Evaluation process under evaluation

Jonathan Isaacson

The Lawrence administration evaluating its own evaluation process. Brian Rosenberg, dean of the faculty, says all aspects of student evaluations are being inspected, from the current evaluation forms to the possibility of having students evaluate their academic advisors.According to Rosenberg, “[Administrators] have collected evaluation forms from 10 or 15 other schools” in the attempt to evaluate and improve the process at Lawrence. Rosenberg says the current investigations are part of the process of looking at the bigger picture for the university.

The faculty is asking, “How can the whole system be made stronger,” including evaluations, Rosenberg said.

Included in the possible changes to the evaluation process is the addition of advisor evaluations. The possibility of such evaluations has been on the table for discussion for several years now, but has yet to be formalized and put into practice.

According to Rosenberg, that aspect of the evaluation process was informally agreed upon several years ago. He said that it appears that the general consensus among the faculty is still in favor of including advisors in the evaluation process.

Work has begun on implementing individual advisor evaluations. Martha Hemwall, Dean of Student Academic Services, said, “We have been laying the groundwork for the past two to three years, an important first step to implementing an effective evaluation system.”

According to Hemwall, the tasks include developing better materials for advising and compiling of a handbook for advisors, which will be updated every year.

Some sample advising surveys have been put together and will probably be distributed to faculty. The faculty will then give their feedback about the evaluation surveys and reach some consensus.

Rosenberg said that he has heard complaints that the evaluation forms are already too long, but he stressed the importance of the evaluation process, calling it a critical part of Lawrence University.

“It’s important that everyone take the process as seriously as possible,” he said.

As to when the changes will be implemented, both Rosenberg and Hemwall refrained from making any predictions. In the words of Hemwall, “A time frame is not possible to predict given the workloads of all of us.