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September 11, 2003 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 7A

DEAN
Continued from Page 1A
also Director's department - refused
to comment.
According to the report, 59 per-
cent of the faculty either disagree
or strongly disagree that the dean
"appropriately weighs the opinions
of all segments of the faculty."
Sixty-four percent either disagree
or strongly disagree that Director
"considers faculty views contrary to
his own."
Director scored lowest in the area
of communication, where most facul-
ty responses averaged toward the neg-
ative. Sixty-six percent of the faculty,
with 49 percent strongly disagreeing,
believe Director's communication
style "does not promote open commu-
nication with the faculty."
In its 2002 rankings, U.S. News
ranked the University's undergradu-
ate engineering program fourth in the
nation. In 2003, the program fell to
sixth. In the 2004 issue, it is ranked
seventh. "The rankings do not accu-
rately portray everything that's going
on in the college," Director said dur-
ing Tuesday's birthday celebration.

"We need to create an environment
that is supportive of an outstanding,
diverse faculty."
The dean's highest marks highlight
his efforts to "raise the visibility and
reputation of the school" and "his
emphasis on research."
"He's to the point. He has tried to
increase the stature of the faculty.
When I hear criticisms of him, I
know it's because he wants some
things to happen and some faculty
members don't agree," said an
anonymous mechanical engineering
professor.
"What you really need to look at is
what has been accomplished, such as
the increase in female faculty and the
institution of department chairs."
But in a survey where faculty
members evaluated each question
from one to five, where one repre-
sents "strongly disagree" and five
represents "strongly agree," Director
received no score above a 3.94. Most
scores straddled the middle, averag-
ing between two and 2.9 in some key
areas, notably in communication.
"The dean's evaluation is meant for
a frank discussion among the college
faculty, their dean, and the Provost.

The AAAC (Academic Affairs Advi-
sory Committee) is disappointed
since this public disclosure does not
help this or future communications,"
said Bill Schultz, chair of the AAAC,
a division of the Senate Assembly
that commissions the evaluations.
The administration has commis-
sioned similar surveys in the past. In
the mid-90s the Senate Assembly
commissioned the Faculty Senate
Office to conduct a similar survey to
evaluate the deans of several Univer-
sity colleges.
At the time, then-Engineering
Dean Peter Banks opposed the initia-
tive, believing that the survey ought
to be conducted within each college.
The Senate Assembly saw the need
for an evaluation of the faculty's
unaffected opinion through a third
party survey conducted outside of
each dean's jurisdiction.
"I think these evaluations are very
valuable, just as student evaluations
are for courses. We can learn from
this to improve communication or
content. The numbers speak for them-
selves," said a professor in mechani-
cal engineering who wished to
remain anonymous.

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