Policy on Discriminatory Comments on Course Evaluations

 

The vast majority of our students take the teaching evaluation process seriously, but on occasion comments on an evaluation violate the college's harassment and discrimination policy.

Every College staff member, faculty member, and student has the right to work and study in an environment free from discrimination and harassment and should be treated with dignity and respect. The College prohibits discrimination and harassment against applicants for employment or admission, students, faculty, or staff on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, status as a veteran or any other classification protected by local, state or federal law, as applicable. 

In the event of discriminatory comments, the following procedures apply

 

1) Faculty members may send a letter to the Dean of the Faculty that identifies the course, section, semester and specific comment(s) on the evaluation that they feel are discriminatory. The Dean will keep these documents on file in order to mitigate, if necessary, the impact of such evaluations on the faculty member's employment.   In addition, the Dean shall use these documents to address problems of hostile environments in individual classrooms and across campus.

2) Faculty members under review in a given year should also send copies of these documents to the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  For faculty under review, the P&TC will conduct its own screening for discriminatory evaluations.  If an evaluation has been found to be discriminatory, a letter will be sent to the Dean of the Faculty that will identify the course, section, semester, and specific comment(s) on the evaluation that are discriminatory. Statistical data for the class will then be recalculated, excluding the discriminatory evaluation.

The P&TC will retain a copy of the letter in order to take into account any classroom climate issues that might impact the current review. In addition, the P&TC will monitor overall classroom climate issues in case they need to be addressed on campus.

Adopted by Faculty Affairs Committee April 2011, revised August 2015

 

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