SGA approves resolution for teaching assistant evaluations

Sarah Stukenborg

The Student Government Association has come up with a teaching assistant evaluation program that they believe might solve problems students have experienced with teaching assistants.

SGA President Cory Dodds said a plan for teaching assistant evaluations is not a new phenomenon.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for many years,” Dodds said.

Dodds used the teaching assistant evaluations as one of his campaigns while running for president of SGA.

After his election, Dodds sat down with the executive officers of SGA and together they constructed a proposal to pitch to Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

On Feb. 5, the SGA senate passed the resolution for Teaching Assistant Evaluations.

The resolution must now be reviewed by the Academic Quality Committee and if endorsed, approved by the University Senate.

The senate only meets once a month, so the first read of the resolution will be during their meeting on Feb. 21 and the resolution will not be approved or denied for several weeks.

“I’m under the impression it will get voted on in March, if it’s officially approved,” Dodds said.

Under the current system, TAs get evaluated by their departments. Some departments already use an evaluation system for their TAs.

Dodds said he believes the resolution will help all the departments get on the same page.

“It will provide uniformity,” Dodds said.

Nicki Seay, author of the bill and chair of the Legislative Research Committee, said this is SGA’s effort to make sure all students are getting the same education and they all have good teachers who are being held responsible.

“I think it definitely helps to just kind of keep academic quality the same across the board,” Seay said. “Whether your class is being taught by a grad assistant or a teacher…regardless, you’re going to be getting the same credit, learning the same prerequisites, as somebody taking it from a regular faculty member.”

Seay said the goal is to get the program in place as soon as possible, hopefully by next semester.

Cain Alvey, administrative vice president of SGA, said he also supports the idea of teaching assistant evaluations.

“It will assure that the best graduate students are teaching these classes,” Alvey said.

Alvey said it is important for students to be able to evaluate their TAs’ performances.

“Students can actually voice their concerns,” he said.