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Villanova’s Teaching Evaluations Now Include Ratings for Diversity and Cultural Awareness

Villanova’s Teaching Evaluations Now Include Ratings for Diversity and Cultural Awareness

“students are being asked to rate professors according to their perceived agreement with progressive political opinion on bias and identity”

This sounds like it’s about controlling what the professors say and making them careful about how they say it.

The College Fix reports:

Professor teaching evaluations now include ‘diversity,’ ‘cultural awareness’ ratings

Villanova University has launched an effort to monitor professor bias in its lecture halls, according to a pair of professors employed there. This school year, teaching and course evaluations completed by students now include questions about professors’ “sensitivity,” and commitment to “diversity and inclusion.”

Professors Colleen Sheehan and James Matthew Wilson note in The Wall Street Journal that students at the Catholic institution “are now being asked heavily politicized questions such as whether the instructor has demonstrated ‘cultural awareness’ or created an ‘environment free of bias based on individual differences or social identities.’”

“In short,” the authors continue, “students are being asked to rate professors according to their perceived agreement with progressive political opinion on bias and identity. Students are also invited to ‘comment on the instructor’s sensitivity to the diversity of the students in the class.’”

This includes things such as gender identity, disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and “etc.” That last item, the professors say, sounds “like an ominous catchall.”

To be sure, “political viewpoint” also is on the list; however, Sheehan and Wilson say their colleagues “will now have a powerful incentive to avoid discussion of anything that might be deemed offensive or insensitive to the various social identities and political viewpoints listed (or not listed, by grace of that ‘etc.’).”

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Comments

Nothing new here, just adopted from China, where faculty have been evaluated on their ideological purity since the Cultural Revolution. The mobs that enforce political purity and shut down dissenting opinions at US colleges are modeled after the Red Guards, so it is no surprise that the administration would follow the Chinese model of officially enforcing political uniformity. Besides, all those highly-paid Diversity Officers need something to do.

If you want to see where this trend is headed, just consider the current efforts in China.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2108597/china-universities-tighten-ideological-control-teaching

healthguyfsu | April 2, 2019 at 4:56 pm

While not the same as this, all teacher evaluations administered by IDEA also include this question..

2. Helped students to interpret subject matter from diverse perspectives (e.g., different cultures, religions, genders, political views)

Now imagine trying to score high on that question while teaching STEM.

I care very little what my students write in their evaluations of me, and fortunately my institution puts very little credence in their comments as well. In fact, I am not sure why we still take the effort (used to be on paper, now electronic) to ask students for their thoughts. Most of them Christmas-tree the survey, and then write useless comments such as, “She grades too much on grammer [sic]!”

But to ask a student if the professor is sensitive is really dumb. My students deliver speeches and get critiqued in front of the class. That’s how it works. Are we mean? No, but sometimes a speech is lousy and the speaker needs to hear it.

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