Lovejoy Commission submits final report to be reviewed by Faculty Senate

Megan Wilkinson


new TWTR.Widget({

version: 2,

type: ‘search’,

search: ‘#KWLovejoy’,

interval: 6000,

subject: ”,

width: 240,

height: 300,

theme: {

shell: {

background: ‘#b8b8b8’,

color: ‘#66a9c5’


tweets: {

background: ‘#b8b8b8’,

color: ‘#444444’,

links: ‘#1985b5’



features: {

scrollbar: true,

loop: true,

live: true,

hashtags: true,

timestamp: true,

avatars: true,

toptweets: true,

behavior: ‘default’



A faculty commission wants to make teacher evaluations digital and more frequent.

The Lovejoy Commission, named after and chaired by anthropology professor Owen Lovejoy, recommends:

-Teacher evaluations become all-electronic. Lovejoy said electronic evaluation forms are easier to read and organize.

-More emphasis on “open-ended” questions. Tudor said short answer questions give more opinion and description to help resolve problems with a teacher’s methodology.

-The evaluations act as a “trigger” for students to receive their final grades. Lovejoy said more students might be motivated to fill out evaluation forms if they can be rewarded by receiving their final grades earlier.

-Evaluations be given twice a semester. Tudor said teachers could fix any teaching problems mid-way through a course if they are evaluated multiple times a semester.

Jarrod Tudor, assistant professor of sociology and a member of the commission, said the group presented its final report to faculty senate on Friday.

Faculty senate could discuss the report as early as its Nov. 7 meeting. It eventually has to decide whether to adopt the proposals.

Evaluations are used when the university decides to extend a new faculty member’s contract or give him or her tenure, which can guarantee lifetime employment.

Toward the end of every semester, students fill out the standard Student Survey of Instruction (SSI) forms to review how their professors taught in each of their classes.

Mack Hassler, chair of the English department, said the SSI form has been around for close to 20 years but has not been revised since 2004.

“Our goal is to make all SSI forms electronic instead of just sending out piles of papers,” Hassler said. “I think more students will want to participate in the evaluations of classes, and they will see more of an effect with this method of measurement.”

vLovejoy said many universities are ahead of Kent State in the area of teacher evaluations. For example, the University of Texas has had online teacher evaluations for nearly a decade. He said student input would probably increase if the process were electronic.

“The current scanning process is so poor that you cannot always read answers written in pencil,” Lovejoy said. “Kent State is way behind when it comes to the process of evaluations.”

Lovejoy said because the university already uses systems such as Blackboard, Vista and Banner, he cannot imagine too many technological problems with transferring evaluations to the web.

“There are numerous professional firms that would provide service for us,” Lovejoy said. “Obviously there’s going to be a cost, but this may very well cost less than the current system.”

Matt Brown, sophomore marketing major, said he thinks evaluations will be simpler if they are put online.

“It can be a hassle to fill out the paper forms in class,” Brown said. “I have really bad handwriting, so I’m afraid the professors will either know it’s me or won’t be able to read what I have to say in the first place.”

Hassler said the commission also hopes to put more emphasis on teachers’ evaluations of each other.

The commission met all through spring and summer to discuss ways of improving evaluations.

Tudor said he thinks the group’s recommendations will not be put into effect until at least next fall semester.


Megan Wilkinson at [email protected] .