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October 22, 1982 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-22

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Ed. School denies charges of poor quality

(Continued from Page 1)
is charged to find out why there have
been declines in enrollment, and if a
satisfactory explanation is found, that's
"HOWEVER," he added, "if no
reasonable answer can be found, that's
a problem that has to be addressed."
Frye said enrollment declines are not
necessarily a problem if they are ac-
companied by proportionate decreases
in faculty and staff. "In fact, we have
declined," Stark said. The School of
"education has decreased its full-time
faculty 30 percent since 1975, including
-a decrease from 30 to 15 faculty mem-
bers in their curriculum and instruction
graduate program, the school's largest,
she said.
"We've added 11 (new faculty mem-
* bers), that's what makes it look like we
haven't declined," Stark said. "But
that 30 percent decrease includes the
new faculty and new programs we've
taken in."
STARK AND Berger also blame the
high enrollment years for the im-
pression that students in certain areas
~,of the school are sub standard in
"quality. Much of that impression stems
from a' study conducted by the
Rackham graduate school which found
,education doctoral students to have
'very low quality dissertations.
That study, however, was conducted
-during the years 1974 to 1976, at the
-height of the overcrowding , in
educational doctoral programs.
Berger said certain graduate
programs in education admitted more
students into already overcrowded
~units, a problem compounded by
'unexpected faculty attrition' during
those years, he said.
The quality of students in the school's
undergraduate program is also
MORE THAN half of the school's 599
undergraduates are enrolled in
physical education, which has a lower
average grade point than the rest of the
school. In addition, the school as a
whole has a slightly lower average
grade point than the rest of the Univer-
Physical education-which is closely
allied with. the University's athletic
.program-is included in the school's
aggregate grade point figures, but the
department has a separate budget and
a director appointed by the Regents,
not the dean of the school, as is
" Defending the quality of her students,
Stark pointed out that many education
courses are based on work, not grades,
so grade points give an inaccurate
representation of student quality, Stark
S HE ALSO said that while the'
school's aggregate SAT scores are
lower than the University average,
education has a higher percentage of
minority and female students, who
"traditionally score lower on standar-
4ized tests.
One of the major problems faced by the
education school has been unplanned
additions. Since 1969, education has
annexed six programs from elsewhere
in the University without being com-
pensated -for some of the additional
Those programs are: The Bureau of
School Services, the Center for the
Study of Higher Education, physical
education, the Department of Speech
and Hearing Sciences, and the Com-
municative Disorders Clinics.

"THE BUDGETS for these areas
were dumped in here inadequately,'
Berger said. "There are costs for com-
puters and equipment, the salaries of
the people, administrative and support
staff costs. It appears as though we're
getting a budget increase with the extra
programs, but they're really a financial
obligation," he added.
For 1981-82, education's budget was
$5,780,688, the sixth largest on campus.
The education school received a 43
percent increase in funds from 1970 to
1981. (68 percent if speech and hearing
sciences is included in 1978.) This is the
lowest increase for any University
school except architecture.
THE SCHOOL of Art also received a
smaller increase than most schools (46
percent), compared with 166 percent
for dentistry, 137 percent for business
administration, 177 percent for nursing,
82 percent for LSA, and 260 percent for
"It's funny that two schools under
review are the two who received the
smallest increases," Starksaid. "The
decisions to reallocate are not being
made -they've been made already."
Many of the school's problems stem
from the modest budget increases they
have received, Berger said. "It leaves
a bad taste in my mouth when (the
administration) has slowly hacked
away at the school, forcing us to make
cuts, and then look at us and say 'you
don't look very good,' " he said, "when
they are the instrument for us not
looking so good."
The last question raised by the
review committee, thatrscholarly work
is of sub-standard quality, seems un-
supported by evidence.
INFORMATION from the Division of
Research, Development, and Ad-
ministration comparing education with
professional units such as business ad-
ministration, library science, law,
psychology, sociology, and social work
reveal that education not only
received a higher total volume of"
research dollars in 1980-81, but the
volume per faculty member was con-
siderably higher than the other units.
Cducation generated $3,082,216 in
research and training project grants,
which averages to $11,572 per education
faculty member. The next highest of
the units mentioned is psychology, with

an average of $8,900 per faculty mem-
THE RECENT dramatic decrease in
federal reserach funds also hit the
education school, officials admit, but no
more than any other unit on campus.
Frye said that outside grants are one
major barometer for measuring the
adequacy of scholarly production. An-
other, he said, was the number of
published works by faculty members.
The School of Education has
prepared a 110 page partial
bibliography of published works by
their faculty for the period 1974-81. The
listing does not include doctoral studen-
ts' publications, and is not completely up
to date.
Also prepared by the school is a
listing of 102 articles by 40 University
education faculty each of which has
been cited more than three times by
other authors since the late 1960's.

STRANGELY, neither Frye nor Sue
Mims, director of Academic Planning
and Analysis, could say what if any
comparative data was used to reach the
conclusion that the school's produc-
tivity was low.
"I asked the BPC for comparative
data," Stark said, "and they told me
none was used."
Noticeably absent from the
Education School review respnse has
been student activism. The School of
Natural Resources, for example, has
gathered students, sold t-shirts and but-
tons at the art fair,-and asked for letters
of support in an effort to voice their op-
position to the possibility of budget
cuts. The School of Art has similarly
held mass student-faculty meetings.
Education has chosen instead to
prepare a substantial quantity of
material describing the school and its
operations for inspection by the review

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