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September 20, 1966 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1966-09-20

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THE MICHIGAN IIAILV

TUESDAY. SEPTEMBER 20.1966

ACUA Report Probes Role of Student Govern

ment

*

(Continued from Page 2)
they perform. Each of these i
groups-faculty, students, and ad-
ministrators-has its own charac-
teristics. But in this University
even identification of groups is
difficult. The study body is wide
and diverse; over 40 per cent are
in g r a d u a t e or professional
schools; over 20 per cent are mar-
ried; and about 50 per cent are
21 years old or more. In an inter-
mediate status between student
and faculty there is a large and
fluctuating group of instructors,
teaching fellows, and research
assistants. Administrators are al-
most all members of the faculty,
and almost all faculty do some
administrative work.
In spite of the heterogeneous
nature of these groups, each can
be identified with primary areas
of concern. For example, faculty
is concerned with academic stand-
ards, faculty selection and promo-
tion, curriculum planning, and
problems concerning the produc-
tion of high quality research. The
administration is concerned with
finances, public relations, and
planning and maintenance of the
physical facilties. Students are
primarily concerned with their
own academic achievements, with
student activities and student rules
and regulations.
These allocations of primary
concern do not imply that each
group should totally dominate its
respective areas. Certainly, stu-
dents are also concerned with
academic standards, and the cost

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of education. The faculty is acute-
ly aware of the need to have a
voice in planning the University
physical plant. The administration
is concerned with the prograss and
action of student organizations.
The interests of all groups overlap
and at times conflict.
For proper governing of the
University community there must
be joint faculty, administration,
and student participation. The
student has a "special" perspec-
tive which enables him to perform
an essential service for the Uni-
versity. This is particularly true
at the present time in the face of
the rapid expansion and growth
of the University. The students,
as "customers," are uniquely able
to provide essential data for de-
cision-making by other members
of the University community.
The final decisions concerning
important University matters are
made by the Board of Regents.
But the initial or primary decision
is usually made elsewhere. The
University is widely decentralized,
and many of the initial or pri-
mary decisions are made at the
departmental or school level. This
is certainly true of most decisions
on academic matters. In many, if
not most matters concerning the
University, the student's role in
the primary or initial decision-
making can be only that of ad-
visor or consultant.
In certain areas, however, such
as the making of rules governing
student behavior, students should
engage in the actual primary or
initial decision-making, rather
than play merely an advisory role.
The student's role as an advisor
must be institutionalized, and
taken in good faith by all parties,
if it is to be effective.

i
i

It must be recognized that in- to devote time and energy to stu- the Board of Control of Student at the lepartmenal or school level. V
dividual students do not represent dents and student activities. Publications, the League Boa d of It is also most effective at this E
the views of all students, any more As a separate but specific matter Governors and the Union Board level. All students and particularly :
than individual faculty members we strongly endorse the recom- of Directors). graduate students should be ac-e
speak for their colleagues. But mendations of the President's 3. Student Government tively involved at the department-:
this is not an argument against Housing Committee that some The following is a description of al and school level in determining r
student participation. Student rep- units in the residence halls and our recommendations for a nw and enforcing academic rules andr
resentation on various commit- married housing be remodeled, and stture for student gornment, regulations, in advising on cur- a
tees or in organizations is more a that steps be taken to encourage The structure attempts to allow riculum, in evaluating courses andt
question of the legitimacy of their faculty to live in various housing for the separate interests and teaching effectiveness, in survey-r
selection re.g., by student elec- units. In addition we recommend ing student opinion relevant to:
tion; by petition; by appoint- that effort be made to promote -graduate students, yet provides for academic and professional mat-f
ment) than of pretending to seek student-faculty contact: (1) at coordination on common mattersters, in helping and counseling
truly representative students. The meals in housing units, (2) by es- We recommend that the presen new students, in providing ser-
question of representation of stu- tablishing adequate coffee lounges, Stuaent Government Council, and vice functions for students andr
dents depends largely on the role (3) through an enlarged faculty- the Executive Committee of the faculty.t
they serve. A primary goal should student athletic program. Graduate Student Council start We recommend that depart-s
be to give the active, interested 2. Joint Advisory Council immediately to draft the details mental. and school organizations1
student an opportunity to par There is a need for a permanent of the new structure and with the be strengthened and developedl
ticipate at some level. Where the council to serve as a line of com- Vice-President for Student Af- throughout the University and
views of the whole student body munication between the various recommendations: that they be encouraged to per-F
are needed there should be greater units and levels of the University. Agsform the functions listed above.t
use of survey techniques. . nThe experience of the membersiof a. An Undergraduate AssemblyashGudd The Vice President for Academici
Much of the difficulty and dis- this Ad Hoc Committee has con- be established to replace Student Affairs should work with the Joint1
niversiy vinced them of the desirability Government Council and Gradu- Advisory Committee and the vari-
stems from inadequate communi- and feasibility of a Student-Fac- ate Student Council respectively ous academic units to implement
cation. For example, in some areas ym
it is almost impossible to find Council to work in this area. The Undergraduate A s s e m b 1 y this recommendation. ,The pro-
where the initial or primary de- We recommend that such a con- should have about 20 members aC grams this past year of the Aca-
ciinis made. It should be, recog- cil be established. The fa'.sulty to be elected at large. The Gradu- demic Committee of the Univer-
cision members of this council should be ate Assembly should be composd sity Activites Center have beent
nized that one of the major goals drawn from members of the Fac- f nem y mo e compos valuable. and their efforts should
of greater student participation ulty Assembly; the student mem- from each depaitment progrm be coordinated with that of the1
(and of faculty participation as b from representative student and ia in the present Gramd Joint Advisory Committee and
well) is to increase the flow of in- e schoc s 'the Student Assemblies. But more
formation within the University meet periodically with the Presi- uate Student Council. important the University level ac-
community. dent of the University and the b. A Student Executive Commit- tivity is the need for support not
Unnecessary secrecy and thed of the Ursits the tee should be established to co- merely recognition from individual
confidential treatment of meet- aroum s e Pesdents wIt oul d- ordinate the work of -the two as faculty, Department Chairmen,
ings, documents, and reports also meet as needed with other ad- semblies, and exercise such func- nd
should be avoided. Instead, posi- mini ors, faculty, and students. tions as may be delegated to it Iment and Whin ehe sder
tive steps should be taken to en- One Ofofthe primary purposest o The membership of this commit- an assessment schoolf there shouldnt of
corae hefulet osibe is riusthe council is to implement the tee should be about six stnussssentof he mout o
cosurethfuall tves possie, ismmnstudents Ahisformal and informal student par-.
ouri e all actvitiesosit t various r commenations in .th fom each asseblicu ticipation. The initiative to pro-
University. The responsibility rests e end thin the University officers of the two assemblies and mote an increase in student acti-
upon the sources of information as invovemet ith mthe sity others elected from the assemblies. vity should come from the acuty
well as the media of communica- hencourage and promote student- At least one graduate and one un- as well as the students.
tion. Thoni a i h uuer dergraduate member of this com-5.fic V. P d
place the present Faculty Student ieeshule member s 5. Office of Vice President for
III Relations Committee although we mit e should be meners of the Studet Affairs
Recommendations do not feel the functions of theT
1. University Policy two groups are mutually exclusive. c. The Undergraduate Assembly The importance of the oice
and the Grtduate Assembly shoult the Vice President for Student Af-
a. The Statement of Philosophy Substantive Problems express the official student opin- fairs was emphasized in the Reed
reflects the Committees' view of In addition to procedural ques- ion of their respective constituen- Report in February, 1962. It is
the need for active student par- tions, the council also should be cies, and be the appointive bodies through this office more than any
ticipation at all levels of Uni- concerned with specific substan- I for all student committees. The other, that student concerns at the
versity affairs. This participation tive problems. Two of these are two assemblies should have the University level are focused. We
is iiportant not only as part of described in recommendation '7 be- authority to reconie and with- support the action of the current
the educational experience of stu- low. In these substantive areas the draw recognition from student ov- Vice-President for Student Affairs
dents, but also as part of proper council should have the power ganizations calendar and approve in his formation of student advis-
decision making 'within the Uni- to establish special student-faculty student-soonsored events, rormu- ary committees within his organi-
versity. In order to have any Ad Hoc Committees. The actual late rules governing student oi- zation. We recommend that his
effect, this philosophy must be appointment of members to serve ganizations. and exercise the oth- office work to orient itself to a
explicitly accepted as a basis for on special Ad Hoc Studenty-Facu- er powers and functions of the greater extent to the problems of
action throughout the University ty Committees should be in the c u r r e n t Student Government all students-Graduate as well as
-by the various levels of the ad- hands of the respective Student Council. The two a s s e m b Ii e s Undergraduate.
ministration, by faculty, and by Assembly and Faculty Assembly, should meet together to take join: Within the University admini-
students. We recommend that it but there should not be any re- action when apropriate strative structure the important
be acknowledged as a positive re- quirement that the members of the n. In 1962 the Reed Commttee role of the Vice-President for S u-
sponsibility of faculty and admi- Ad Hoc Committees belong to Ci- recommended that students be dent Affairs must be recognized.
istration to encourage and pro- ther Assembly. given authority to formulate rules At the present time the formal
mote student involvement as de- We make no recommendation at overning individual student be- organization of the University as
scribed in this report. . this time that students serve on havior. This was to be in addi- reflected in the Regents' Bylaws
b. The bulk of this report dis- standing University faculty com- tion to the existing authority to and other material does not recog-
cusses student involvement in Uni- mittees. We' do recommend that judge violations of the rules. We nize this importance. We recom-
versity affairs in respect to the when appropriate these commit- believe the student government mend that this position be given
mechanics and structure of formal tee meetings be public meetings structure we are recommeding is status and authoritydparallel to
group action. A problem of mag- (see recommendation 6 below), capable of assuming this function. that of the Vice-President for Aca-
nitude to dwarf is the appal- and that faculty committees seek and that the two assemblies sho demic Affairs and the Vice Pres-
ling lack of informal contact the student opinion. At the Univer' and that the two assemblies dent and Chief Financial Officer.
student has with members of the sity level we believe that the most shoull be given the authority to Aill major decision-making mech-
faculty and members of the ad- effective student participation can make the initial or primary d- anisms in the University should
ministration. arise through Ad Hoc Student- cision on stulent rules and re.u- reflect this parallel status.
Much of what is contained in Faculty Committees to deal with lations. 6. Flow :i Information
this report centers around a lack particular problems, and that per- 4. Student Participation at the a. One of the most scrious
of communication within the Uni- manent Student-Faculty Commit- School and Departmental Level. causes of discontent among stu-
versity. To blame the lack of con- tees or boards should be created Student participation is of mist dents (and faculty as well) is the
tact on size is too easy an answer. only where there are specific and value both to the student and to lack of adequate information on
We recommend that it be ac- continuing duties (for example, the University when it takes place what is happening within the Uii-
knowledged that the obligations -
of 'members of the faculty extenl
beyond classes and regular office
hours, and there is a responsibility BLA(8ZE CUM LAUDE
MAVESP OSCYOUA
i LINE6-UP OF COLOPJS

the University. We recommend a student must take in any given
that, throughout the University term, and in the availability and
meetings of major student, facul- use of time permits. There should
ty, and administrative bodies be provision for the student who
should be open whenever policy is heavily involved in University
problems of general interest are activities during a given semester
under consideration. to take reduced credit loads for
b. In addition to the lack of the semester, and make up the
availability of information from credits at a later time.
the initial sources, there is a ser- (3) With the speed-up caused
ious problem in regard to the re- by the new academic calendar it
porting of activities at the Uni- has become increasingly difficult
versity. The Michigan Daily does for students to carry a normal
not believe it has the responsibil- class load, a part-time job, and
ity of printing the results of part tie jo and
meetings, committee reports, or E participate in student activities.
other items relating to student Encouragement in the form of in-
activities unless they are "news- creased scholarship and loan aid
worthy." We do not criticize this should be made available to facili-
policy, but merely emphasize that tate student participation in the
there is a serious gap in the re- affairs of the University.
porting of activities within the b. A second major substantive
University. Numerous depart- area that should be the concern
ments and units have Newslet- of the new Joint Advisory Council
ters, but typically these suffer is course and teacher evaluation.
from lack of funds and support- Teaching evaluation can serve
ing facilities. three purposes: (1) To furnish
We seriously considered recom- feedback to the individual instruc-
mending a new University publi- tor in order that he may judge
cation either in the Office of the himself and seek to improve the
Vice President for University Re- effectiveness of his classroom per-
lations, or in the Office of the formance. (2) To serve the Dean
Vice President of Student Af- or department head in evaluating
fairs. We do recommend that the a faculty member in respect to
schools and departments provide tenure and promotion questions.
the funds and facilities for de- (3) To serve the student body in
partmental newsletters, and that helping make decisions in respect
the Joint Advisory Committee to course election.
and the Board in Control of Uni- Tere i crn
versity Publications investigate There is currently a great di-
the need for a new University- vergence in the extent and effec-
wide publication. tiveness of the evaluation of

versity. Most meetings of faculty
and administrators are "closed
meetings." There is little -or no
effort to prepare press releases or
reports of what happens in these
meetings. With the exception of
meetings where personnel matters
and prospective contractual mat-
ters are discussed, there is little
reason why any interested party
should not be able to attend any
faculty or committee meeting at

current University academic cal-
endar have been seriously deteri-
mental to the interests of both
student and faculty.
(2) Students are often discour-
aged or prevented from partici-
pating in University affairs be-
cause of restrictive scheduling
problems within schools and de-
partments. There is need for
greater flexibility in course elec-
tions, in the number of hours that

sources we have an unique facility
in the Center for Research on
Learning and Teaching)-that has
not been adequately utilized. We
recommend that it be a University
policy to promote teaching evalua-
tion by students. As a minimum
individual faculty should have the
results of student evaluation made
available to them for their own
use.
If Deans and department heads
are going to use student evalua-
tions then it should be done on a
systematic and consistent basis
rather than in an informal ques-
tioning of a few students. While
good arguments can be made
against the desirability of publi-
cizing the results of student eval-
uation of teaching, it should be
clear that if this is to be done
then the evaluations should be
complete and of high quality.
There should be active effort to
promote the development within
the University of the best possible
forms and methods for the evalua-
tion of teaching.
Conclusion
In acocrdance with our charge
we have attempted both to provide
information on the current role of
the student in University affairs,
and to make some specific recom-
mendations. The recommendations
are not self-executing, but require
positive action. The problems dis-
cussed in this report are among
the most important within the
University community, and they
deserve serious consideration by its
members.

*
4

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*A LS&A faculty committee is
working in this area, and a survey
of student-faculty opinion is being
made which should provide valu-
able data.

k
.
1

7. Related Substantive Problems
for the Joint Advisory
Council.
a. The Joint Advisory Council
should seek ways to motivate and
promote student involvement in
the University. Three aspects of
this problem were investigated in
a preliminary way by our Com-
mittee.
(1) One negative factor to stu-
~dentparticipation is the speed-
up caused by year-round operation.
The planning ofkthe academic
calendar should take the value of
student participation into consid-
eration.Arvariety of alternatives
to the current pressures are pos-
sible including a shorteninrg of
class hours in a term, or creating
a shorter spring-summer term.
While the question of the aca-
demic calendar is outside of the
charge of our Committee* we were
unanimous in the opinion that the
increased pressures caused by the

teaching within the University. In
some departments there are sys-
tematic student ratings which are
available to the instructor. These
efforts generally have been con-
sidered successful and valuable to
the instructor. In 1960 the Report
of Evalaution of Instruction and
Its Relation to Promotion (Senate
Committee on the Improvement of
Instruction) concluded that while
teaching effectiveness is an im-
potrant basis for promotion or
tenure decisions, informal opin-
ions of a few students are often
used instead of any well-designed,
or systematic evaluation.
The students' own attempt at:
teacher evaluation for their own
use have been generally unsuccess-
ful. They have broken down pri-
marily because the programs were
poorly conceived and inadequately
financed.
There is expert opinion avail-'
able on th campus-(among other

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STUDENTS
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