In spring 2000, the University Standing Committee on Evaluation of Teaching (EOTC) recommended to the Provost a campus-wide process for student evaluation of teaching. The recommendations included common questions to be used in all evaluations, the opportunity for individual faculty to add their own questions, standard report formats, and a centralized administration and reporting function.
The new process, dubbed UEI (University-wide Evaluation of Instruction), was piloted that fall. The EOTC recommended full implementation across the entire university, but the cost of a centralized on-paper system with all of the desired features was prohibitive. An online application was considered but rejected due to concerns about response rates.
Since then, departments and colleges continued to administer evaluations as they wished, as long as they included the common core questions. Some departments continued using paper questionnaires, while others (History, Physics, CALS) developed their own, online applications.
In spring 2006, an online application was reconsidered in light of successes at other institutions. Because an online administration would make a centralized system affordable and solve many problems with data quality, the Provost asked an implementation team to develop and pilot an online process. After considering alternatives, the implementation team decided to use the online evaluation system developed by CALS. It was piloted by three departments and one college in fall 2006.