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By Paolo Zinatelli

The School of Food and Nutrition is adding a new ingredient to its hiring recipe.

Over the next few weeks, the department will employ a new instructor — only this time, rather than having a selection committee choose the teacher, students will have a say.

They will be able to sit in on mock lectures by prospective faculty members. The students will have a chance to offer confidential feedback on how well the instructor performed–a first for the school. And so far, students are thrilled with the opportunity.

“I think it’s great because we get an advance look at the candidate,” said Mark McGill, a third-year food and nutrition student. “When I first heard about it, I was all ears. That’s the general consensus among students,” he said.

The process began in February, when Judy Paisley, the school’s associate director and chair of the Departmental Appointments Committee, told students the a new faculty member would be hired.

Each candidate is requested to lecture on a topic of his or her interest for about 25 minutes. This is followed by a 20-minute presentation on how their education and experience fits in with the school.

Students would then be given a confidential evaluation form to be collected for consideration by the hiring committee. There are four short-listed candidates for the available position, Paisley said.

“The candidate was very pleased to see students at the teaching demo,” she said. “Those who did attend found it very interesting.”

Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse wished to “encourage everyone to use these procedures” whenever they are possible. “It sends the right message — that the student learning experience comes first.”

McGill and his fellow students like the idea of the mock lectures because they’ll be the ones directly interacting with a new instructor. Both of the lectures staged have had fair attendance.

“It’s good for the candidate as well. They get to meet the students and practise lecturing,” he added.

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