News - October 27, 2011

Teaching bonuses based on old evaluations

The university will be dishing out bonuses this year to teachers and departments that scored highest in student evaluations in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Next year the bonuses will once again be based on current student evaluations.

The university is handing out bonuses for the fifth year, as usual at the end of the year. That is not very convenient, says the board, because it means the bonuses (worth one million euros) cannot be carried over into next year's budget. So the board wants to hand out bonuses in the spring in future, on the basis of evaluations in the previous academic year.

As a result, teachers will be receiving bonuses now who were evaluated positively by students two or three years ago. One example is the trio Roel Lemmens, Lotte Joosten and Marc Sosef of Biosystematics, who are in line for the highest bonus of 25,976 euros. Soil scientist Gert Peek will get 15,420 euros and food scientist Saskia Schwinghammer is due to receive 14,195 euros. She no longer works at the university, and nor do several others due to receive bonuses. A total of 36 teachers are in line for bonuses.

Thirty six educational modules will also receive bonuses. The European Flora and Fauna field trip run by Lemmens, Joosten and Sosef will receive the highest bonus based on course evaluations: 28,607 euros. This kind of overlap between the best teachers and the best courses is quite common. A soil science course given by Gert Peek comes in for the second highest bonus, followed by an economics course taught by Koos Gardebroek and a course taught by zoologist Nand Sibbeling. Nutrition teacher Sander Kersten will win bonuses for two courses, amounting to around 35,000 euros.

In total, the university will be awarding not one million but 800,000 euros in teaching bonuses. The 200,000 saved will go towards a new policy for improving the quality of education. In May next year, teaching bonuses worth one million will be handed out, based on recent student evaluations from 2010-2011.