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New Approaches to Faculty Hiring

May 31, 2006

The e-newsletter Inside Higher Ed as, again, an intersting article. I wonder if Dean Dad has read it. It seems right up his area of interest.

One of the more interesting pieces of advice (and the article was aimed at CC search committees, but I think it would hold for others) is to measure past teaching success. Not easy, but probably pretty effective.

But, who needs metrics anyway?

  1. Broke H. Grad permalink
    May 31, 2006 9:46 pm

    How do you measure “past teaching success?” I am curious, because I am not sure what a search comm. would use. Can you use departmental evaluations, and wouldn’t those be somewhat protected by privacy regulations? Could one use student evaluations, but then again, who hires based on student perception. What could they use to measure “past teaching success?”

  2. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    June 1, 2006 1:13 pm

    I would certainly NOT recommend using student evaluations…although smile sheets can give a sense of charisma at times.

    I am not sure what exactly would be used. In an ideal world one could look at alumni success as a general indicator, although tying that to a specific prof is an iffy proposition.

    I have been thinking over this for a couple of days, and it seems that gethering this sort of metric information would be institutionally challenging. The numbers just aren’t there, and I wonder if some of the parties don’t want it to be there.

    But, in an ideal world, a committee could look at retention rates for the instructor’s courses, syllabi and grade patterns. For instance, looking at a particular syllibus will give an indication of the course expectations. Overlay that with the institutions student body (is it a civic CC or a private “elite” school?), then check drop-out rates. High attrition, I think, is never a good thing. If you have high expectations and rigorous material, then the instructor’s job is to orient the students in such a way as to promote success. That, it seems, is the job of instructor.

    I don’t have a good answer to other sourcces…any help out there?

  3. Broke H. Grad permalink
    June 1, 2006 3:03 pm

    Perhaps you could also check pass-fail rates. Some instructors have atrocious odds. I think that some people would also argue for looking into “projects” around the university, because good teaching can be difficult to measure.

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