Background: The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has hired your data science team to conduct an evaluation of the “Rate My Professors” (RMP) website. The NTEU team suspects that the RMP website is used in the hiring and promotion process of staff at universities in Australia. They believe that student evaluations are not a reliable measure of staff performance and this information should not be used. The NTEU believes that the universities have collected the RMP profiles in order to build a model to predict student ratings for professors without profiles.
The NTEU suggests that the perceived difficulty of the class, demographics of the professor, discipline of study are bigger influences on a Professor’s rating than the quality of education they deliver. The NTEU further claim that students use the website to choose professors or classes that are perceived as being easier, which undermines the academic process.
The NTEU has asked you, as an independent third party to address the key questions:
What, in your expert opinion, are the social and ethical issues involved?