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Two men standing in front of white board, Brian Coffey and Andy Barkley

Kansas State University agricultural economics faculty members Brian Coffey (left) and Andrew Barkley won the 2019 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Jack Everly Journal Award for a recent study. | Download this photo.

K-State study on determining teaching effectiveness wins national award

Ag economics faculty members survey university departments across the country

August 20, 2019

MANHATTAN, Kan. – A study conducted by two Kansas State University agricultural economics faculty members found that student evaluations are still likely the most common way to determine the effectiveness of education in ag economics classes.

Brian Coffey, assistant professor and Andrew Barkley, a professor in K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics teach undergraduate and graduate-level classes. To help them and their colleagues across the country understand how teaching is evaluated in general, plus criteria on how faculty members are evaluated for promotion, tenure and salary, they reached out to heads of ag economics departments at other universities.

For the article that resulted, Coffey and Barkley were awarded the 2019 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Jack Everly Journal Award. The paper was published in the March 2018 issue of the NACTA Journal.

Why is it important? Agricultural economics influences food policy, agricultural policy and environmental policy in any given country and around the globe, so it’s important that students have at least a basic understanding of the principals of agricultural economics.

The K-State survey found that while imperfect, students’ evaluations of their teachers’ effectiveness is often the major method of evaluating teaching in departments of agricultural economics. Other factors such as evaluation by a faculty member’s peers are considered but used more when faculty members are under consideration for promotion and tenure, for example when an associate professor is under consideration for promotion to full professor.

More information about the study, including how agricultural economics departments determine attitudes about publishing and other creative activity related to teaching, is available by contacting Coffey at bcoffey@ksu.edu or Barkley at barkley@k-state.edu.

More information about K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics is available on its website or by calling 785-532-6702.


At a glance

Kansas State University faculty members won a national award for a study looking at how teaching in agricultural economics is evaluated.


Jack Everly Journal Award


Brian Coffey

Andrew Barkley

Written by

Mary Lou Peter
913-856-2335, Ext. 130

For more information: 

Article: Evaluation of Teaching in Departments of Agricultural Economics


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K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the wellbeing of Kansans.
Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.