This just in from Sarah Ngu, who followed the exhaustive debate at the Senate’s plenary session this afternoon. However, the decision to recommend that the university’s schools implement public course evaluations does not mean they are mandated to release the evaluations.
For the majority of the debate, which lasted an hour and a half, the general tide of opinion appeared to be decidedly against the proposal. Opposition was especially strong from representatives of humanities departments, while those from the econ department, and from the Law, Medical, and Public Health schools supported public evaluations. The four groups in support have all used some variety of public evaluation system for several years, and insisted that they had not encountered any of the hypothetical problems that drew out protracted discussion. (You can read Sarah’s in-depth account of arguments for and against public course evaluations here.)
The Faculty Caucus and the Faculty Affairs Committee stated their opposition to the measure, but finally, when a representative from Mailman insisted it was time to vote, a surprisingly significant majority approved the recommendation, perhaps out of exasperation.
The final vote, which saw the largest turnout of the year, was 44 votes for, 12 against, with no abstentions.