Staff Editorial

Course evaluations moved online two years ago in an attempt to reduce class time taken to fill out the paperwork, and to be environmentally responsible. This shift has significantly decreased the number of course evaluations completed, with many students choosing not to fill out the evaluations at all.
Professors depend on student input to improve courses in accordance with student needs. Students cannot expect classes to improve, or to reward professors for well-taught classes if course evaluations are not completed. If students in a higher education institution want to preserve high intellectual standards, feedback is an integral part of the process.
In addition, as Provost Dave Burrows mentions in the tenure article “Lawrence grants tenure to seven faculty members” this week, faculty tenure reviews, sent to all students who took classes with a faculty member up for tenure, had dismal return records. Teaching is one-third of the criteria evaluated for tenure, and Burrows says student reviews are what the tenure board values most highly when reviewing teaching.
In the same vein as course evaluations, high academic standards can only be maintained by giving tenure to the highest quality professors. Students should not take this responsibility lightly, and ought to take the opportunity to fight to keep good professors at Lawrence, and to remove ones that perhaps are not the right fit for this institution.
All idealism aside, students aren’t filling out these forms. Rather than become complacent with a lack of participation, the administration ought to require classes to complete these surveys online in computer labs during classes. While it is unfortunate to have to reduce class time, feedback will benefit professors and students in the long run.
As members of the Lawrence community, it is students’ responsibility to take the time to review our classes and professors in order to improve the academics and maintain the high standards of this university.

Top