Bringing The World Home To You

© 2022 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

"Welcome to Iowa State University. May I take your paper, please?"

A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors' performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations.

Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals.

The bill's author, state Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican, argues that too many students are taking on student loan debt but not getting their money's worth in the classroom. "Professors need to understand that their customers are those students," Chelgren told the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Though the bill appears unlikely to pass, it has made national news because of the broader debate around student debt, the cost of college and what, exactly, students are getting for their money.

And therein lies the paradox. Yes, students are paying, often handsomely, for their degree. But they're not exactly customers, either. They're participants in an experience — one that is meant to be challenging, even grueling.

And that's why simple satisfaction surveys may not be the best measure of professors' performance, as our previous reporting explains.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

More Stories