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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 8, 1969)
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1969
VOL. 93, NO. 43
Dr. John Silber: 'Undergraduate teaching
in America needs substantial improvement'
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Dr. John Silber addresses NU Teaching Council Convention.
Proposal would allow
A recent program proposed by the
College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum
Committee would allow any NU student
to design a personalized course of study
aimed at obtaining a major in a field
of study currently not offered.
However, the proposal, known as the
Integrated Studies Program, would still
require that the student fulfill all the
general requirements of his college
before participating in his custom-built
Don Stenberg, a student member of
the curriculum committee, explained
that the program is designed for the
last six semesters of a college career.
Although a student would still have to
take general requirements, he would
have three years for special interest
The Curriculum Committee approved
the program at its last meeting and
recommended it to the Department of
Arts and Sciences. If that department
also approves the program, students
could conceivably begin obtaining a ma
jor in anything from Black Studies to
Russian Culture to Golf Course Design.
There are some stipulations, however.
Besides fulfillment of general prere
quisites, the proposed program requires
a minimum of 50 credit hours to obtain
a major with at least 15 of those hours
taken in one department.
Moreover, the student must design his
outline of study and obtain a faculty
sponsor. Ultimately, the student must
get the course of study approved by
iiis college dean.
C. Peter Magrath, Dean of Faculties,
said participants in the Integrated
Studies Program "would have to
demonstrate academic competence and
All students interested In the following
ASUN-selected positions should apply in
the ASUN office by Tuesday. Positions
now open Include: the graduate or pro-fessional-at-large
Student Senate seat;
a Student Court member of junior stand
ing; Pub Board member, sophomore
only; and two students for the Nebraska
Union Investigation Committee.
When things are good, they're very,
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motivation to be allowed to pursue his
own special program."
"Bu," added Magrath, "students
could demonstrate this competence
and motivation merely by the content
and presentation of his proposal to the
Magrath originally introduced the in
tegrated studies plan in 1968 while he
was Dean of the College of Arts and
Human Studies Program
Magrath's proposal was based on
Brown University's "Human Studies
Program," which has existed at that
school for several years. Brown's pro
gram is similar to the Integrated
Studies, except that, according to
Magrath, at Brown it has involved only
third and fourth year students and car
ries a fairly high grade average re
quirement. The Curriculum Committee in recom
mending the proposal noted that the
Integrated Studies Program is yet
another aspect of a movement that has
been developing at NU.
The committee said this movement
included new majors, such as those in
Latin American studies, Classics,
Linguistics and Renaissance studies and
new classes such as the "Negro in
American Society" class and t h e
College of Arts and Sciences
"The Centennial College will probably
not handle the Integrated Studies Pro
gram despite the college's experimental
nature," Stenberg said. "The College
of Arts and Sciences has prowsed the
program, will determine its feasibility
and will direct it."
The Arts and Sciences College is pro
bably the only school which would find
the proposal applicable, Stenberg add
ed. "Architecture and Engineering both
rely on fairly structured curriculums,
as does the College of Business Ad
ministration," Stenberg said. "Teachers
College needs all available time for
education classes and the College of
Agriculture already has a similar type
of program called "Ag Honors."
Stenberg added that only Arts and
Sciences is broad enough to have such
a program work. "This would especially
work for prelaw and pre-med majors,"
"For those students who don't want
or need traditional majors the Integrated
Studies Program could be very helpful.
very good. This week-end was very, very good. From left to right: Allen
and Tears; John Brandstetter, Christmas Carol
Undergraduate teaching in American
universities is in need of substantial
improvement, according to Dr. John R.
Silber, Dean of the University of Texas
College of Arts and Sciences.
Keynoting a special University of
Nebraska conference on the improve
ment of instruction, Silber said that
faculty members are judged too often
on their publications and not enough
on their teaching ability.
The student-faculty conference, held
over the weekend, was sponsored by
the newly formed NU Teaching Councii.
The conference was intended to raise,
discuss and confront some of the basic
issues in education, according to Dr.
C. Peter Magrath, moderator.
Silber condemned the "publish or
perish" doctrine which so often guides
promotions of faculty members.
"About 90 per cent of what appears
in humanistic journals need not have
appeared," Silber stated. "And about
85 per cent of what appears in social
science journals need not have appeared
Silber, who is an internationally
recognized philosopher besides being a
university administrator, suggested that
professors be denied tenure if they
publish something unworthy.
"People describe faculty members by
saying, 'professor X is a one book man
and professor Y is a two book man,"
Silber remarked. "If a guy doesn't have
two or three books published by the
time lie's 45, then he's dead."
Silber also condemned the preoc
cupation with research. Much of what
is called research, like publications,
could just as well go undone, he said.
"Certainly there are effective teachers
who are engaged in good research as
well," Silber said. "But with some of
this, research has reached ludicrous pro
portions." During his seven years at Texas,
Silber has initiated an extensive pro
gram of student evaluation of teachers
and courses and appointed a student
ombudsman to investigate student com
plaints. "The whole problem is that the man
who goes to class annd brings something
alive for his students is not recognized,"
the dean said. "We should recognize
a person who can teach for meritorious
Silber theorized that publications ac
tually take two forms the usual
articles written for scholarly journals
and oral publication, which occurs in
i Nebraskan 1
( applications (
I being taken 1
Applications are now being taken for
second semester staff positions on the
Application forms may be picked up
In Room 34, Nebraska Union.
Those wishing to apply for editor,
managing editor, news editor or business
manager must turn in applications to
the Nebraskan office by 5 p.m., Dec.
16. Interviews by the University Publica
tions Board for these four positions will
be the afternoon of Dec. 17.
Applications for other staff positions,
Including reporters, copy editors, busi
ness assistants can be turned in any time
before mid January.
The last edition of the Nebraskan for
first semestenwill be Dec. 17.
Y i "
This oral publication should be taken
with as much seriousness as written
publication, Silber said.
"We can do something about these
problems," Silber said. "We ought to
evaluate undergraduate teaching."
He suggested comprehensive student
evaluation, which is done at some
universities . including Nebraska, and a
form of peer-evaluation, where teachers
would observe other teachers in the
"Teacher evaluation forms graded by
c o m put e r s are worthless," Silber
stated. "A short essay by each student
is necessary because the intellectual
level of the student is important."
Students say remarkably perceptive
things which couldn't be learned any
other way, he added. Administrators can
learn much about courses and teachers
by asking students, Silber said.
The keynote speaker hedged about
publication of student evaluations. A
Student architects' proposals on slums
denied hearing by professional group
Architecture students were denied
Saturday the opportunity to present to
a convention of the American Institute
of Architects a program depicting slums
and suggesting that professional
architects are neglecting urban housing
Student architects had been invited,
according to Kent Abraham, to present
a program of what they had learned
at their student convention in Houston
to the convention of professional
architects, which was held this past
weekend in Lincoln.
It was indicated that it would be
possible for the students to present their
program in the evening, according to
The students this last week began
putting a program together. Creating
awareness was their immediate goal,
said Abraham, and creation of pro
fessional techniques to alleviate many
of the problems of cities was their
long range goal.
The Intent was to sensitize, through
their program, the professional
architects of Nebraska by relating hous
ing problems to professional
responsibility in the community.
During the week, the students asked
to be allowed to present their program
before the awards program Saturday
evening, rather than at the business
meeting Saturday afternoon. The
reasoning behind their appeal, said
Abraham, was because they needed an
effective platform for their Ideas and
because of technical reasons.
At a meeting Thursday night, the of
ficers of the student chapter came to
the conclusion that problems began to
appear as a result of an article printed
in the Daily Nebraskan that morning.
The article stated the concerns of the
student architects and announced a
meeting of all interested students on
The article was, according to the of
ficers, misconstrued by various
members of the AIA, who then
reconsidered the invitation they had ex
tended the students.
The executive board of the AIA met
Saturday afternoon, and voted against
allowing the students to present their
program that evening.
The students were then faced with
a problem: they had what they believed
was a vitally Important program but
they had no one to present It to.
Late Saturday afternoon, the students
Mosley, Jazz and Java; Jeanie Dietrich, Christmas Carol Concert; David
Concert; George Binger, Jazs and Java.
book, hopefully evaluating nearly every
teacher and course at NU will be
published, but Silber said that professors
have a right not to allow publication
of their evaluations.
It is also important for classes to
be visited by a professor's colleagues,
Silber noted. Classes ought to be placed
under scrutiny by teacher's colleagues
just as books and articles published by
faculty members are, he added.
Following the keynote address, which
was attended by several hundred faculty
members and students, a seven-member
panel commented on Silber's remarks.
Dr. Bailey Donnally, chairman of the
physics department at Lake Forest Col
lege in Illinois, said that large
universities have overemphasized
research while small colleges have
under-emphasized it. Both have suffered
because of the mis-emphasis, he add
ed. The dean of the graduate college at
mimeographed a position sattement,
which they passed out to the professional
architects before the awards program.
The position statement expressed con
community design centers
contacts with minority group high
school students explaining what
setting up training programs for
college scholarship and recruitment
programs for minority students
development of a joint action plank
with students and members of the pro
fession -accreditation of the six non-accredited
black schools of architecture.
These were the specific goals dev
velopecl at the national conventions in
Portland in 1968 and in Chicago in
Mr. Gunnar Berkerts, the guest
Popularity is secondary to BS&T
by Sara Sehwclder
Nebraskan Staff Writer
Evidently, Blood, Sweat and Tears is
not all blood, sweat and tears.
"We really dig what we're doing and
where we're going," noted B&ST drum
mer Bobby Colomby.
"We happened because a bunch of
us just got together to have fun. Getting
popular and making money is secondary
And Colomby is the epitome of that
Unaffected, with a kind of tempered
wholesomeness, Colomby talked openly
and enthusiastically about the group.
"A nine-piece band is a great thing,"
he said. We'll outlast any other band
because with nine people, you just don't
get on each other's nerves as much
as these three-and four-member groups."
He told about a major group of four
members who had played together for
12 years and hadn't spoken to each
otier for 9 of those years.
However, there are personality con
flicts in BS&T, too. There was one con
flict going on backstage after the
performance between lead singer David
Clayton-Thomas and two other members
of the group.
"Ho was upset because we lost the
audience on the last number. Two guys
V in iw .winnirr Iril
the University of New Hampshire, Dr.
Trevor Colbourn agreed heartily with
Silber. Too many professors are pounding
a typewriter because they want recogni
tion and promotion, he said.
Other members of the panel, which
discussed the issue further and then
answered questions from the floor, were:
Dr. Jonathan Collett, assistant professor
of English at Wesleyan University, Mid
dleton, Conn.; two University o f
Nebraska students, Pat Tisdale and John
Marcotte; Dr. Harry S. Allen, director
of institutional research and planning
at NU; and Dr. Wesley C. Meierhenry,
chairman of the department of adult
and continuing education at the
The conference concluded Saturday
morning with another panel discussion
on the improvement of instruction at
the University of Nebraska. A panel
of five NU students and five faculty
members discussed the issue.
speaker at the awards program, who
had earlier in the week expressed con
currence with the students' position, also
announced to the professional architects
that the students' program would be
shown elsewhere for all concerned AIA
members after their awards program.
Approximately ten members of the
AIA and their wives showed up for the
program, which was a series of
representative slides of Omaha's North
side, accompanied by a tape of music,
meetings the students had held and
Omaha North side residents' comments
on their environment.
If they had been able to present their
program at the convention Saturday
night, the students had planned that
they would meet with a committee of
, professionals within a week to discuss
specific goals. The students would then
offer themselves as a resource for the
professional group to utilize.
weren't getting along well and it upset
Clayton-Thomas even though the au
dience never knew what was going on,"
"That's another good thing about a
group like ours," Colomby added.
"There is safety in numbers. We're not
the slightest bit nervous in front of a
crowd because we have so many people.
In fact, sometimes our lack of self-consciousness
(Continued on page 3)
CSL listening to
The Council on Student Life will hear
suggestions and complaints Tuesday
from students about any aspect of stu
dent life at the University of Nebraska.
"The CSL will not be able to be ef
fective unless it is well Informed about
what students are concerned about well
supplied with suggestions from students,"
stated CSL President Dr. John Robinson.
The CSL meeting will be Dec. 9, at
2:30 In room 215A, Nebraska Union.
Clayton Thomas, Blood, Sweat
A. , . t 1
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