Mark Chelgren, a Tea Party Republican state senator in Iowa, proposed a bill that would, among other things, do the following:
(2) The names of the five professors who rank lowest on their institution’s evaluation for the semester, but who scored above the minimum threshold of performance, shall be published on the institution’s internet site and the student body shall be offered an opportunity to vote on the question of whether any of the five professors will be retained as employees of the institution. The employment of the professor receiving the fewest votes approving retention shall be terminated by the institution regardless of tenure status or contract.
The bill is really breathtaking in its peculiar view of what professors - or any kind of professionals - do, and how they should be judged. It is a kind of cut-throat competition that would make for poisonous relations among any staff. This was the principle governing co-working relations at Enron, which led them to try to outdo one another in ruthlessness toward customers.
One blog commentator, tmareace, wrote "How about doing the same for the legislators in the state?"
The good news is that, as far as I can tell, this bill went nowhere, to the credit of the Iowa legislature.