Resolution on Access to Course Evaluation Data

Whereas, student course evaluation data is available to the public under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), and such a request has been received by the University by a company that intends to make the information public; and

Whereas, the Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution on 9/30/10 requesting that students have access to the data; and

Whereas, 48% of students currently use RateMyProfessor.com to make course and instructor selections (TLT student survey Fall 2010) and the University data provides more rigorous and relevant data; and
Whereas, the University needs a mechanism to encourage students to complete their end of course evaluations.

Therefore, be it resolved that Stony Brook Faculty Senate supports a process that enables restricted access via University NetID and password to the compiled results from the end of course evaluation process, at the individual faculty and course level but not identifying any individual student respondents, to the following groups;

  • All students who are taking courses in their first semester at the University.
  • Students who have completed the evaluations of all their courses in the previous semester in which they were enrolled.
  • Faculty and staff employees of the University.

Faculty will receive access to the data two weeks prior to publication and will have an opportunity to affirm that they have read the evaluation and request of their chair or his/her designee that any comments that are defamatory or violate the student conduct code be removed. 

Resolution passed at the November 7, 2011 meeting of the University Senate.