September 15, 2007

Which would you prefer to be public: your salary or your course evaluations?

Asks Jeremy Freese, who's just moved from UW-Madison, where your salary is public information, to Northwestern where "anybody with domain access can read all your evaluations from students. In fact, when students are registering for courses, there is a link to a course's previous evaluations right next to the link where they would sign up for it."


Trooper York said...

Alfred Hitchcock is quoted on this point: "When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?, ' I say, 'Your salary.'"

Trooper York said...

Google is fun!

titus20 said...

My salary because I make a lot of money.

My grades sucked.

Trooper York said...

"My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income."
Errol Flynn

rightwingprof said...

Aren't state university salaries public information by law? They are in Indiana (though the university makes it very difficult to find that information). If not, they should be. And student evaluations should definitely be publically available.

I don't understand why the two are mutually exclusive.

Bruce Hayden said...

I went to law school where evaluations were in the library, and by your second year, you wouldn't think of taking a class without checking out the prof first.

The only reason that I could see for not publishing the evaluations is to protect the incompetent teachers. Of course, since much of academia is self-perpetuating, etc., that is all the excuse needed.

Which is of course why a state school would be less likely to publish evaluations - the schools are run more for the profs than for the students. Schools like NW have to keep the students happy in addition to the faculty.