Immature response

Current attempts by the SA to boycott instructor evaluations are at best an immature response to a complex problem. Instructor evaluations are currently the only venue available for students to express dissatisfaction with a particular course or instructor. Boycotting this venue only diminishes the impact of student criticism of an instructor. It is apparent that the SA has failed to correctly identify the issue.

The issue at hand is education. Is the student getting the best possible education for the dollar spent?

The SA’s attempts to publish instructor evaluations are not relevant to the issue. A limited number of instructors are available to teach a limited number of courses. Some students will be forced into sections with poor instructors regardless of whether or not evaluations are published. Publishing evaluations will have no impact unless a student is willing to forgo taking a course until he can satisfy himself with the instructors available.

The SA should focus on the root of the problem. Does an advanced degree automatically guarantee that an individual can teach? Technical expertise in a particular field does not necessarily mean that an instructor is capable of teaching students. Teaching is more than reciting facts and giving tests.

Instructors at NIU need to be taught to teach. The SA should devote itself to this end, not to bickering with faculty over evaluations.

Tim Klein