Do Students Have a Constitutional Right To Evaluate Faculty Anonymously?
by Lyle Denniston
THE STATEMENTS AT ISSUE:
“We go to the mat for students. We feel very strongly about protecting the privacy of our students.”
– Patti Locascio, general counsel of Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., discussing the college’s plan to challenge a state court ruling requiring it to disclose the name of a student who wrote a critical evaluation of an adjunct professor, whose contract was not renewed. The comment was reported in the Gainesille Sun on July 19.
“The case foregrounds several troubling developments about the modern university, [including] the growing influence of anonymous student evaluations, which over the decades have come to be universal practice….It’s far too optimistic to think that the appellate court’s decision will open the door to sunshine laws when it comes to student evaluations, but it might be an interesting start.”
– Frank Donoghue, a professor at Ohio State University, commenting on the same Florida court ruling, on the online page of The Chronicle of High Education, August 7.
WE CHECKED THE CONSTITUTION, AND…
Students who pack their backpacks to head off to colleges and universities carry with them a bundle of legal rights – more than their younger brothers and sisters
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