How Faculty Status Impacts Student Evaluations of Teaching: A Study of Full- Versus Part-Time Marketing Faculty

Armen Tashchian, Kennesaw State University
Maria Kalamas Hedden, Kennesaw State University
William R. Forrester, Kennesaw State University


The present multiyear study sheds light on the effects of faculty status on student evaluations of teaching (SETs). By comparing actual SETs of full- versus part-time marketing faculty, this study fills a void in the marketing education literature. Collecting first-hand institutionally administered SETs (N = 6,123) over a seven-year period, the extended data collection phase includes 21 semesters and 240 undergraduate courses. Study findings reveal that students perceive full-time faculty as more knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and better prepared for class than part-time faculty. Full-timers are also better able to communicate the subject matter and develop assignments focused on student learning than part-timers. In contrast, students perceive part-time faculty as better able to relate the course material to the real world, develop exam questions that reflect lectures and assignments, and return graded material more quickly than full-time faculty. Compared with part-time faculty, students perceive full-time faculty as being more rigorous and tougher in terms of grading. Given the differences regarding instructor knowledge, pedagogical skill, rigor, and grading, the discussion of the findings rests on how faculty status affects the overall quality of higher education.