February 19, 2002
Present: Chair Carter, Secretary Banks, Chair Emeritus Corbin, Provost Cooper, Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Allen, Ash, Bernhard, Blanchard, Braunbeck, Brothers, Cassidy, Daley, Funderlic, Garval, Grainger, Grimes, Havner, Headen, Hodge, Hooper, Hughes-Oliver, Istook, Kimler, Kirby, Levine, Lytle, Marshall, McRae, Rolle, Sawyers, Smoak, Tucker, Tyler, Weiner, Wilkerson
Absent: Senators Brothers, El-Masry, Vickery
Excused: Senators Levine, Lytle, Misra
Visitors: Charlene Hayes, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources; Ronnie Wright, Assistant Director for Finance, Transportation; Melissa Harden, Assistant Director, Parking Service; John Lapp, Professor of Economics; Ephraim Schechter, Associate Director, University Planning and Analysis; Crowell Bowers, Chair, EOT Committee; Katie Mohney, Graduate Representative for EOT Committee; Duane Akroyd, Associate Professor, Adult & Community College Education; Frank Abrams, Senior Vice Provost; Judy Peel, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development; Marilee Bresciani, Undergraduate Affairs; Carrie Zelna, Student Conduct; Jo Allen, Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Affairs; Doug Wellman, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning; Robert Sowell, Dean of the Graduate School; Lynne Baker-Ward, Former Chair, EOT Committee; Daniel Bunce, Editor of the Bulletin; News Services; Ed Gehringer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
1. Call to Order
The ninth meeting of the forty-eighth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Philip B. Carter.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Carter welcomed Senators and Guests. Special guests were asked to stand and introduce themselves.
Chair Carter announced that a comment was made at the University Council meeting that a cover article in North Carolina Business referred to Centennial Campus as a tax supported Centennial playground. He stated that the point to take home, at the request of Vice Chancellor Worsley, in communicating with colleagues, neighbors, church members, etc., is that the users of the hotel and conference center will be paying occupancy taxes. It is not a tax free playground. The area in the flood plain that will have holes drilled in various places is a Crop Science Research Laboratory. Any fees to do independent studies in that laboratory will be taxed.
Chair Carter stated that those who remember budget crunches of the past years will recall how sometimes the news media can latch on to things that are entirely appropriate in our view but which they consider to be excessive expenditures in times of tight budgets. "We have been asked to be aware of how things might appear in the next few months as the governor has to take a harder look at state expenditures."
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 8, January 22, 2002
The minutes were approved as amended.
4. Remarks from Charlene Hayes, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
"One issue that I want to address concerns the recent visit of Melissa Harden, Assistant Director of Parking Services. At the time of Melissa’s last visit to the Faculty Senate, we were not fully aware of the implications of a recent court decision. It is a judgement that was issued December 13, 2001 by a superior court judge who said that the state’s constitution requires that the rules for all fines and penalties collected by the state would now apply to all parking fines and library fines. What that means to us at NC State is that approximately $800,000 a year collected in parking funds will go to the Wake County Public School System. That is a significant problem and it puts a large hole in our revenue. We are in a position of having to respond to that. The state is appealing that decision and we have a stay of enforcement while it is under appeal. The reality is, NC State’s Department of Transportation has to plan for turning over that $800,000/year to the Wake County Public Schools. We have to be prepared to do it at the time that we exhaust all appeals if the ultimate decision is that Wake County Public School System is entitled to it.
There is a three-year statue of limitation on this decision and the action was filed in 1998 which means that we will be held liable back to December 1995 which creates a $6.0M problem for the Department of Transportation. That is a $6.0M problem that we can not pass on to faculty, staff, and students who park on campus. We will have to find another solution. We are hoping to receive some assistance from the General Assembly in resolving that problem. In the future we are going to have to come up with additional monies in order to continue to operate enforcement on campus. Having no enforcement is not an option. For the immediate future, we are proposing a 9% increase in permit cost. In order to address this problem we are going to have to do it over several years. Because of the nature of the problem, we do not want to go forward with a muti-year proposal. We are hoping to come up with a solution that would require us to come up with less money. Until that ultimate decision is made we will deal with it on a yearly basis. Looking at this first year we are proposing a 9% increase just to cover the revenue that is lost. Nine percent would equal to approximately $400,000/year."
Comments from Melissa Harden (Changes in Parking/Proposal to extend the enforcement time from 5 p.m. to 7p.m.)
Melissa Harden, Assistant Director of Parking Services stated that the main reason for the proposal is because of communication they had with faculty and staff over the past years who are working extended hours as a result of flex time and evening classes.
"Basically the proposal is that we would extend enforcement for permits from 5-7 p.m. That means that if you have a valid permit to park anywhere on campus before 5 p.m., that permit then becomes valid on the main part of campus (North Campus) after 5 p.m. The people who currently park on campus after 5 who do not have a permit at all would then be offered an evening permit that is good from 1 - 7 p.m. on any lot.
We have received comments from the Staff Senate, and faculty members who we have talked to. They basically say that there are more visitor issues that you have to address. We are trying to designate areas on campus where we would not require a permit. We have identified some areas in the coliseum deck where a permit is not needed after 5 p.m. Visitors could park in those areas of the deck and therefore attend events. We have also had discussions about lots along Hillsborough Street that we may leave open. We have looked at the Brooks Lot and the North Hall Parking lot, to make those available for people who are coming to use Hillsborough Street. Students who did not opt to purchase one of these $50 evening permits could park there at no charge, putting them sort of at the front door of their class."
Ed Gehringer stated that his concern is that students will not buy these permits. He has students coming for meetings once a week after 5 p.m. If they could not park, he does not know if they would want to meet with him to work on his projects. He did a survey, targeting classes that met after 4:30 p.m. Seventy-five percent of the respondents said they would not purchase the permit. They commented that they would either take the Wolfline or park on Hillsborough Street. He thinks the solution of parking on Hillsborough Street could be a big problem for the university because there are restaurants along the street that already can not attract outside clientele for lunch because there is no place to park. Now they will have problems for dinner as well.
Associate Vice Chancellor Hayes stated that the lots on Hillsborough Street will likely not be expensive which should take care of the neighborhood. She wanted to know if the students who completed the survey have permits.
Gehringer stated that he did not ask that on the survey. He said that one other thing that he did not include in his survey is that the permit would allow you to park after 1 p.m.
Harden stated that the evening permits are currently offered at $25 per semester. She said it allows you to park in the Coliseum Deck, Dan Allen Deck, and the commuter lots after 3 p.m. "In response to customers’ needs, we have lots of people who are taking evening classes and who need to be here before 3 p.m. We do see availability in decks and in the commuter lots normally after 1 p.m. so we are trying to offer a better service to people who do not need to park here all day, every day but who need to park here when we have availability to offer. From our standpoint it seems to make sense that whether you are parked on campus before 5 or after 5, your car is creating the same amount of wear and tear. It seems consistent to spread the cost to the users on campus. There are a lot of people who are taking evening classes. If you are here on campus after hours, you will see that it is just as busy as it is before 5 p.m."
Gehringer wanted to know if parking after 1 p.m. will only be in commuter lots and the parking decks.
Harden responded that parking would be very limited in the parking deck, but most likely located in the commuter lots where spaces are available after 1 p.m.
"Currently we have people who need to park in the afternoons. We have space but no way to accommodate them. From our standpoint, you cannot say you have a parking problem when you have spaces vacant and you cannot fulfil their needs.
I think this gives people an option. If people want to purchase a $50 permit and they want to park after 1 p.m. and would like to have the option to park near their building after 5 p.m., it gives them that option. Otherwise they may park in one of the lots, North Hillsborough Street, or in the Coliseum Deck and walk a little further. Unfortunately those of us who use the campus during the day do not have that option."
Senator Grainger wanted to know how many $50 permits they anticipate selling.
Harden responded approximately 400 per semester. They would sell a number based on space counts.
Senator Allen commented that a number of graduate students and post docs who work late into the nights will go out and get their cars so that they do not have to walk back to their residence.
Harden stated that the students would still be able to do that because as long as they have a valid permit for a commuter lot they can bring their vehicles into campus.
Parliamentarian Gilbert noted that he is on the Parking Appeals Panel and that he hears some great excuses, particularly from those who live in North Hall. They are finding no spaces so they are parking illegally. He thinks that if you open up North Hall to more people, the Traffic Appeals Panel will be busier.
5. New Business
Academic Integrity (Report Attached)
Senator Kimler stated that last year there was a task force formed by the Provost to look into issues of Academic Integrity on campus, particularly to survey faculty and students’ attitudes, and to look at the performances of the court system and a number of other issues. He pointed out that the task force was composed of students, faculty, and staff as well as people from Student Affairs and Undergraduate Affairs.
Assistant Vice Provost Jo Allen from Undergraduate Affairs stated that the purpose of the survey was to understand what kinds of behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions students at NC State have about cheating, and then to take a more proactive view of what can be done to make a difference. Part of this, in the initial charge from Provost Hall, involved a specific request that the task force consider whether a refined honor code would make a difference.
Senator Headen wanted to know to what extent a 30% response rate to an email survey of admitting cheating represents the typical student here.
Marilee Bresciana, Director of Assessment stated that there is a lot of research on academic integrity, and the response rate usually is not above 18% nationally. She said, "We are pleased to have a 30% response rate. We can not pretend that it is a great response rate. We are reporting the response rate so that you can interpret the results."
Senator Headen wanted to know if the response rate represents NC State’s student body.
Assistant Vice Provost Allen responded, yes.
Assistant Vice Provost Allen stated that 67% of the students who completed the survey reported that they have cheated at least once. Compared nationally that number looks more like 75%. Ninety percent of the students reported that they have seen others cheat. Nationally that looks more like 80%. What do the numbers mean and how do you explain the discrepancies? She stated that two pieces of national literature helped them to determine what that may mean. One says that the higher the student’s GPA, the less likely he or she is to cheat. They had almost 60% response rate from the 3.0 to 4.0 GPA.
"Correspondingly older students tend to cheat less than younger students. We have a 60% response rate from juniors and seniors. From this, three things emerged that I think were pretty striking for our student body.
There is a disconnect between students’ definitions of cheating and their actual behavior.
There is a desire that the definitions of cheating be made clear and for the consequences to be enforced.
Students want their reasons for cheating to be taken into consideration when they are being sanctioned for their behavior.
Regarding the disconnect between students and their actually behaviors, 61% of the students who completed this section reported that at least one behavior defined by the survey which was based on our student code of conduct was not cheating.
We asked students if they would agree with the statement that they would never under any circumstances cheat. Of the students who said that they would never under any circumstances cheat, 58.8% admitted to having cheated at least one time in one of the ways on the survey and 40.7% of those 58% considered that at least one of their behaviors was not cheating. Students believe that cheating is wrong. They believe that certain kinds of cheating, however are wronger than other kinds.
The second thing is that students want the definitions for cheating to be made clear and that consequences be enforced.
Students want you to consider their reasons for cheating."
Carrie Zelna, Associate Director for the Office of Student Conduct stated that while they were working on the survey, the Student Senate got together and looked at the idea of creating an honor code. That group decided that it would not be feasible to implement a traditional honor code at NC State. They went for creating an honor statement, which is more of an affirmation of academic integrity as a very important issue.
Traditional honor codes have four parts: an honor pledge, unproctered exams, student involvement in the process, and the requirement to report violations as part of that code. That is the most traditional of the types of honor codes that exist.
"More recently honor codes at larger schools like NC State are what they call modified. They usually involve two elements of those traditional honor codes. At NC State we have two of its elements. We already have what would be referred to, based on the literature, as a modified honor code. We have student involvement in the process. Some faculty members here have had experience with our process or even our honor board. Students sit on that board and have equal say in what happens during the review of an academic integrity violation. In addition, the university has the honor statement that faculty use on their test."
Assistant Vice Provost Allen stated that she thinks that the strongest conclusion that can be drawn from their survey is for the faculty to remember how very much the students look to them. They respect their professors. They look to them for guidance, mentoring relationships, etc. She stated that the task force was looking at what we are currently doing to educate the students about academic integrity and policy. She said one thing that they are particularly focused on is how to send a message to students that this is a culture in which cheating is not okay.
The Student Judicial Board is discussing offering a week long series of events including mock trials, speakers, etc. She thinks there are some really strong ideas from that group.
Allen stated, "We are looking for ways from the faculty on how to improve our communication with the faculty, how to bring forth more discussion about these issues, and how to walk the faculty through the process for working with the Judicial Board and the Office of Student Conduct.
Chancellor Fox is writing a letter to all incoming students which expresses the understanding that this is a culture in which honor and integrity means something that is part of what we expect from our students at NC State. Some of the Deans are getting more involved in discussions. The Office of Student Conduct is offering to present information sessions at faculty meetings and departmental meetings. We are interested in your feedback on what we can do to take this discussion forward."
Senator Headen wanted to know the presently listed consequences of cheating.
Assistant Vice Provost Allen stated that there is a web site from the Office of Student Conduct that lists information.
Senator Headen stated that some faculty members here who had apparently identified people who had the appearance of cheating got the sense that the system at the top was not supportive of that faculty member’s effort to participate in sending that clear signal. Has that changed?
Assistant Vice Provost Allen responded yes. She thinks it has changed.
Carrie Zelna stated that Senator Headen is referring to a case that involved a situation where a student’s guilty finding was overturned on an appeal. That whole process has changed. It is definitely different at this point. In terms of the violations and the types of sanctions that are appropriate, the first step is with the faculty member. In approximately 80% of the cases the faculty member and the student works it out in their office and decide for themselves what they think is appropriate based on what that student did in their class. The times that does not happen is when the student does not admit guilt or if the student has two violations. She noted that a faculty member can do anything up to failing a student in the class.
Zelna stated that if students have two violations they would be suspended automatically for at least a semester. That is the only time there is an automatic sanction associated with cheating. Other than that, it depends a lot on the circumstances and what the faculty member wants to see happen. If a student cheats once, the form is kept in the Office of Student Conduct. It is confidential and does not appear on the transcript.
Senator McRae commented that most of the problems that they have encountered in the last couple of years has been with international graduate students. Somehow the message is not getting across to them. They do not seem to understand the concept, much less understand how to follow it.
Zelna stated that the graduates and undergraduates are pretty much handled the same.
Assistant Vice Provost Allen stated that the Chancellor’s greatest concern was that student A in one section of a course cheats in a particular way and the faculty member treats it in a certain way which is not consistent with how student B is treated in another section of the course by a different faculty member. "We are looking to see parity in at least the reporting of it; that at least forms are filed with the office and then it is still the faculty member’s decision as to how to handle it.
Zelna stated that they would like the opportunity to come into department meetings to discuss the process.
Senator Hughes-Oliver wanted to know if the total number of students charged as listed on the handout includes first or second time charges.
Zelna responded that the report was done for the Board of Trustees and everyone is included, whether it is their first or second time.
Senator Hughes-Oliver stated that the cases resolved by hearings, although it is a first charge that could not be resolved between the student and the faculty, would not seem to be confidential.
Zelna stated that it is still confidential. The Board is bound by confidentiality. It is just that the Board then makes the decision about whether or not the incident occurred if it is an issue of a student pleading not guilty. Sometimes things go to the Board only because it is a second violation. The student admits guilt but wishes there was another way to resolve this. Some of these represent students who admitted to cheating.
Senator Hughes-Oliver wanted to know at what point a faculty member should consider submitting a charge.
Zelna stated that the policies are on the website. The code is behavior based.
Senator Hughes-Oliver suggested that they list specific circumstances that resulted in a charge, to encourage faculty members who may be discouraged from calling the Office of Student Conduct to discuss this instance, whether they could just go to the website to see if someone else had gone through this and if it is worth their time.
Senator Blanchard suggested providing some sample case studies.
Senator Tucker wanted to know if most cheating that occurs is reported. He feels that the majority of the cases are not reported.
Zelna stated that, in defense of the faculty, it is an uncomfortable issue. It is not something that people are trained to do which is why the Office of Student Conduct wants to be there to help people as they go through that process, especially if it is their first time encountering this.
Senator Grainger stated that if 67 or 70% of the students of this campus said that they have cheated, that does not match his personal experience of the students. He stated that our students are great students and it disappoints him to see that 70% of them have cheated. He noted that they are not his students.
Assistant Vice Provost Allen stated that the behaviors that they have listed as cheating are the behaviors that the NC State Code lists as cheating. Students are more likely to cheat on assignments they do not value and that they do not believe their professors value.
Senator Ash stated that she thinks it is important that if the faculty are going to be surveyed, to find out if they understand what cheating is.
6. Report on the University-Wide Evaluation of Instruction Instrument
Senator Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy committee, reported that student evaluation of teaching is mandated by university policy. Several years ago the Board of Visitors suggested that the university consider moving to a uniform procedure rather than having what is currently in place which is sometimes at the department level and sometimes at the college level. The Evaluation of Teaching Committee studied this recommendation and decided to develop a common instrument (the UEI) and test it. They created the instrument by gathering instruments from departments across campus and looking at the questions that made up those instruments, to decide on the common elements. They organized those by category and pared them down to thirteen choice questions and then provided additional space for the college, department, or instructor to add questions.
The instrument was pilot tested in the fall of 2000 in three departments: Adult and Community College Education, Economics, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. As a result of that pilot testing, the instrument was refined; input was received from faculty, staff, and students who participated in that pilot; and it was pilot tested again in the spring with the same departments, with the addition of Accounting and Business meaning that it was actually pilot tested across the entire College of Management. The instrument itself continues to be used by all of those departments, although it is no longer currently part of a pilot process.
After the pilot, the UEI was presented to the Faculty Senate spring 2001. It was narrowly approved (fourteen to twelve with one abstention), which is why the decision was made that it should go back for further review.
The Academic Policy Committee has been looking at justification and concerns. Sifting their way through that process began with the justification. They came to the conclusion that there are several reasons for having a university wide instrument. The first is that it does demonstrate an institutional commitment to quality teaching rather than leaving it up to the discretion of the department. Senator Ash stated that this is important enough for there to be uniformity at the university level, and that we take the responsibility for holding instructors as well as departments accountable at that level. It does allow for more effective and fair comparisons across departments by having a universal instrument so that everyone is operating from the same basis. This is particularly useful when the instruments are being used for personnel decisions as they are. It does allow for comparisons by course criteria. There was also a sense that student buy-in might be more significant because they would be seeing the same instrument on a regular basis. They would be familiar with it. They would know what to expect from it and they might take more time with it. Those are the underlying justifications and clearly there are concerns. Many of these have been expressed last year.
"We will start with the use of the individual faculty results. It is important to understand that as the policy is written, individual faculty results become part of the faculty member’s personnel file. Therefore access is limited to the individual faculty member and others only with his or her permission. Personnel committee members and other appropriate administrators would have access to it when they are making personnel related decisions. It is important to understand that unauthorized publication of these individual reports would result in serious consequences. In theory the public dissemination of individual results is highly unlikely. There are concerns about making sure the data are handled as securely as possible. There is always the possibility that an individual student might get these data and make them available in some other form. There is particular concern because of the centralized nature of this process.
The committee decided that it really was beyond its capability to make specific recommendations regarding how the data should be kept secure but did recommend that appropriate measures be taken to optimize security in the handling of the data as well as to optimize security in the handling of the instrument itself.
In terms of the appropriate use of the individual data, it should obviously be for use by an individual faculty member for his or her own formative evaluation and by the department head and/or other appropriate administrators as just one of several measures to evaluate teaching. The committee feels that a really important point is that this not be the only criteria used in evaluating teaching. They further recommend that the final summative question (number 13) be eliminated. There was concern that it is too easy just to distill teaching down into that one number."
Senator Tucker suggested that there be an explanation telling why item number thirteen is being eliminated.
Senator Ash stated that there are also concerns about use of the aggregate data. This would be data grouped by department that would be available as a result of this instrument. It is important to understand that there would be no use of data where the sample size is too small to maintain anonymity. That was an issue that was raised.
Individual faculty could use the aggregate data to do their own formative comparisons across different types of courses. Additionally Administrators with the responsibility for identifying those areas of excellence as well as those areas that need improvement on a departmental or program level would have access.
Another issue that arose was tracking of the data and how faculty might be kept aware of how these data were being used. The committee did recommend that UPA log all the requests that are made for these data. They requested also that UPA notify individual faculty members when his or her data are being requested by those with authority to do so and that the UPA consult with the Evaluation of Teaching Committee as well as relevant administrators whenever they are being asked for these data by outside sources. Outside sources would be able to request the aggregate data. The committee also asked that the EOTC report yearly to the Faculty Senate regarding the use of these data.
In terms of the cost, it will require hiring a Director for this process, renting, and equipping of space. An optical scanner has already been purchased. Trying to decide whether it will be more or less expensive is a little problematic because currently we do not have a good estimate of how much it cost now as individual departments have to purchase their own instrument and do their own data analysis. The current estimate for the yearly budget has been budgeted at $185,000.
In summary the Academic Policy recommends (8 for, 1 against and 1 no vote) the adoption of the UEI with some stipulations (see attached report).
Remarks from Senator Funderlic
Senator Funderlic said, "We really do not need this. It will pit faculty against faculty and departments against departments. The important aspect is that this overemphasis is going to lead to continual dumbing down of courses. The cost is not acceptable and there is an increased computer security threat over what we presently have. I think it is important to poll factions such as past department heads. Then the question is where do we go from there.
I think this kind of thing promotes jealousy and finger pointing. It puts faculty on the defense. I think what is going to happen is that you are going to continually have to defend yourself. I think it is going to take time and effort from our main interest.
Will it improve standards? A report by Trout in 2000 said that nearly 300,000 faculty have consciously lowered their standards. A report by the Carnegie Foundation in 1987 said 67% of professors reported widespread lowering of standards.
I read a comment by John Riddle in our committee that said the most important factor in student evaluations is grade expectation. They said although literature does not support that. I think the literature does support that and we can argue about that a lot. The faculty for the most part overwhelmingly believes that high grades do lead to higher evaluations. I do not think that there is any question that this thing is going to exacerbate that and emphasize the idea of coming up with lower standards.
The cost I think is not acceptable. In these days of budget concerns, for us to take on a new effort like this I think is irresponsible. An important point is that the same people in your department who presently collect these data and who send it off to be processed and redistributed are still going to be doing that. That is not going to go away. The cost is still there.
One thing that I have been concerned about is the business of computer security, putting all of these items in one basket. The target is certainly more appealing and under most measures of security there is an increased security threat over having the evaluations done locally.
I think that we have not made an effort to poll people who should be polled. I think that the group of past department heads have decades of experience, have a lot of wisdom and I think that this would be a good group to poll especially since I have started such a poll. I have polled five so far and they have all said that we should not do that.
What is the logical conclusion to all of this? I have been involved in rigorous proofs and logic and let us just assume that it is a good thing. Comparing English Teaching Assistants for example against Physics Professors is good, then logically we really should expand our sample. I think we ought to include the Wake Tech Teachers.
Comments from Katie Mohney, Graduate Representative of the EOT Committee
The students at NC State University support the UEI.
First because it would bring consistency to evaluations throughout every college and every department at this institution. The confusion of multiple evaluations for different classes would be eliminated completely. Students would be more willing to take the time to fill out these evaluations if they became accustomed to it and saw it in every class.
Students would understand how important their opinion in their evaluation was for future development. Having a regularly seen evaluation would give the sense of importance, and students would be more inclined to fill out this evaluation thoroughly.
Students like to use this evaluation to give the instructors some encouragement on what they did very well, what they should continue to do and maybe some things that they could improve upon. None of the students ever really give very negative comments. In addition, these evaluations therefore would never be very helpful for people to get into a system and use them against instructors. It would be hard to find a student that would have any inclination to do something like that. Students are not interested in doing that. They are interested in learning to get the most out of their classroom teaching experience.
Senator Havner asked, "Isn’t it required throughout the university that there be a formal teaching evaluation each semester in each class?" He noted that the impression that he gets from Mohney’s comments is that this is not being done in some departments.
Mohney stated that there are evaluations for all departments, but departments can have the same or different instruments that they want to use. None of them are necessarily consistent, so you get different questions from different departments.
Senator Havner stated that there are entirely different courses taught in entirely different kinds of ways. There is nothing wrong with having different instruments for different courses.
Senator Kimler stated that his department (History) is one department that does not use a quantitative instrument. They have had great success in teaching. They have qualitative answers, a dozen questions that you have to write out answers to. It is not like anyone else’s survey. In fact, the students seem to like it because they get to say what they think. The UEI committee knew that students like to respond. He pointed out that the survey is not going to make it be one instrument for the entire campus. It is going to make seventy-five instruments if you want it to be that way. There are twelve questions that the entire campus will use and then there is a space to add more.
Senator Kimler stated that there is a balance here. Departments will be encouraged to develop a handful of other questions they might want to ask and to use those as well. He wanted to know how could one read the twelve questions and possibly think that this is going to make for invidious comparisons.
Senator Bernhard stated that there is a very simple way to raise your ratings here as mentioned. That is to become less demanding and more mediocre. This is happening in our country where transcripts have ceased to mean what they once meant because of this kind of pressure. He said what is scary is that it is driving everyone to be mediocre. He is all for students filling out forms to say what they want, but when the department head is going to call him in and rank him, or his salary is going to be connected to this number and he can make it a better number with very simple changes by being less demanding and not being critical even though he thinks he should be, there is something wrong with the system.
Senator Sawyers stated that it appears to him that there will still not be a uniform instrument regardless of how we vote today. His college (Management) will add questions. "We do not need a uniform instrument and we are not going to have a uniform instrument regardless of how the vote goes today."
Senator McRae stated that currently Registration and Records is supplying the grade distribution of all courses to students. This allows for a student to go to this website and shop for professors who grade easily.
Senator McRae commented that historically the equivalent of question 13 has been the only thing recorded concerning teaching dossiers for promotion and tenure in his department. That, to him is a misuse of the data. It does not require that any real investigation of teaching capability take place.
Senator Headen asked Associate Director of University Planning and Analysis, Ephraim Schechter, what did found after reviewing the literature on grade distribution and evaluations.
Schechter stated that his reading and reviews of the literature suggested that this is certainly not the strongest factor and yes it is arguable. " The reviews that I have been able to find, the way that I read it, indicate there is a positive relationship between grades and the ratings. In fact, he reported to the committee having done an analysis from the pilot study with grades, course size and course levels as factors. Size and levels of class accounted for far more of the variability than the grades that had been given and there was plenty of variability left over for other factors." Schechter said that he would be very worried if the grades were accounting for the bulk of the explained variance. That would in fact say that this is nothing but a popularity contest. He stated that regardless of the literature and regardless of the data, faculty tend to believe that to be the case and will adapt to it.
Senator Grainger wanted to know if anyone from a department had a summary statement on what the experience was in the department.
Schechter responded yes. The reports that were posted reviewing the two pilots indicated that generally the reactions were positive.
A faculty member in attendance recommended that number thirteen not be dropped because it was one of the questions with the highest correlations. He does not agree with the logic of dropping it simply because it could be misused.
Provost Cooper stated that he is currently up to his ears in promotion and tenure files. He is pleased to say that he does not remember seeing a single file that did not have some summary of departmental teaching evaluation forms.
Senator Daley commented that validity measures against different standards.
Crowell Bowers, a member and Chair of the Evaluation and Teaching Committee, stated that when they started this in 1998, it was to improve teaching. At that time when you looked across the departments, it was tough to evaluate consistently what people were doing so you could reward and improve it. It was to improve teaching in the university as a whole and to give students the buy-in that this is important and also to give the university the buy-in that teaching is important. So if we do it uniformly across the university it says something tremendous about graduate and undergraduate teaching. The thrust was improving and rewarding rather than picking out for discipline.
Senator Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee moved that the report be accepted.
The motion was seconded.
The motion was voted on and passed.
The vote was 13 in favor, 11 against, 1 abstention.
Senator Funderlic requested a roll call.
Following are the results of the roll call.
For: Alton Banks, Nina Allen, Sarah Ash, Susan Blanchard, Sean Cassidy, Alvin Headen, Gary Hodge, Cynthia Istook, William Kimler, Sarah Kirby, Ida Smoak, Beverly Tyler, Suzanne Weiner
Against: Richard Bernhard, Helga Braunbeck, Dennis Daley, Robert Funderlic, John Grainger, Kerry Havner, Percy Hooper, Scott McRae, Anthony Rolle, Roby Sawyers, Paul Tucker
Abstention: Michael Garval
Absent: Gene Brothers, Nadia El-Masry, Jesse Grimes, Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, Jay Levine, Charles Lytle, Patricia Marshall, Kailash Misra, Kenneth Vickery, Gail Wilkerson
Senator McRae recommended that the Senators read the front page article in the News and Observer as an example of bias reporting. He feels that the Chancellor or someone should respond to that article.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.