Using faculty evaluations as a tool to address concerns about faculty quality, institutional accountability, and educational improvement continues to be of the utmost importance to community colleges across the United States. Nevertheless, using faculty evaluations to assess the work of full-time faculty can be a difficult issue because college administrators and faculty members often have different perceptions about why an appraisal process is implemented.
Community college administrators share a belief that their institutions should be stable, efficient, predictable, accountable, and in control of their faculty and staff. Faculty members, on the other hand, generally share a belief that administrators should be more willing to share resources and power, allow for creative growth and development in teaching, and allow for greater adaptability in showcasing their professional growth.
In an era where the diminishing supply of qualified leaders has been well documented (Shults, 2001; Campbell, 2002) at the same time that the complexity and challenges of the job are increasing, it is critical that current community and technical college administrators have every opportunity to continue to hone their skills and their abilities to provide quality leadership.
The students, faculty, and staff of America's community and technical colleges deserve no less.
The presidency of a technical or community college is a demanding role. More than 91% of current administrators reported in 1991 that they spend in excess of 50 hours a week on college work. Perhaps not surprisingly, 69% of those administrators who took a vacation of at least two weeks reported that they did college work while on vacation (Vaughan & Weisman, 1998). It is apparent that administration in general has become less attractive as a career choice. In a discussion of leadership challenges in secondary technical education, Zirkle and Cotton (2001) point to a dilemma that is also apparent in...