I’m very annoyed, people. We are supposed to fill out a review on the performance of our Dean and express our opinions on whether we want his contract to be extended for the next four years. The evaluation is supposed to be anonymous for obvious reasons.
We all get evaluated anonymously. Students write anonymous evaluations of my work every semester. We write anonymous evaluations of our Chair and submit them online. Every Associate Dean gets evaluated through an online polling system that preserves everybody’s anonymity.
In the case of the Dean’s evaluation, however, the process can hardly be seen as truly anonymous.
We are supposed to fill out the evaluation forms by hand, put them in an envelope, place that envelope inside another envelope, and write our names on it. This is supposedly done to ensure that one person doesn’t make 70 photocopies of the survey questionnaire and fill them all in to rig the process. We are promised that the outer envelopes will be discarded and nobody will know our names.
I see no reason to believe those promises. If the administration suspects me of being a liar who is capable of rigging the process, then why am I supposed to grant them the benefit if the doubt? We all know what makes some people suspect everybody of dishonesty.
I also wonder what makes it so impossible to evaluate the Dean in the same way we evaluate everybody else, namely, through online polling that doesn’t require one to provide one’s name in any context.
The worst thing about this is that I have no possibility to voice these concerns. If I were to ask a question about it at the Open Forum that is coming up or send a message to the faculty members, this would be an immediate sign that I wasn’t going to write a glowing review of the Dean’s work.
I wouldn’t be so worried about this if I didn’t have a very strong reason to suspect that the Dean is aware of what I wrote in my last “anonymous” review of his work. I really dislike the “just wait until I get tenure” mentality but this is the only time when I actually thought that after I get tenure I will be able to address this instance of unfairness.