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Vol. LIX, No. 26
Ann Arbor, Michigan-Friday, October 6, 1978
Students criticize course evaluation secrecy
By JOHN SINKEVICS
Student evaluations of classes and professors are often
the most important factors that a student considers when
choosing his or her courses.
The fact that a certain teacher is well-prepared, or
another unfair in grading, is something many students feel
they should know.
But formal student. course evaluations, despite being
distributed to a great number of classes, very often do not see
the light of day. They may remain within departmental
circles, with results rarely being released for student
THIS POLICY is a major source of aggravation for
coordinators of the Student Course Evaluation Project. They
are pressing administrators, particularly in the Literary
College, to release evaluation results to students.
"Some of the departments seem to feel that they are
above being evaluated," said Barbara Roberts, a
coordinator in the Office of Academic Counseling (OAC). "A
lot of the professors are not very enthusiastic about it -
they're afraid that the results might be used against them
and will affect their job security."
The computerized course evaluations which are being
used by most departments include statements such as: "The
grading system was clearly defined," with a set of responses
ranging from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree."
AFTER A CLASS has completed the questionnaires, their
responses are processed. However, the results may or may
not become readily accessible to students, depending on the
individual department and professor.
Most departments enlist the aid of the Center for
Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) to draft and
process the evaluations. The center provides a battery of
questions from which professors can choose 25 to round out
This year, with the prodding of such diverse groups as
the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), the Educational
Innovation Program (EIP), and the OAC, eight items have
been included which a professor can choose to place on the
questionnaire, and which would be released directly to the
OAC for student use.
ALTHOUGH BACKERS of the student-oriented
evaluations agree that this is a good start, many want to
provide students with even more information about classes
"We want to get more comprehensive," said Chris
Parent, a student assistant at EIP. "We'd like to be able to
give students information concerning books used, time
involved, and projects required, in addition to the attitudes
expressed by former students."
According to the results of a study released by CRLT this
summer, more than 90 per cent of the classes and professors
evaluated for the Winter '78 semester were rated "excellent"
by students. Yet there is still considerable faculty
apprehension over the evaluation process.
"WE HAVE our own internal evaluation process, and we
-don't feel it is necessary to release resulting information'to
See SECRECY, Page 5
Israeli boats shell
Syrians in Beirut;
battle raiies in cit
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Israeli
gunboats shelled western Beirut last
night in an apparent warning to Syrian
x peacekeeping troops to stop battering
Christian areas in the eastern part of
:<. The Israeli military spokesman in
'~ Tel Aviv said the vessels fired on a
Palestinian guerrilla naval base in
M...N ,~,' , southwestern Beirut. However, the of-
ficial Lebanese radio said three gun-
boats fired on the Ramlet Baida, a
Moslem residential quarter, then with-
N - drew when Syrian artillery opened fire
on them. No casualties or damage were
n Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe
Dayan told reporters in Tel Aviv earlier
.V yesterday, "The Syrians are acting
veynegatively ..but wehrthis i
mean to the negotiations bet-
,, ~. ween Israel and Egypt ... I really can't
a In Washington, the State Department
said it was informed by Israeli officials
a . that the gunboats shelled the base to
VV... thwart a planned operation by
guerrillas of Al Fatah.
THE SYRIAN artillery was firing on
the ravaged Christian sector of Beirut
_.for the fourth straight day, seeking to
pound entrenched Christian militiamen
....pinto submission. Some Lebanese of-
. ficials pinned hopes on a possible
DlPhoto by ALAN BNK United Nations intervention to stop the
Dail Phto y AAN ILISKY bloodshed.
Sink or swim Witnesses said a three-day Christian
assault on Syrians holding two key
Paces varied yesterday afternoon as students ambled, shuffled, roamed, scampered, and floated across a rain-soaked Diag. bridges controlling the northern roads
and supply routes into the city had
SEAR CH GR OUP TO BE PICKED SOON:
K Alum rep O se eection plan'
In what diplomats saw as a bid to
rally civilian morale, the rightist
militia vowed they would turn their
guns on Syria should the fighting con-
Western Beirut was the stronghold of
leftist Moslem militias and Palestinian
guerrillas during the 19-month civil war
that ended in November 1976. It has
remained outside the battle between
Syrian troops and rightist Christian
militias in the eastern sectors.
Israel has vowed not to allow
Lebanon's Christians to be destroyed,
but had refrained from intervening in
Lebanon-apparently for fear of en-
dangering Egyptian-Israeli peace talks
set to begin Oct. 12.
POLICE SAID the casualty toll has
climbed to 1,000 killed and 1,700 woun-
ded in eight months of Christian=Syrian'
battles for control of the tiny
Phalangist radio told Christian
civilians holed up in their makeshift
.basement bunkers that the Syrians
were being heavily reinforced and no
end appeared in sight to the constant
rain of artillery fire.
In a statement issued in Geneva, the
Lebanese Red Cross said: "The civilian
population, hospitals, dispensaries,*
See BEIRUT, Page 6 J
GSA job status
By SHELLEY WOLSON
University research assistants began
their round of testimony yesterday as
hearings reconvened in the litigation
between the University and the
Graduate Employees Organization
The Michigan Employment Relations
Commission (MERC) ordered the
hearings before Administrative Law
Judge Shlomo Sperka, to determine the
employment status of Graduate
Student Assistants (GSAs). So far, only
teaching assistants have testified for
the GSA's case.
The hearings, which have been going
on since last May, will determine
whether GSAs are students - or en-
ployees. If MERC rules that they are
employees, GSAs will be entitled to full
bargaining rights under the Michigan
Public Employment Relations Act.
Research assistant Diana Collins was
the first to testify yesterday and was
questioned by GEO counsel Mark
Cousens. Research assistants Bill
McGee and John Patterson also
With the research assistants'
testimonies, Cousens tried to show that
the work they do has nothing to do with
the work for their dissertations. The
three research assistants all work on
outside projects for the University.
Meanwhile, Detroit lawyer Robert
Veracrusee, representing the Univer-
sity administration, tried to show that
out of their jobs, research assistants
were receiving some kind of extra
training and skills and were therefore
not producing anything for the Univer-
However, through the research
assistants' presentations, Cousens tried
to show that they all had prior ex-
perience and skills in their respective
fields before starting their jobs as
Collins, a Special Education PhD
candidate, said that she had had 13
years of previous work with handicap-
ped children before she began her work
as a research assistant and that she had
not done work for her dissertation.
Psychology PhD candidate Patterson
in response to similar questioning,
described his prior knowledge of com-
puter programming before becoming a
research assistant in the Psychology
Department. He also explained his
work in computer research and his
"I wrote a program for my employer
but not for my dissertation research,"
he said. He added that later on he might
be able to adapt that program for his
By STEVEN SHAER
Despite misgivings among students
as to their role in choosing the new
University president, Robert Forman,
executive director of the school's
Alumni Association, said he is satisfied
with the Regents' selection plan.
The plan calls for a committee of ten
alumni to submit names of candidates
to the Regents. Students and faculty
members would have similar commit-
tees composed of ten and 15 members,
respectively. The Regents said they
would examine recommendations of
the three committees, but wouldn't be
bound to choose a president from those
FORMAN SAID the Regents have
"been generous in sharing the respon-
sibility" of choosing a president. He
said an alumni selection committee will
be named within the next ten days.
Alumni Association President Samuel
Kurgliak, who will determine the basis
on which committee members will be
appointed, could not be reached for
Forman disagrees with some studen-
ts who believe the Regents want too
much power in the selection process.
"The Regents are men and women
highly motivated who want the Univer-
sity to be governed by the best," he
said. "They have made a public appeal
that anyone can be nominated."
FORMAN SAID he's in no position to
say whether the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) was justified in
passing a resolution stating that it will
not participate in the selection process
unless student representation is in-
He said the resolution represents
MSA's '.'vested point of view. They can
see if their interests are being served
beter than I can."
But Forman said alumni input in
selecting a president is important.
"THE ALUMNI are the ony non-
transient group among the three
groups," he said. "They put their
education into the market and should
have a say in the University."
Forman said the image of the
University is based on the accomplish-
ments of alumni and they have a con-
tinuing interest in maintaining stan-
dards at the school.
" Three men are in custody in
St. Louis, accused of involvement
in a bizarre plot to steal a nuclear
submarine. See story, Page 12.
" -Novelist Isaac B. Singer has
been awarded the Nobel Prize for
literature. Singer's works are
lauded in a story on Page 5.
" Governor William Milliken,
unset over his guhernatarial
"I feel that 300,000 people should have
a say in the University," said Forman,
whose organization has a membership
of 40,000 alumni.
The Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs, which represents
faculty members, stated earlier this
week it is satisfied with the faculty
All three of the advisory groups must
have a list of their committee members
submitted to the Regents by October 16.
Griffin changed tune on tax
proposal championed in race
I lying suspect arraigned;
psychiatric tests scheduled
By KEVIN ROSEBOROUGH
John Maddox, charged with murder
for the September 12 slaying of Univer-
sity custodial supervisor William Van
Johnson, stood mute yesterday during
his arraignment in Circuit Court. A plea
of not guilty was entered for him by
1,,Rrtc I F1eAIn
William Delhey, the Washtenaw
County prosecutor, said that a
psychiatric test is not an unusual move
by the defense in the case of a serious
crime. He also stated he would await
the results of Maddox's examination
before deciding whether an additional
test at the Forensic Center in Ypsilanti
By BRIAN BLANCHARD
More than three years ago Republican
Sen. Robert Griffin voted to kill an
amendment to a tax cutting bill almost
identical to the one he has since made
the selling point of his reelection cam-
Griffin aides in Washington and in
Michigan confirmed yesterday that the
two-term senator voted to table-and
may have tried to convince voters that
the idea, which originated in a
Newsweek column by economist Milton
Friedman, is his.
A press release dated Tuesday, Oct.
2-which describes a new bipartisan
coalition in the Senate formed to back
the tax indexing legislation during
debate this week-states, "(The amen-
dment) follows the lines of tax indexing
legislation first proposed by Griffin
nearly 18 months ago and incorporates
features of similar bills introduced by
each of the other three senators," Gary
Hat .,+ (Tj'nl n ) ,nhnrt Thnla (R.