Student course evaluations are ubiquitous these days, whether they be at a national site like ratemyprofessors.com or sponsored by individual institutions. But Harvard University faculty members are split on whether evaluations should be mandatory.
Both the Faculty Council and the Harvard College Curricular Review have recommended requiring course evaluations, but at a Tuesday meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, many professors expressed the need to have a deeper discussion about the utility and drawbacks of evaluations before any decisions are made.
Professors, what would you do to avoid teaching freshmen? Deans, what would you do to get senior professors teaching what you want them to teach?
A battle of wills at the University of Maryland at College Park -- perhaps soon to escalate into a court battle -- is a good illustration of the kinds of choices faced by colleges and professors when it comes to who will teach what.