Dean Adam Scales tackles sexist student evaluations


The school in question is Rutgers Law – Camden, and Vice Dean Adam F. Scales is the man who took his students to task for their chauvinist commentary. He begins his email by mentioning that throughout his years of teaching, his look ranged from “Impoverished Graduate Student” to “British Diplomat,” but noted that no one would ever have known that just by reading his student evaluations for one reason, and one reason only — he’s a man. Scales then gallantly continues his onslaught against sexism:

It has come to my attention that a student submitted an evaluation that explored, in some detail, the fashion stylings of one of your professors. It will surprise no one possessing the slightest familiarity with student evaluations that this professor is a woman. Women are frequently targets of evaluative commentary that, in addition to being wildly inappropriate and adolescent, is almost never directed at men. Believe me, I am about the last person on this faculty for whom the “sexism” label falls readily to hand, but after a lifetime of hearing these stories, I know it when I see it. Anyone who doubts this would find it instructive to stop by and ask any one of our female professors about this and similar dynamics.

One thought on “Dean Adam Scales tackles sexist student evaluations

  1. The big problem isn’t the few evals with comments about the instructor’s appearance, which can be dismissed, but the many without comments that give women lower number scores on a range of questions because of students’ implicit bias. The data that shows this happens is robust. And yet, ironically, with all the rhetoric about ‘diversity’, and the creation of departments of gender studies, ethnic studies, etc. universities are not going to let go of course evaluations which are shown to be discriminatory.

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