Student evaluations of faculty teaching are critical components to the evaluation of faculty performance. These evaluations are used to determine teaching effectiveness and they influence tenure and promotion decisions. Although they are designed as objective assessments of teaching performance, extraneous factors, including the instructors’ race, can affect the composition and educational atmosphere at colleges and universities. In this reflection, we briefly review some literature on the use and utility of student evaluations and present narratives from social work faculty in which students’ evaluation contained perceived racial bias.
This article was originally published in Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, volume 20, number 1, released November 2015.