- As students are asked to pay more for their education, colleges and universities may be tempted to treat them as consumers who need to be made satisfied with their purchased product, which could leave faculty out in the cold.
- Postdoctoral fellow Alex Campbell writes for The Guardian that the United Kingdom’s education system is on the brink of a crisis thanks to proposed reforms that aim to bring free market principles into higher education and use student satisfaction metrics for key decision-making.
- Under the reforms, quality of teaching would be scrutinized as the key factor affecting student retention and student satisfaction overall.
In the United States, concerns about student power in employment decisions are serious, especially among the adjunct workforce. Student evaluations tend to factor into hiring and promotion decisions, and research shows these evaluations are routinely tied to subjective metrics that can be sexist. Faculty members learn when and how to offer the evaluations to get the best possible results — not soon after any graded assignments are handed out, for example. Freshmen are particularly apt to make emotional evaluations. But colleges exist to teach students. Teaching quality should factor into the equation. The challenge is finding a fair way to make that happen.