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July 19, 1967 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1967-07-19

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Course Evaluation Book: A Stillborn Baby?

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

"It may not be possible to
produce a student evaluation
booklet that can be used by both
students and faculty," Bruce
Kahn, '68, president of SGC
commented recently. "But if the
committee working on recom-
mendations to the Faculty As-
sembly cannot find a method of
evaluation amenable to both stu-
dents and faculty, we'll have to
find a way for each group to do
their own. We really need some
kind of course evaluation."
"The idea of course evaluation

is excellent," one dean comment-
ed, "the usefulness depends on
how well it's done. Recent stu-
dent efforts have been too cas-
ual or careless to have much
value for faculty purposes."
"Given the best methods,"
one research man commented,
"there is still no assurance we
can find the truly good teacher."
A general lack of student en-
thusiasm and confusion over the
direction and usefulness of course
evaluation have kept the Univer-
sity from having a permanent

course evaluation procedure in the
past and may keep it from hav-
ing one for a long time.
The biggest injury to the course
evaluation booklet cause probably
came last spring when students
gave up organization of the proj-
ect, handing it to the faculty.
While course evaluation could be
an important means for faculty
to decide promotions and tenure,
the quality of courses and teach-
ers should be of more concern to
students than any other group.
The most recent student at-
tempt at a course evaluation book-



The National Guard: Quick
Answer to 'The American Dilemma'?

CONVULSION as huge and brutal, yet
so expected, as the one which en-
gulfed Newark is difficult to comprehend,
let alone explain. But turning from the
hopeless squalor of last weekend's battle-
ground to the august and inviolate
chambers of the United States Senate
provides a semblance of explanation.
There, last week, Sen. Robert F. Ken-
nedy (D-NY) made his latest pronounce-
ment on urban problems and introduced
two bills designed to lure the capital
resources of private industry into the
slums - to create jobs and rehabilitate
ghetto housing. He proposed the ever-
popular tax incentive method to mobilize
the vast humanitarian resources of pri-
vate enterprise in quest of bigger and
better profits within the urban ghettos.
The brilliance of such a bold attempt
to link civil rights (a major front in
Kennedy's constant struggle to stay
slightly to the left of Jacob Javits) with
private industry (the cornerstone of our
way of life) is almost breathtaking. The
proposal's rampant radicalism is evidenc-
ed by such stalwart opponents .of open-
housing legislation as Sen. James B. Pear-
son (R-Kan) joining Kennedy as co-spon-
sor of the bill.I
Of course this piece of social justice
will do absolutely nothing to break down
the overwhelming totality of the Negroes'
urban imprisonment. The concept of at-
tempting to create jobs and housing with-
in the ghetto merely serves to reinforce
the "separate but hardly equal" syndrome
of contemporary economic social life. And
as a palliative for the economic misery
of the Negro, Kennedy's latest domestic
achievement, if passed, will be about as
effective as 10 new "play streets."
YET THESE BILLS, impotent in them-
selves, are strikingly relevant to the
Newark riots, for they illustrate the man-
ner in which the American system has
attempted to meet the "Negro problem."
The Kennedy proposals are in the high-
est tradition of the American politi-
cians' art of attempting to solve social
problems without antagonizing anyone.
Such a statesman-like and courageous
approach resulted in the Negroes being
granted civil rights after the War Be-
tween the States without economic means
to guarantee them. And the plight of the
freed men quickly disappeared from the
gaze of an apathetic public, as the body
politic turned its attention to the more

pressing problem of civil service reform.
After almost a century of stoical sil-
ence, the Negro had the effrontery to re-
mind the nation that even in an affluent
society, there are some social problems
which cannot be wished away. And the
great and fondly-remembered Negro rev-
olution which ensued, consisted primar-
ily of Congress passing, amid great na-
tional debate, the civil rights bills which
had disappeared with the end of Recon-
struction 75 years ago.
Having magnanimously granted the
Negro a semblance of equal rights only a
century after slavery was abolished, the
American people are unwilling to bear the
burden of economic and social equity. De-
spite the smug malaise of white Ameri-
ca, the "uppity" Negro has refused to
vanish from the headlines as the focus
has switched from "Mississippi Summer"
to the cliched "long hot summer."
REFLECTING and reinforcing this white
intransigence, liberal politicians, such
as Kennedy have either shamefully ex-
ploited the misery of the ghetto with
phony solutions or convinced themselves
during 'marzipan highs" of the efficacy
of painless remedies. And most other leg-
islators have encouraged the genteel
"Yahoo - ism of their constituents,
through such debasing banalities, as the
recent anti-riot bill.
The much-vaunted war on poverty was
not so much destroyed by the war on the
Vietnamese, as it was a casualty of its
congenital defects.
The bulk of the poverty program con-
sisted of New Deal leftovers, administ-
ered in the spirit of de-humanizing wel-
fare controls. Despite "maximal involve-
ment of the poor," in the end, the pro-
grams were tailored to meet the needs
of the big city political machines. And
the stern cry of fiscal responsibility took
care of the few proposals, such as rent
subsidies, which showed some faint prom-
ise of weakening the ghetto walls.
In short, politics, as usual has prevailed.
Johnson has kept the Negro vote, and
most important, suburbia has maintained
its lily-white complexion three violent
summers after Watts. It seems evident
that jarring headlines, the injuries of in-
nocent bystanders, and the destruction
of slum property are a small price for
"whitey" to pay for the maintenance of
the ebony totality of the ghetto.

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let came last year when a hand-
ful of people from SGC and The
Daily put out a booklet based on
a small sampling of students'
opinions on a limited number of
courses-the effort was widely re-
garded as a failure because of the
poor response.
Kahn decided last spring, aft-
er talking to people in research
and education, that this type of
booklet was inadequate and that
they could no longer depend on
volunteer student help. A "Stu-
dent Course Evaluation Booklet
Now" movement, motivated and
consisting mainly of Kahn, was
disillusioned by past efforts and
felt that a booklet utilizing pro-
fessional research techniques, wid-
er participation and more money
was needed.
ate Advisory Committee on Uni-
versity Affairs (SACUA) had come
to about'the same conclusionun-
der the motivation of the Knauss
report recommendation that "it be
a University policy to promote
teaching evaluation by students."
Money and personnel were the
key to a good booklet the student
group felt. Since a faculty effort
would apparently get more of both,
the student effort died on the spot.
If there ever was any spontaneity
in the idea of student evaluation
of courses, it quickly became bur-
ied in a plethora of faculty com-
Kahn talked to the SACUA Stu-
dent Relations Committee which
spoke to the Faculty Senate. The
Senate approved and established a
task force to explore what kind
of course evaluation committee
should be set up.
The committee reporting to the
Faculty 'Senate on methods of
course evaluation has student
members, but the whole thing
seems to have been turned over
to the faculty. In fact, the Na-
tional Student Association offered
SGC funds for student course
evaluation, but there was a mix-
up and SGC applied too late.
ONE FACULTY member com-
mented, "It's all right for students
to turn out an inadequate course
evaluation system, but we have to
live with what we do for a lot
longer than four years."
In order to make sure they can
live with the course evaluation sys-
tem they devise, the SACUA com-
mittee will probably not make any
recommendation to the Faculty
Senate until mid spring of '68.
This would mean no data could be
gathered until fall of '68 and no
course evaluation booklet could
come out until the spring of 69.
It's interesting to note that even
the Student Relations Committee
which recommended SACUA des-
ignate the committee for develop-
ing procedures for student evalua-
tion of teaching was more opti-
mistic than the evaluation com-
mittee. They recommended to
SACUA that "it urge the com-
mittee (for developing procedures
for student evaluation of teach-
ing) to begin experimental use of
evaluation procedures during the
1967-1968 academic year."
But even if the investigating
committee sooner or later recom-
mends a course evaluation booklet

to the Faculty Senate, there is
no assurance " that it won't end
MANY FACULTY members are
fearful about the whole idea of
student evaluation of courses and
teaching methods.
There have been many faculty-
initiated movements in the past
for student evaluation of courses,
but there is no more evidence of
willingness to carry on a sustain-
ed effort at course evaluation from
the faculty than there is from the
"Students often fail to realize,"
one faculty member commented,
"the enormous implications of ten-
ure. A lot of departments are go-
ing to hesitate to use student
evaluation as a very large basis
for promotion."
"However," the same faculty
member commented, "every facul-
ty member is quite interested in
what the students think of the
course. Whether student comment
can change teaching methods be-
comes a philosophical question of
whether criticism can ever change
teaching methods."
The fact that there have been
faculty initiated movements at
course evaluation in the past has
also bred an ingrained cynicism,
since some faculty members have
been through the mill and have
watched regular submission of re-
ports dwindle or stop.
There is a standing policy in
several colleges that students
should be given the opportunity to
evaluate courses, and several de-
partments at least consider stu-
dent course evaluation now.
For the most part, however, all
University efforts at course eval-
uation have lacked permanency.
"The value of even the best
student course evaluation is ques-
tionable," one researcher com-
mented. It's doubtful that a book-
let can avoid questions such as,
"did the teacher have any annoy-
ing mannerisms" or "were you
dissatisfied with the tests." There's
a great possibility that the really
good teacher or course cannot be
found through questionnaires.
It's also noteworthy that in-
troductory courses cannot be rated
in many cases since there is often
a different faculty member teach-
ing the course each semester.
Kahn and the other students-
notably Steve Spitz, '68; Steve
Handler, '68, and Thomas Copi,
'69Ed-who have worked on the
committee to recommend means of
course evaluation have been faced
generally with a student body ask-
ing that a course evaluation book-
let be handed to them and show-
ing little concern for its quality
or willingness to work on it.
Many schools are turning from
the humorous, "here's the real low-
down," student orientated student
evaluation booklets to something
more scientific and professional,
but many schools have had a stu-
dent-operated, student-orientated
course evaluation booklet for many
The value to students and fac-
ulty from either kind of booklet
is unquestionable, and it seems a
little sad that there has not been
enough concern among the stu-
dent body to initiate and sustain
a matter of such basic import-
ance to students.


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"I still have my pride . ..

India Farming Problems

Sesqui Conferences:
More Matter, Less Art

India the system of primogeni-
ture agriculture goes on into the
twentieth century: fathers divide
their meager plots of land among
their sons, who in turn, subdivide
their plots further and pass them
on to their kin. After years of
this process, farmers in the vil-
lage of Gopalapatnam, in east
central part of the country, now
depend on some five acres of land
or less for the sole support of
their families. But the basic prob-
lem in this tiny village goes be-
yond the size of the tracts of farm
land to the lack ofavailable capi-
tal - seeds, fertilizer, irrigation
TWO SEASONS make up the
planting year: Khariff and Rabi;
generally the farmer will not have
a daily income and the lapse of
time between seasons is quite long.
So at present, the farmer must go
to a money lender in order to sup-
plement his income. Unfortunate-
ly, many of thesecmen will cheat
the farmer and charge him high
interest rates.
To eliminate this problem, the
government is presently trying to
initiate a system of co-operative
societies. As conceived, these co-
ops will exte'nd credit to the
farmer, help him export his yields
to other areas for marketing, and
supply him with fertilizers, pesti-
cides, and seed.
All attempts to try and set up
some type of co-operative farming
have pretty much failed. Individ-
ually, the Indian farmer is quite

hard-working, but when placed
with others in a group, many
tend to become lazy and don't do
their share of the work. The
farmer generally tends to be con-
servative in his thinking and is
reluctant to try new methods.
Not surprisingly many of the
village co-operatives are meeting
with resistance from the farmers
due to several other drawbacks.
To join, the farmer must pay a
share of his already diminishing
capital to the society, and has to
fill out a lot of complicated ques-
tionnaires and papers. Moreover,
the co-op generally restricts the
time an individual must pay back
a loan, while the money lender
does not.
Thus many of the uneducated
still go to the money lender even
though he may charge high in-
terest rates and force farmers to
sell their crops to him at a much
lower price than they might have
been able to get in the market.
TEN YEARS AGO, most of the
farmers in this area had very
little knowledge about such things
as fertilizers and pesticides. But
due to the work of Village Level
Workers (government employes
who are given community de-
velopment assignments in a num-
ber of villages) these agricultural
materials are now used fairly
often. Many farmers still make
little errors in planting-for ex-
ample, broadcasting the seeds in-
stead of planting in rows, or ap-
plying too much water to the
crops-but these problems can be
worked out in time by improved
extension work by the VLW.

The main difficulty now is the
scarcity of farm supplies. The
government simply doesn't have
sufficient stocks for distribution.
The farmer is beginning to run
into a time conflict; for example,
a pesticide that is needed at the
start of a planting season may
not be available until the middle
of that. season-when it already
is too late. Thus, the delay of a
ship carrying vital farm material
can prove disastrous to waiting
There is presently a large push
by the agricultural office to in-
crease the amount of electrical
pumps in this area. It is often
pointed out how the many rivers
in India are going to waste in-
stead of being used for irrigation
The key to some of the main
problems lie with the organiza-
tion at the central government
level. It is there that not only the
various funds are distributed to
the districts, but also many types
of fertilizer and pesticide. The
district agricultural officer, who
is supposed to be at the beck and
call of the local government, has
his hands tied if his requests are
held up by bureaucratic haggling.
Most of the farmers have the
basic know-how, and it's just a
question of helping them build up
their resources at the start of
each season.
Once there is the timely arrival
of capital-seeds, fertilizer, dams,
rural electrification, marketing
facilities-the farmer in this tiny
village will be in that better a
position to start helping his fel-
low citizens build up India.

The Times(Not YR's)
Deserves Sympathy


LAST WEEK'S sesquicentennial confer-
ences were shrouded in a midst of
grandeur, but failed to accomplish their
primary objectives. The sponsors did little
to explore the university's role in the
community, but aimed rather to improve
public relations while holding critical
and debatable questions to a minimum.
This was particularly evident when
members of Voice Political Party de-
manded answers to controversial ques-
tions pertaining to the university's role
in research, especially classified research.
While this confrontation was forced, it
demonstrated a weakness in the atti-
tudes of the University and the confer-
ence participants. If students constitute
the majority of the University population,
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Summer subscription rate: $2.00 per term by carrier
($2.50 by mail); $4.00 for entire summer ($4.50 by
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
Summer Editorial Staff

then it is they, the students of the Uni-
versity, who should be significant partici-
pants in both University action and con-
ferences of this type. Yet there were few
opportunities for students to become in-
The University's study of "The Univer-
sity and the Body Politic" was superficial
and shallow. It might be argued that the
shortage of time forbade deep probings
into the central theses, but this can be
only a partial explanation for a long
series of incredibly dull speeches and
panel discussions which evaded the ques-
tions from the audience. The list of lum-
inaries failed to cover up these inherent
AT A TIME when universities are un-
dergoing tremendous changes, a con-
ference of educators and other public
figures has the potential of contributing
to the general dialogue which is attempt-
ing to cope with these problems. Al-
though there were some challenges to the
role of the University in education, and
the role of government in education,
many speakers failed to clarify their
stands, and chose instead merely to de-
scribe a state of affairs familiar to all.
Exemplifying this, Ludwig Erhard, for-
mer chancellor of the Federal Republic
of Germany, said, "The question in what
ways college education, learning, science
and research can be combined to form a

There seems to be no end to the
amount of advice given to Repub-
licans by people who regularly
support the Democrats. Perhaps I
am overly suspicious, but this ad-
vice is less than heartfelt and a
good deal less than worth listen-
ing to.
The New York Times is a regu-
lar practitioner. Its editorial
columns fairly flow with tears of
well-meaning concern over the
various follies of the Republican
Party. The major folly, of course,
according to The Times, is to
maintain a political position dif-
ferent from that of the Demo-
The Times, so far as you can
perceive its views when it comes
to Republicans, is wholeheartedly
opposed to a two-party system
that is based upon opposing prin-
ciples rather than simply oppos-
ing personalities.
THEIR LATEST gush of con-
cern along these lines is for the
Young Republican organization. A
recent Times editorial moaned
and groaned about the Young
Republicans, vaguely muttering
about their politics, their prin-
ciples, their people and their
platforms. In what must be one
of the longest editorial reaches of
the year they even tried to com-
pare the Young Republicans with
such elements of radical politics
as the advocates of "black power."
I will repeat to that august

When it comes to political con-
duct, the Young Republicans'
only guilt is of being successful.
They have been a crucial force in
virtually every election where
Republicans have won. In my own
state of Arizona, they and the
Women's Federation were key ele-
ments in 14iling up the best Re-
publican record of any state in
the elections last November.
I OFTEN wonder as I note the
advice from essentially left-lean-
ing sources if those giving the
advice truly support any sort of
personal freedom. I wonder if
they remmeber that 27 million
Americans voted for positions
which the Young Republicans, for
instance, fully support. I wonder
if it is felt that these 27 million
have any right to their convic-
tions or whether it is felt that
they should be subjugated to the
whims of the majority and made
to conform.
There, at the root of it, is the
basic principle involved: con-
formity. All elements of the left
have conformity in common. They
want to impose it in the various
names of social progress and wel-
fare. But no matter how you slice
it, it's still conformity that they
Instead, they should cherish the
value of such dissent as that of
the Republican platform and pro-
posals of, say, 1964. Millions more
Americans now know in their




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