Berkeley professor wants an end to using student evaluations because they favor white males

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Marissa Gentry reports for Campus Reform that Brian DeLay, an associate professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, claims that schools and universities must stop using student evaluations for hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions because the evaluations are inherently biased against female instructors and people of color.

In a series of tweets on Nov. 26, 2018, DeLay writes:

Over the next few weeks, students will get the chance to evaluate their professors and TAs. They’re going to get it wrong. They’ll be harder on women and people of color than on white men. Tenured white male faculty, in particular, should help their students understand this.

Several studies have revealed the limitations of student evaluations of teaching (SETs). Berkeley’s Philip Stark, Statistician & Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, co-authored a major study on this question a couple of years ago. It found:

*SET are biased against female instructors by an amount that is large and statistically significant. *The bias affects how students rate even putatively objective aspects of teaching, such as how promptly assignments are graded.

*The bias varies by discipline and by student gender, among other things. *It is not possible to adjust for the bias, because it depends on so many factors.

*SET are more sensitive to students’ gender bias & grade expectations than they are to teaching effectiveness. [Read that again!] *Gender biases can be large enough to cause more effective instructors to get lower SET than less effective instructors.

“Instructor race is also associated with SET….minority instructors tend to receive significantly lower SET scores compared to white (male) instructors. Age, charisma, and physical attractiveness are also associated with SET.”

I’ve often gotten valuable feedback in student evals, feedback that has improved my teaching. We have a lot to learn from our students, obviously. But given the well-documented shortcomings of SETs, we shouldn’t be using them for hiring, tenure, or promotion decisions.

In the meantime, tenured faculty – especially tenured white men – should explain this stuff to our students before each evaluation season. Help them understand why evals matter to peoples’ careers, & how implicit bias affects the results. They’ll listen.

Here’s the study conducted by UC Berkeley statistics professor Philip B. Stark.

On RateMyProfessors, Brian DeLay has 13 student evaluations, with an overall 4.7 (out of a 5.0 maximum) rating.

I had served on my department’s annual faculty review committee, and can attest that the three consistently worst-evaluated professors in my department were white males.

H/t John Molloy


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25 responses to “Berkeley professor wants an end to using student evaluations because they favor white males

  1. They don’t call it Bezerkly without good reason. Want your child or grandchildren to have a chance of not ending up a commie and future progressive who wants to wear Nancy Pelosi’s under pants, avoid this laughable institution at all costs.

  2. Big P.S. for those who don’t understand the pecking order in the university system, an associate professor is some one either incapable of getting a real job in the real world or to afraid to make the attempt. The defense rests.

    • You speak from gross ignorance.

      An associate professor is one who is a rank above assistant professor and a rank below full professor. In most cases, associate professor denotes someone who has achieved tenure, with at least one book published. To be promoted to full professorship requires a record of achievement in scholarly publications and a national (if not international) reputation. For that reason, some faculty never attain full professorship and so retire as associate professor.

  3. So, if I understand this correctly, this is another attempt to artificially lower the bar for those with limited ability. Again, to remain consistent with the theme, YT has to much “privilege”.

    So, if your professor says “axe” instead of “ask” and doesn’t know much, that’s OK, because YT is too smart for her own good. Did I say “her”? I need to spend some remedial time at the reeducation center.

    By his lights women too are discriminated against due to YT (meaning “he/his”) disgusting privilege. When you add toxic masculinity to privilege you get poison. Can we get some protection from the “W” word? Obviously, White is the new Black, even worse if you’re a “he”.

  4. Love that haircut, Mr You. Anyway, is it any surprise this loser is trying to advance the gay agenda using women and blacks as a stalking horse?

  5. Here’s the study conducted by UC Berkeley statistics professor Philip B. Stark.

    On RateMyProfessors, Brian DeLay has 13 student evaluations, with an overall 4.7 (out of a 5.0 maximum) rating.

    Yep that is science at it’s best reminds me of Al Gore’s Man Caused Global warming HA

  6. Maybe ‘DeLay’ should transfer his position at Berkeley to some new illegal from Honduras, take a permanent vacation and allow the ‘new illegal’ to reap all the benefits of his ‘white’ privilege.

  7. Those who can……………………………… DO!

    Those that can’t …………………………… TEACH!

    MOST academics I’ve met don’t have enough common sense or attachment to everyday reality to pour P out of a boot.

    That they nearly in totality are working against America’s best interests and poisoning their slow thinking students into hate for America and whites, is worth of jail time.

    • As a former teacher, I’d say:
      Those who can, do.
      Those who can, but don’t have a lot of ambition, teach.
      Those who can’t, but are full of ambition, administrate.

  8. Amazing that the Left have no shame in coming clean with their beliefs that minorities can’t succeed in open competition. I mean, the Progressives don’t believe that minorities can compete if they’re evaluated by the same standards as whites?

    If I were a minority, I wouldn’t vote for Democrats…I’d be OFFENDED by them!

    Remind me…WHICH Party are the racists, again?

  9. Deplorablepuppetwoman

    Noticed in the Mars landing recently televised, the NASA staff were nearly all white and Asian guys with a few white women. NASA must be rayciss

    • Cisgenderedmalecaucasianconservative

      I noticed that too! I’m surprised an apology hasn’t been announced for offending the less.

  10. They don’t favor anyone. People who are more knowledgeable, skilled and intelligent perform better than those who aren’t. The obvious conclusion is that such tests are racist. sarc off.

  11. How absurd and illogical. DeLay assumes that prejudice and bias underlie the differential ratings despite the fact that the academic environment is highly politicized towards inculcation of liberalism in students. He does not even consider the obvious alternative – that all in all white males are doing a better job teaching than white females or people of color. Perhaps because males often are the prime supporters of families, have already overcome the bias against them inherent in affirmative action programs, and work harder. First it is important to understand that the variation between women or between people of color or between white men vastly exceeds the differences between the groups – in other word, first-rate white women or women of color can easily exceed average white men and perform at the level of first-rate white men. But there can be differences between groups based on situation and acculturation. Anyone with any experience in the real world understands that as people hit their mid to late-30s (the age when tenure decisions hit and the age for key promotions in business careers) men who are breadwinners are typically in earlier, leave later, and are more competitively focused on success while women, especially with children, and people from affirmative action backgrounds used to being boosted to success focus on lifestyle, political activity, and are in later and out earlier. For example in medicine, women who performed at a level equal to men in their 20s will by their 40s be working on average 20-30% fewer hours, will have chosen less stressful specialties like dermatology or psychiatry and avoided schedule-stressing workaholic occupations like trauma surgeons. Academic ratings are different because performance is different. v

  12. Kevin Shannon Bearly

    Lets just finally accept that females and people of color, according to leftists, cannot compete with white men. This is another indication of their racism and sexism.

  13. If anything is deemed to be done better by white males, liberals will change it.

  14. Only if they start by firing him first.

  15. Timmy Seventy-five

    It’s called MERIT, Prof. WhatumaTard, you should look that up some time when you take a break from trying on gem encrusted halos (along with your mother’s clothes, no doubt).

  16. I “identify” as a neuro-surgeon so GIVE me a diploma and medical license.

  17. Hey Brian, this doesn’t sound fair either:

    Nov. 3, 2006
    It’s widely assumed that American minority soldiers are suffering a disproportionate number of deaths in the current war. Yet, according to iCasualites, 74% of all American fatal casualties in the Iraq war have been suffered by non-Hispanic whites. In 2004, non-Hispanic whites only made up 67% of the total population, and, more relevantly, only 61% of the 25-year-olds, which might be about the representative age of the fatalities.

    So, young whites are dying in Iraq at a per capita rate more than 80% higher than young minorities. If you are wondering about how I calculated that, it’s:

    (74% / 61%) / (26% / 39%)

    What you definitely won’t see elsewhere is an explanation of the most likely reason for this racial imbalance: IQ. To be allowed to enlist, you have to score 92 or higher on the military’s IQ test, the Armed Forces Qualification Test (the same one used throughout The Bell Curve.) Since 1992, only 1% of new military enlistees have had IQs below the 30th percentile nationally.

    This requirement disqualifies about half of all Hispanics and over 60% of all blacks from joining up, versus less than a quarter of all whites.

    Steve Sailer: iSteve: Average IQ of enlisted men


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