Gender as a Factor in Instructor Reviews

Instructors in colleges and universities across the nation are expected to live up to very high expectations when it comes time for review. One of the criteria a teacher should not be asked to live up to, however, is gender.

In a recent publication, NPR discussed the pressure that many female instructors are face when it comes to ratings.

"Picture your favorite college professor. Here are some adjectives that might come to mind: Wise. Funny. Caring. Prompt. Passionate. Organized. Tough but fair.

Now, are you thinking of a man or a woman?

A new study argues that student evaluations are systematically biased against women — so much so, in fact, that they're better mirrors of gender bias than of what they are supposed to be measuring: teaching quality.

Anne Boring, an economist and the lead author of the paper, was hired by her university in Paris, Sciences Po, to conduct quantitative analysis of gender bias. Through her conversations with instructors and students, she became suspicious of what she calls "double standards" applying to male and female instructors."