jobs? Anybody wanna guess how this guy does on evals?

  17. I always found the critics instructive so I could make changes or course modifications, if necessary. You throw out the top 5 percent and the bottom 5 percent and the rest are probably on target.

    Especially when I was a beginning adjunct professor those evaluations were a great help to changing things in my teaching style. Sometimes because of a comment, I would correct the entire syllabus to make it more effective for the next time.

    This is hogwash.

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