Mandate evaluations

Midsemester professor evaluations should be required of all colleges.

As the oft-quoted saying goes, there are two certainties in life – death and taxes. Like death and taxes, there are two certainties for University students at the end of every semester, finals and professor evaluations. But unlike taxes, many students often choose not to complete professor evaluations.

Roughly three out of four students fill out professor evaluations. One of the main reasons students choose not to complete professor evaluations is because there is no incentive for them to do so. Students know the University does nothing with evaluations aside from monitor student evaluations of professor performance. Furthermore, the University has done nothing to make student access to professor evaluations any easier. So unless a student is really upset with the way he or she felt a certain professor’s course went, ambivalence toward the evaluation is their answer. The evaluation becomes a chance for revenge rather than improvement. Not only is this a wasted opportunity for both students and professors to improve their respective performances, but it also makes evaluations a moot point.

If the University is serious about increasing its dismal graduation rates, it would be better off investing in advising or implementing sanctioned midsemester evaluations. By doing so professors would be forced to confront inadequate teaching and make steps to inprove the course.

In midsemester professor evaluations, students would have the opportunity to give their professor immediate feedback. Currently, midesemester evaluations are optional and not required universitywide. Required midsemester evaluations would give the student incentive to fill out the evaluation, as well as a safe forum in which to critique their professor outside the professor’s office hours. Again, if the University is serious about improving graduation rates, it should look to required midsemester evaluations.