Opposition to Using SLOs in Faculty Evaluation

Fall
2008
Resolution Number: 
02.01
Contact: 
Category: 
Accreditation
Status: 
Completed

Whereas, Campus visiting teams for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) have offered conflicting interpretations of Accreditation Standard III.A.1.c (faculty and others directly responsible for student programs toward achieving stated student learning outcomes have, as a component of their evaluation, effectiveness in producing those student learning outcomes) leading to some team recommendations that the attainment of student learning outcomes should be included in individual faculty evaluations;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, in its 2004 paper The 2002 Accreditation Standards: Implementation, has stated its opposition to the use of SLOs as a basis for faculty evaluation, noting the potentially negative impact on evaluation as a collegial peer process, on academic freedom, and on local bargaining authority;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges noted in the same paper that "in the event that SLOs data is collected and aggregated, it must be without reference to specific classes, students and its instructors"; and

Whereas, The differing interpretations of Standard III.A.1.c by visiting teams have caused confusion, uncertainty, and anxiety on the part of faculty at colleges that have received team recommendations that appear to conflict with stated positions of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, with previous understanding of the standard, and with the ACCJC's stated respect for academic freedom;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to clarify the intent of standard III.A.1.c in order to resolve the conflicting messages being delivered by various visiting teams;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges affirm its opposition to including the attainment of student learning outcomes as an aspect of individual faculty evaluations; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and with other concerned statewide faculty organizations to ensure that accreditation recommendations do not use student learning outcomes in any manner that would undermine either local bargaining authority or the academic freedom of individual faculty members.

Disposition: Accrediting Commission, Local Senates

Summary: 
Work with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to clarify the intent of standard III.A.1.c in order to resolve the conflicting messages being delivered by various visiting teams. Affirm its opposition to including the attainment of student learning outcomes as an aspect of individual faculty evaluations. And work with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and with other concerned statewide faculty organizations to ensure that accreditation recommendations do not use student learning outcomes in any manner that would undermine either local bargaining authority or the academic freedom of individual faculty members.
Recommendation: 
Completed.
Status Report: 

A Rostrum article from November 2008 explored the possiblity, but concluded that the major components and recommendations from the paper are still viable and relevant.