By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

NEW BRUNSWICK — Productivity has always been an important aspect of any college professors’ performance.

How many books they write, how often they are cited in articles, how much grant money they win — it’s all part of the discussion about what makes a good college professor, said David Hughes, president of Rutgers’ faculty union.

But when Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus began paying a company to track those statistics and generate productivity scores for each professor, Hughes said he thinks the university took its emphasis on data a step too far.

Rutgers in 2013 inked a four-year, $492,500 contact with Academic Analytics, a private company that tracks the research and publication productivity of thousands of college professors across the country.

The university says the data is a valuable tool. But the use of performance analytics has put Rutgers at odds with professors, who insist the company’s reports are inaccurate and who worry a focus on productivity data will hurt the quality of teaching on campus.

“The database doesn’t tell you anything about teaching and service,” Hughes said. “Anybody who thinks of themselves as a teacher, anybody who is a student or a parent of a student at Rutgers ought to feel insulted by the application, in any way, of this absurdly truncated set of measures.”



Similar Posts