ISQs and Teaching effectiveness

Question from Anonymous posed to Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Szymanski has stated that he does not believe that ISQs measure teaching effectiveness. Instead, he stated he believes ISQs measure customer satisfaction. Last year two faculty members were denied tenure in part using their ISQ scores, stating they did not meet the requirements of teaching effectiveness due to a single ISQ question. If the President does not believe that ISQs measure teaching effectiveness, why would UNF cite this measure when denying a faculty member tenure?  


Answered from the floor by Dr. Rhodes

OK. So we’ve sort of been here a little bit earlier, so I am not going to discuss individual cases, but this topic of how we evaluate teaching is very important. It was one of the first things that David and I talked about and we have collaboratively set up this group to look at how we evaluate teaching. It’s not just ISQs; it’s peer evaluations; it’s other measures we can think of.

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

March 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

John White, President (2016-2017), United Faculty of Florida

In a recent “Did you know” item you said: “Not having any discipline-specific guidelines leaves Promotion and Tenure decisions entirely at the discretion of administration, without feedback from departmental faculty.”
This statement seems misleading given the composition of department P&T committees, which are made up of departmental faculty, and the role their vote plays in the outcome of P&T cases. As well, department faculty are able to write department letters of recommendation. And the University P&T committee is made up of faculty as well, although not departmental faculty. How do you claim that P&T decisions do not have feedback from departmental faculty, and that discipline-specific guidelines are the antidote?


The questioner is correct in that the message noted above was unintentionally misleading. I apologize for not being clearer in how I worded the message.

My intent had been to highlight that a lack of specific department and/or disciplinary specific criteria (guidelines) on which to judge applicants for promotion and tenure make resulting evaluations prone to unstandardized and non-contextualized judgments. Without guidelines that elucidate what faculty know to be the most important aspects of their teaching, their scholarship, and their service, evaluations of their respective performance are more at the whim of others—including the ultimate decision makers in the administration. Similarly, a lack of department-specific guidelines may result in greater administrative autonomy and subjectivity in making evaluative judgments of a candidate’s overall performance.