“The higher education experience is not akin to shopping on iTunes or visiting Banana Republic.”
— Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and the college’s executive leadership team, in a response published online Wednesday. The administrators recently launched 7solutionsresponse.org to rebut the controversial seven “breakthrough solutions” to higher education in Texas authored and advocated by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“Research shows that when student ratings play a major role in evaluations, instructors tend to be more concerned with managing student impressions of them than with quality teaching and resort to easy grading, course work deflation and grade inflation.”
— The administrators, criticizing a proposal to put greater emphasis on student evaluations when allocating bonus pay for faculty.
“Teaching is evaluated using multiple methods including students’ Course Instructor Survey (CIS) ratings. All written comments submitted by students about a faculty member’s teaching over the prior three years are reviewed.”
— The administrators, explaining how student evaluations are a valid indicator of teaching quality when evaluating professors for tenure.
“Everyone seems to be portraying the seven breakthrough solutions as tablets we carried down from Mount Sinai. They are ideas on paper. We think they are very good ideas, but if other people have better ways to accomplish those objectives, we are open to having a conversation.”
— David Guenthner, spokesman for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in an interview with The Texas Tribune last month, in response to criticism of the organization’s proposals.
“The report and website were produced by faculty and staff in the dean’s office and Liberal Arts ITS in addition to our regular duties and without any extra compensation.”
— College of Liberal Arts spokesman Gary Susswein, responding to concerns about the costs and time to produce the report and launch the website, according to the Austin American-Statesman.