Dec. 2015 Advocate: Evaluations of administrators should include feedback from all supervisees


Evaluations of administrators should include feedback from all supervised employees

by Monica Malamud, AFT 1493 Secretary & Negotiating Team Member

Recently, it was announced via email that the District would be starting “360-degree” evaluations of administrators and academic supervisors.  The Executive Committee of AFT 1493 discussed the Performance Evaluation Procedures for Administrator and Academic Supervisory Employees at its November 11th meeting.
We are very pleased to see that the District is finally moving towards the implementation of evaluations for administrators and academic supervisors, but we have deep concerns over certain aspects of the procedures.

Allow all supervised employees to provide feedback
The document that details the procedures states:

“The Peer/Supervised Employee Feedback will include individuals, selected by the Evaluator, to provide feedback […]. The Evaluee is encouraged to suggest to the Evaluator individuals to provide feedback.” [1]

If this is to be real 360-degree evaluation, then all supervised employees should be allowed and invited to provide feedback.  It does not seem right that the 360-evaluation-webEvaluator and/or the Evaluee would hand-pick who gets to provide feedback.  To compare with faculty evaluations, every student who is taking a class with a professor who is being evaluated is requested to complete a student survey that provides feedback to the professor undergoing evaluation.

Responses should be anonymous
A second problem with the proposed evaluation procedures is the following statement: “In no case shall the Evaluator consider an anonymous response.” [1]

It is easy to imagine a situation in which a supervised employee will not feel like a candid evaluation can be provided, if the response is not anonymous.  In the case of faculty evaluations, student surveys are anonymous, and we stress to students every time they participate in faculty evaluations that they are not to write their name anywhere on the survey form.  Additionally, since there are open-ended questions to which the students respond, their handwritten answers are typed up before they are shared with their professor.  Moreover, the results of the student surveys are not shared (other than in summary form) with the professor until after final grades have been turned in.

Make changes before the process begins
Finally, the email announcement stated that as the process was implemented, we may discover aspects that can be improved.  We urge the District to make these changes before the process is rolled out.

We want our District not only to implement a process for evaluations of administrators and academic supervisors, but to have an evaluation process that is truly comprehensive, fair, unbiased and objective.