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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1969)
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1969
VOL. 93, NO. 46
is one of 'best'
by Gary Seacrest
Nebraskan Staff Writer
Many of the criticisms of the faculty
evaluation are not convincing and are
based on misinformation, according to
the two students who headed the A3UN
Faculty Evaluation Committee.
Ken Wald and Scott Swanson said
Tuesday that the computerized form to
be used for the faculty evaluation is
excellent. However, they both said that
the questionnaire and the whole evalua
tion system can be improved.
"I've looked at about every faculty
evaluation questionnaire from every
University and I believe ours is the
best possible computerized question
naire," Wald said.
One of the best criticisms, according
to Wald, is that the questionnaire has
no space for people to write in their
personal evaluations. Write-in space was
not provided because the evaluation
committee concluded that many faculty
members would not participate . in the
evaluation project with such space.
Wald said the faculty evaluation is
not libelous since faculty participation
in handing out the questionnaire is
voluntary and the student is not writing
in any personal comments.
"If faculty evaluation can be construed
as libelous then a teacher could be sued
for giving a student an F in a course,"
"However, I don't see any damage
coming to teachers from the evaluation,
but if it does come it is probably
Another criticism of the questionnaire
is that it does not have space for the
student to write in the grade he is
receiving in the course. However, Wald
said, "empirical evidence done by the
Carnegie Institute shows there is no
correlation between what a student gets
in the course and how he evaluates
Wald agrees with some critics that
faculty evaluation is not a proper func
tion of ASUN.
"I would like to see another organiza
tion like the Teaching Council undertake
the evaluation project," he said.
Wald's partner in the faculty evalua
tion, Scott Swanson, said of the pro
ject: "We're hoping to get the system set
up this year and improvements can be
made in the questionnaire and in the
system in the future."
Swanson said that he could understand
the faculty criticism of the computerized
form, but that it is almost impossible
io do the evaluation any other way
because of the numerous forms that
must be evaluated.
"The evaluation is to help people and
it will not be used as a club against
the faculty," Swanson said.
The evaluation book will provide only
statistics and will not make any
judgements about teachers. The ad
vantage of this, according to Swanson,
is that each student can make up his
own opinion from the raw data.
One of the faculty proponents of the
The D'cember Vietnam Moratorium
will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday with
a 1'eace Rnllv in the Union ballroom.
The Pelican Peace Band, an un
derground rock group, will entertain un
til 2 p.m., when a oron-am of .mpnkr
will discuss the history and future of
the Vietnam war, and suggestions and
possibilities of peace.
Dr. Ivan Volgyes, professor of political
science, will speak first, setting the
historical framework of the Vietnam
War and stressing the Importance of
"Peace on Earth," according to
Dennis Berkheim, chairman of the Mora
torium Speakers Committee.
Dr. Wallace Peterson, chairman of the
Economics Department, will speak sec
ond. The third speaker will be Dr. Jack
Siegnian. of the sociology department.
Dr. Phillip Scribner from Centennial
College will explain that "Nixon does
not intend to end the war before 1972
and that politically, he cun't afford to
end the war yet."
Next, Dr. Edward Becker of the
philosophy department will present
moral and tactical objections to Nixon's
lnn of withdrawal.
Following Becker. John Llljenstolpe
will talk on the problems of militarism.
Concluding the program Rev. Carl A.
Huikhnrdt. Jr. of Bethany Christian
"hutch will "testify to the significance
of Christmas to the Peace movement
From 3:30 to 4:00 the people from
the rally and members of the community
will ro to the north steps of the Capitol
to start n vigil which will last 26 hours.
At 6 p.m. there will be a candlelight
walk around the capitol.
evaluations useless or advantageous
evaluation is Dr. Dudley Bailey,
chairman of the English Department.
He said that "even if the present form
is bad, it is still healthy to get student
opinion about certain aspects of the
teachers and the courses."
"The English Department never has
been reluctant to have itself evaluated.
We don't feel threatened by such things.
The value of the evaluation is to get
the students' perception of our
teaching," he added.
Bailey contends that student evaluation
is only one facet of the total evaluation
of a teacher.
"It may be doubtful that students can
judge how good a teacher is, but they
are the only people competent to judge
their opinions of a teacher's ef
fectiveness," he added.
The English professor said he hopes
that the faculty members are as wise
and cautious in their interpretation of
the faculty evaluation as they are on
any other piece of information.
Gregory F. Hayden, assistant pro
fessor of Economics, pointed out that
faculty evaluation is a student right as
expressed in the "Student in the
Academic Community" document.
"Many people who are critical of the
evaluation do not understand that it is
a student project financed by student
funds," according to Hayden.
Although all proponents of the faculty
evaluation that were interviewed said
some of the criticisms of the project
are unfounded, all agreed that the
evaluation can be improved.
Toward that end, next year Wald plans
to solicit written opinions from faculty
about this year's faculty evaluation.
limited at NU
by John Dvorak
Nebraskan Staff Writer
(Editors Note: This story Is the first
of a two-part scries examining the
University's pass-fail program and pro
grams of other universities. Also ap
pearing will be proposals and sugges
tions by professors, administrators and
students to improve pass-fail.)
Approximately 200 students take ad
vantage of pass-fail courses at the
University of Nebraska, judging from
the average increase per year since 1966.
Many other schools including those in
the Big Eight similarly limit the pass
fail privilege, but some institutions are
doing away with the A, B C D and
F idea entirely.
The basis conditions for p-f at NU
were approved in May, 1966, and have
remained essentially unchanged. The
conditions limit the number of students
eligible for the classes.
Only Juniors and seniors can take p-f
courses. A student may not take the
courses in his major department, and
pass-fail courses may not be used to
fulfill minor or group requirements.
In addition to those restrictions,
departments may Identify courses which
may not be taken on a pass-fail basis.
In some cases, such as in art, business
finance and microbiology, the entire
department forbids pass-fail In all
There are no statistics on the number
of students taking pass-fail courses at
NU this semester. The last survey of
the svstem was taken by Beverly A.
Cunningham, registration advisor, In
November 1968. At the time, 161 students
took advantage of the privilege.
She found that most students In p-f
courses were in the College of Arts
and Sciences or Teachers Colleges.
Psychology classes had 28 students on
the p-f basis, followed by 19 students
In English classes. Economics,
philosophy and sociology courses were
The situation at other colleges and
universities varies. Some schools, such
as Yale, are more liberal with pass-fail'
courses. Many other institutions do not
permit it at oil.
"There is no general drift with other
colleges," said Don Stenberg, who is
chairman of the ASUN Education Com
mittee this year. His group is making
a study of pass-fail, 'both at Nebraska
and at other schools.
Most Big Eight conference schools
have a pass-fail privilege, although it
is limited in every school. At the
University of Missouri, medical students
are graded S for satisfactory and U
for unsatisfactory. All other students are
on the A-F system.
Oklahoma State probably has the
toughest grading system of the eight
schools. An "A" Is defined as S3 per
cent or higher. A "B" is 83 to 92,
"C" is 77 to 84 and "D" is 70 to
78. The limited pass-fail courses are
included in computing the overall grade
At the University of Colorado, pass-fail
is more widely used than at any other
Ulg Eight school. P-F hours count
toward degree requirements, but are not
Dr. Dudley Bailey
tabulated in the overall grade point
One of the most complicated grading
system of any college in the country
is at Vanderbilt University, Nashville,
Tenn. Thirteen different symbols are
used, Including P and F. Also used are
A, B, C, D, E, F, WF, WP, WR, Abs,
The latter five symbols mean withdrew
failing, withdrew pass, withdrawal re
quired) absent from final examination
No student may take more than 12
hours of pass-fail work in his un
dergraduate career. Pass-fail is forbid
den in the students' major and related
In general, the pass-fail system at
the University of Nebraska does not
differ significantly from the systems at
other major colleges and universities.
Many schools, such as the University
of Wyoming and Southern Methodist
University have no pass-fail option at
all. Certain other schools have taken
a more liberal outlook on the grading
At NU, the only change made in the
original pass-fail policy occurred in
November of 1967. The change permitted
honor's courses, 199 level classes
available to upper division honor
students, to be offered on a pass-fail
Another temporary change was ap
proved by the Faculty Senate at a
meeting Tuesday. Students in the
Centennial Course during the school year
1969-70 have the option of taking their
Centennial Course on a pass-fail basis.
The privilege would be extended only
for their six-hour course In the college.
Their other courses would be graded
(In Monday's Issue the pass-fall
system at NU. What should be done?
What Is being planned? What do the
professors think?) .
The 4.5 grading system has
significantly helped the average
When the new system was adopted
In May of 1968, nearly 25 per cent of
University students were on scholastic
probation, according to statistics col
lected by the Faculty Senate Grading
Committee. In May of 1969, only 12.23
per cent were on scholastic probation.
"There were two things that helped
pull up students grades," Professor Emil
llecrmann, chairman of the Faculty
Grading Committee, noted. "One was
the new system itself. Plus grades and
the option of dropping D and F grades
and re-taking those courses."
The other Important factor In the suc
cess of the plus grading system is
faculty cooperation, Heermann said.
"The faculty became aware of the
large number of students on probation
In the spring of 19G8, he said. "With
the plus grading system, the faculty
had an opportunity to remedy the situa
tion and they helped the students out
by Ron Whitten
, Nebraskan Staff Writer
Neither the upcoming ASUN faculty
evaluation program nor the question
naire being used in the process has
pleased some faculty members.
Tuesday the University Faculty Senate
defeated a resolution expressing full ap
proval of the evaluation. An alternate
resolution pledging cooperation with
ASUN and endorsing the principle of
evaluation was passed instead.
At that meeting Dr. Henry E.
Baumgarten and Professor Peter J.
Worth expressed their displeasure with
the evaluation form, and Worth added
that he considered the evaluation pro
Thursday other faculty members from
different departments expressed their
Dr. Russel Smith
Larger base and more work
cited as needs for Moratorium
by Bill Smithcrmun
NcbrasNn Staff Writer
A larger base of support and more
individual work to get people thinking
about the war is the current need of
the Vietnam Moratorium, according to
some of the anti-war movement's former
One of the leaders of the October
demonstration, who did not wish his
name to be used, said the October ac
tivities were effective in drawing a large
number of people together.
"People throughout the Lincoln com
munity became interested In the
Moratorium," he said. "However,
nothing has been done to follow this
He added that the moratorium is
becoming a strictly student activity.
However, even students are losing in
terest, he said.
"It is a well-known fact throughout
the country that students are uptight
by allowing greater freedom in the
Measures were needed because of the
faculty's "unfamlliarlties" with a five
point system that had replaced another
9-point system In 1968. Heermann said.
He said the rise in number of students
on probation had happened "unin
tentionally" because of the change-over
from a nine to one grading system to
an A to F system.
Many students were not happy with
the decision because it was made during
the middle of the semester and without
student discussion prior to the vote on
"Students were not Vonsulted because
the decision was an emergency measure
that needed an immediate action."
Heermann said. "It became apparent
that we had to do something fast to
help pull up sagging grade averages,
so we did it right away."
Hcermnn noted that the Faculty
Senate subsequently voted to put two
student members on the Faculty Grading
Committee. There are currently nine
faculty members on the committee and
Dr. Russell Smith, an associate pro
fessor of geology, said that he "was
not happy at all with the question
naire." Smith said he opposed the use of a
computerized form for evaluation. He
suggested that a form could be used
with space provided for students to add
"I realize this would take many man
hours to check over," Smith commented,
"but faculty evaluation should be more
than just another computer-graded ex
am." Smith said that he opposed the use
of machine-graded exams for the same
reason, that "they don't really give the
student a chance to express himself."
The geology instructor added that he
was not Initially in favor of the ASUN
program but he has agreed to
participate in the process next week.
Smith said he believed that "a vast
majority of students will give honest
evaluations of their instructors, that is,
within the limits that this questionnaire
' He noted that the Geology Department
has its own standard evaluation form
(a write-in answer sheet) which most
geology teachers use each semester and
that he intends to use the department
form next week along with the A3UN
"1 plan to compare results of the
two," Smith said.
Dr. Jack M. Sosin, history professor,
said he has reservations about both the
questionnaire and the program itself.
"If any evaluation is to be carried
out, it should be done by the faculty,"
said Sosin. He added that the fact that
any person teaches at this university
Indicates that he has been adequately
evaluated and accepted.
Sosin said he doubted whether the
questionnaire will actually provide an
objective analysis of faculty members.
He noted that several questions on the
form were less than objective.
"One question is concerned with
whether the instructor covered his
material at an appropriate intellectual
level," Sosin noted. "Appropriate for
whom? Unless students are already well
versed in the subject matter, how can
they possibly tell whether it has been
presented at an appropriate intellectual
Sosin said that he recently conducted
an evaluation in certain classes con
cerning the course discussion sections.
He said that all European and American
history classes which have discussion
sections do the same.
About 80 per cent of his students
answered on the form that they believed
about the war," he commented. "Presi
dent Nixon and the rest of the country
seem to have simply written students
off as a perturbed minority. For this
reason, we need a broader base of sup
port." He added that the Moratorium needs
"people power" to change the
President's Vietnam policy.
Alan Siporin, another organizer of the
October demonstration, also believes
that the Moratorium needs a change
He said that the idea of the
Moratorium was not only to bring the
war to a quick end, but also to get
people thinking about problems of the
world around them. The October ac
tivities were effective to this end, he
Siporin added that he left a leadership
role in the Moratorium because he began
to doubt his ability at involving large
numbers of people. "It is also a good
idea to get as many people as possible
involved in the leadership of an
organization like this," he said.
"I don't believe that large demonstra
tions will really accomplish much."
Siporin continued. "We turned a lot of
people on to thinking in October, but
it would be difficult to do this again
on a large scale."
He said that what Is needed In the
Moratorium is more individual contact
and education. As it Is now, the
Moratorium is not really stimulating
enough thought on diverse issues, h
Mike Shonsey, former chairman of the
Moratorium Steering Committee, also
emphasized that people need to be
organized individually against the war.
"There is a great need to involve those
who participated in October In an effort
to strengthen the organization," lie
He added that he does not favor
further activities on a large scale.
"However, what Is being done in
December is good." he said.
Shonsey commented that Moratorium
activities this month are important
because they serve to show that the
the discussion sections were
"sometimes" integrated with the lecture
material, Sosin said.
But, he added, "it is a matter of
fact that all my lectures are integrated
with the discussion sections. If only 20
per cent of the students can recognize
this, how valid can their evaluations
Sosin said he will cooperate with the
evaluation procedures next week.
An assistant professor of political
science, George K. Perry, commented
that he has no objections to the evalua
tion form, but he is still unsure about
the principle of the program.
"I have nothing against the faculty
evaluation form," Perry said, "but I
haven't seen much cohesion within the
teaching profession by which you can
determine what constitutes a good or
Perry said that he thought there is
a "good chance" that some students
may be less than objective in their
"Voter research has proven that peo
ple allow personal attitudes to color ob
jectivity," Perry said. "Of course, some
instructors can tell good jokes, some
of them are good entertainers, especially
to undergraduates. But should that be
considered when evaluating his ability
Perry said that ASUN should in the
future attempt to utilize other devices
to strive towards objectivity. "I do hope
that the present program will serve a
positive purpose," he added.
I Nebraskan I
1 being taken
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. Tuesday.
Interviews by the University Publica
tions Board for these four positions will
be Wednesday afternoon.
Applications for other staff positions,
including reporters, copy editors,
business assistants can be turned in any
time before mid January.
The last edition of the Nebraskan for
first semester will be next Wednesday.
anti-war movement is still active. The
activities are symbolic and will give
those already Involved in the movement
something to center around, he said.
"Canvassing may be effective in
reaching the community at large," he
added, "though it is hurd to say."
He said that the new Moratorium
leadership has filled a vacuum he was
not able to. The actions planned for
December are very Important and
meaningful, he said.
The anonymous source said that there
are other ways besides convassing that
might be effective In reaching larger
portions of the community.
Town meetings held
Many Moratorium committees on the
east coast are becoming active in tho
community by holding town meetings
to consider military spending, federal
taxes and local spending, he continued.
He said that these groups are also
planning to become more involved in
c ongresslonal campaigns, supporting
candidates who favor a shift in govern
ment spending from military programs
to domestic needs.
"In spite of the problems involved
though, the Moratorium is still an 1m-
Krtunt activity," he said. "Even if you
.1 frustrated now, its better to do
something other than just sit on your
University of Nebraska classes will
be held as usual on Dec. 19. the day
before the Cornhuskers play in the Sun
Dr. C. Peter Magrnth, dean of
faculties, notes that the University's
operating assumption Is that students
and faculty meet their academic obliga
tions. Thus, It Is expected that those
students and faculty who have class
or laboratory obligations on Dec. 19 will
make appropriate arrangements to fulfill
The Christmas vacation for University
students begins Dec. 20. Classes will
resume Jan. 6.
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