Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 9, 2007

Iowa Pays $226k to Law Prof Accused of Forging Student Evaluations

KressFrom today's Chronicle of Higher Education: U. of Iowa Paid $226,000 to Professor Accused of Forging Student Evaluations:

The University of Iowa paid $226,000 to a former law professor who was accused of forging students’ evaluations of his effectiveness as a teacher, The Des Moines Register reported. The professor, Kenneth Kress, resigned in January 2006.

From the Des Moines Register:

Recently released records from the Grievance Commission of the Iowa Supreme Court show that Kress is facing a possible suspension of his law license as a result of his admission that he forged surveys in which students scored his effectiveness. The surveys were one of the tools used by the university to award pay raises to members of the faculty. ...

Records from the Supreme Court's Grievance Commission indicate it was on April 19, 2004, that Kress gave 10 students in his mental health law class a survey in which they were asked to rate his performance as an instructor.

According to the commission, Kress later admitted that he substituted some of the less favorable surveys for ones that he had created. He also changed other students' ratings of his performance from "average" to "outstanding."

One of Kress' former students, Jody Harris, testified in November before the Supreme Court commission. She said that when Kress handed out the surveys he told the students other faculty members were trying to force him out and were intimidated by him because he was so much smarter.

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