The role of teaching effectiveness in tenure and post-tenure decisions at small independent liberal arts colleges

Kathleen Rath Marr, Marquette University

Abstract

The lack of data with respect to teaching effectiveness and its role in the evaluation of tenure and post-tenure decisions at small independent liberal arts colleges was addressed. A review of the literature provided definitions of effective teaching such that said concept could indeed be identified. The 281 members of the Council of Independent Colleges were analyzed utilizing a survey that investigated various aspects of tenure and post-tenure decisions. Specifically, data was obtained regarding the perceived role of teaching effectiveness in such decisions. Academic Deans were asked to provide information regarding what methods in particular were used to determine meritorious teaching. Of the 281 colleges, replies were received from 112. Most colleges (80.56%) that replied had long-standing tenure systems. There was no significant difference amongst the colleges with respect to academic nature, size or mission. All but one of the colleges with tenure systems identified and ranked teaching effectiveness as the most important criteria for tenure decisions. Scholarly activities and service to the college were ranked second and third respectively. All of the responding colleges stated they had some form of faculty development program. However, methods utilized to determine teaching effectiveness varied. The use of student evaluations seemed to be the method most often utilized. Deans commented that this was not always the least biased nor indicative of teaching effectiveness. It was concluded that while teaching effectiveness is considered the most important, at present adequate methods for evaluation of such are lacking.

Recommended Citation

Kathleen Rath Marr, "The role of teaching effectiveness in tenure and post-tenure decisions at small independent liberal arts colleges" (January 1, 2000). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI9977717.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9977717

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