The University Senate of Michigan Technological University
(Related proposals 10-85, 2-87, 18-97, 2-97, and 5-99)
The Senate recommends that:
- The University establish a permanent professionally staffed center for teaching excellence where
individual faculty members can obtain help in developing teaching skills and improving instruction,
- The University adopt an equitable and standardized teaching evaluation system that will provide
information for individual faculty to use in improving teaching performance and for administrators
to use in making personnel decisions.
The following definitions are used in this proposal [from 2-87]:
- Faculty Member refers to all persons responsible for teaching courses. This includes tenured and
untenured faculty, non-tenure track faculty (adjunct, visiting, instructor, lecturer, faculty assistant,
temporary, part-time, etc.) and graduate teaching assistants.
- Academic Administrator refers to department head, department chair, dean or director of a college
or school, the chief academic officer and others who supervise faculty members.
- CENTER FOR TEACHING, LEARNING, AND FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
A Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development is a professionally staffed facility which will
sponsor workshops and training programs for faculty and graduate teaching assistants, as well as provide
private consultation for individual faculty members. Individual faculty consultations with the Center for
Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development will be kept confidential and will not be made available to
- TEACHING EVALUATION SYSTEM
- Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness
- Evaluation instrument:
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty development will be responsible for
developing and distributing appropriate instruments to allow MTU students to provide
meaningful and comprehensive feedback to those charged with instructional duties.
Instruments will consist of a series of items pertaining to generally recognized features of
quality instructional practices and will also give students the opportunity to provide their
written opinions and suggestions for instructional improvement.
All such instruments, or any changes to existing instruments, will be presented to the
University Senate Instructional Policy Committee for consideration. Any changes to the
evaluation instruments or implementations of new instruments are subject to the prior
approval of the University Senate.
- Frequency of required student evaluation:
[from 18-97] Faculty members and graduate teaching assistants will evaluate at least one
section of each different course preparation each semester unless required to do more by
the academic unit(s) associated with that course. Student rating of instruction forms will be
scanned and summarized only in sections with an initial enrollment of six or more students
unless otherwise specified by an individual academic unit.
- Procedures for student evaluations:
Following directions provided with the student rating of instruction instruments, the
instructor will give the evaluation materials to a student in the class and then leave the
room. The student will distribute the forms and then collect and return the completed forms
in a sealed envelope to the relevant departmental office or to the Center for Teaching,
Learning, and Faculty Development. Departmental offices are to send these sealed
envelopes containing the completed evaluations directly to the Center for Teaching,
Learning, and Faculty Development.
After scanning the forms, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development will
return the original forms and sheets summarizing numerical responses to the faculty
member and the faculty member's immediate instructional supervisor. The chief academic
officer, or her/his designee, as well as other academic administrators will also be provided
with copies of the relevant section summary sheets.
Summary sheets from general education core course sections will constitute a special case
and also be sent to the relevant core course coordinator and to the person charged by the
chief academic officer with general education instructional oversight.
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development will not release any
information related to the student rating of instruction scores of any instructor to any other
parties without the prior written permission of that instructor.
- Uses of the results of student evaluations:
The appropriate academic administrator will use the ratings derived from student
evaluations in partial support for and justification of personnel decisions (reappointment,
promotion, tenure, and yearly salary adjustments) concerning the faculty member being
evaluated. [from 5-99] No more than 50 percent of any evaluation of teaching should rest
on the evaluation instrument.
The evaluated faculty member will be able to use the information derived from student
evaluations to identify strengths and weaknesses. The responsibility to act on evaluation
information to improve instruction rests with the evaluated instructor.
- Trial usage of alternative student evaluations instruments: [from 2-97]
Any alternative instrument will be furnished by the Director of the Center for Teaching,
Learning, and Faculty Development. These are understood to be trial instruments being
considered for adoption by the University.
The instrument will be used only by those tenured faculty members who freely elect to use
the instrument in their classes. These faculty members will cooperate with the Director in
the administration of the evaluation.
The results of the evaluations will be furnished to the faculty members and department
chairs, following current policy. The results of the evaluation will also be furnished to the
Before the administration of the evaluation, faculty members may elect to have the results
of some or all items of the trial instrument released for publication, e.g., by the USG
Teaching Standards Committee.
The results of the evaluation will be retained by the Director, who will maintain the results
in strict confidence. The results will be used only for assessing the usefulness of the trial
instruments, unless other use is granted in written permission from the individual faculty
member to the Director.
- Peer or Colleague Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness
Peer or colleague evaluation applies to all instructors except graduate teaching assistants.
- Mechanism of peer or colleague evaluation:
Each department or school will establish an internal mechanism by which it evaluates the
appropriateness of level, content, and currency of courses taught by individual faculty
members and the quality of the instructor's contribution to the teaching mission of the
- Procedures for peer or colleague evaluation:
Peer or colleague evaluations of teaching will be conducted according to departmentally
established procedures and reported initially to the evaluated faculty member. After he or
she has had the opportunity to respond to the evaluation, the evaluators will report a final
summary evaluation to the head/chair/dean. The evaluated faculty member may then
submit a written statement if he/she wishes formally to rebut or affirm the evaluation.
- Uses of peer or colleague evaluation:
The evaluated faculty member will be able to use the evaluations guidance in course
development and teaching improvement. Peer or colleague evaluations are intended to
ensure that instructors receive constructive advice concerning their professional
development, but the responsibility for using that advice to improve instruction rests with
the evaluated instructor.
The information derived from peer or colleague evaluations may be used by academic
administrators as partial support of and justification for personnel decisions (reappointment,
tenure, promotion, and yearly salary adjustments). The evaluation of teaching will be
weighted in a manner which is commensurate with the assigned teaching responsibilities
of each faculty member.
Adopted by Senate: 23 April 2003
Approved by President: 19 May 2003
Became Senate Procedures 504.1.1