Black University in Texas to Award Faculty Bonuses Based on Student Evaluations

Prairie View A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Texas, is one of three universities in the Texas A&M University system that is now awarding faculty bonuses on the basis of student evaluations. Bonuses of $2,500 to $10,000 will be given to professors who score in the top 15 percent of the faculty on the student evaluation surveys.

Chancellor of the Texas A&M University system Mike McKinney said the bonus system “doesn’t have to do with tenure, promotion, or status. It has to do with students having the opportunity to recognize good teachers and reward them with some money.”

Critics of the system say that the bonuses are likely to go to teachers of popular electives and to professors who are prone to give out high grades.

The controversial nature of the program has made the bonus system unpopular with the faculty. Only 21 percent of the Prairie View A&M University faculty signed up to be eligible for the bonuses.