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From Page 1
had to submit to the survey. This
led to a relatively high response
rate, with 71.5 percent participa-
tion in the 2008 winter semester.
When the University moved the
entire evaluation system online,
they were moved out of the class-
room. With students expected to
fill the surveys out on their own
time, response rates dropped 10
points, to about 61 percent in fall
While the rate has increased
since 2009, the web survey has
remained at about 15 to 20 per-
centage points below that of the
paper version. Experts on such
evaluations cite 70 percent as an
ideal response rate. A lower rate
will threaten reliability.
LaVaque-Manty said the golden
number is not the rate, but the
size of the class. In his research,
he compared the evaluations of a
specific course between consecu-
tive years and found correlation,
but only in large classes with
more than 50 students. In smaller
classes, evaluations fluctuated
significantly year-to-year. A good
rating one year could be followed
by a poor rating the next. Teacher
evaluations were not reliably mea-
suring teacher quality in small
classes, and a high response rate
made no difference.
"Think about all those grad
students teaching English 125. It's
18 students and it's a total crap-
shoot," he said.
Of more concern is the empha-
sis a review committee places on
such comparative data.
The faculty promotion guide-
lines, state that "comparative data
is particularly helpful."
However, when students click
submit, they never again see their
answers or those of their peers,
and can forget it in light of loom-
ing finals. This contrasts many
other colleges, where students feel
compelled to thoroughly complete
evaluations because they can also
directly profit or potentially suffer
At Harvard University, stu-
dents are given access to evalu-
ation data through the Q-Guide,
a list of every course offered -
accompanied with compehen-
sive graphs, pie-charts and past
student evaluations - to ease
their "shopping" of courses and
"It's worth it to take the time
to fill it out," Harvard sophomore
Hannah Firestone said. "If you're
going to complain about a class,
youshould participate in the effort
to give that class feedback, and if
you really liked a class, you should
participate in the effort to keep
that class popular."

As further motivation, Har-
vard withholds grades during a
designated period to encourage
participation in filling out course
evaluations. The sooner students
complete their evaluations, the
sooner grades are returned.
Though she admitted coercion
might not be the best enticement,
Firestone said the higher response
rates are worth it.
Northwestern University takes
a slightly less involved approach.
Instead of withholding grades,
students who don't fill out the
surveys are denied access to
evaluation data for the upcoming
Alison Phillips, assistant reg-
istrar at Northwestern, said that
since the incentive was introduced
in 2004, the student response rate
has been a steady 70 percent each
In a December interview, Uni-
versity Provost Martha Pollack
said the University was not in
favor of using coercive methods to
increase response rates.
"We don't want to coerce stu-
dents, but we want to encourage
them to submit evaluations," Pol-
lack said.
LaVaque-Manty said the Uni-
versity has interpreted Michigan
law in a way that bars it fromwith-
holding educational records. But
Michigan State University, which
is also under the jurisdiction of
state law, withholds grades until
students either fill out evaluations
or decline via checkbox. MSU also
publishes limited course evalua-
tion data through a separate sur-
At the University, the admin-
istration has placed the respon-
sibility on students to keep
evaluation data public and up-to-
date. Between2003 and2011itwas
housed on a Central Student Gov-
ernment website, Advice Online,
which is no longer in operation.
CSG President Michael Proppe,
a Business senior, said he wasn't
directly involved in the site and
was unsure exactly why it no lon-
ger exists.
"It's either that the Registrar's
Office is not providing the data,
or somewhere there's a broken
link, and whoever in CSG was
responsible for keeping that data,
either left or stopped doing their
work and didn't have a successor,"
Proppe said.
Engineering senior Kyle Sum-
mers, former CSG chief of staff,
was given control of Advice
Online in 2009 and quickly real-
ized much of the site was unhelp-
ful and feared some data might be
"The interface looked really
outdated," Summers said. "I
would say it was below par, rela-
tive to even our course guide right
now, which could arguably use a
lot of improvements."

While CSG planned to launch
before winter 2014 despite a new
Advice Online in the works, Sum-
mers said that he doesn't believe
anyone is working on it as far as he
Either way, LaVaque-Manty
said it should not be the onus of
students to publicize the data.
Without public evaluations,
many students at the University
turn to third-party course evalu-
ation sites, such as RateMyProfes-
The site depends solely on
student contribution and, so far,
students have input 3,714 faculty
members and 349 campus ratings,
which rate the school as a whole.
Michigan State University stu-
dents, in comparison, have input
1,333 faculty members, and 164
campus ratings.
The University ranks 10th in
number of campus ratings among
4,564 schools on the site with at
least one rating.
LaVaque-Manty, with the help
of a graduate student, matched
700 professor ratings from
RateMyProfessors with their
respective University student
evaluations and overlaid the
results. To the surprise of critics,
he found sufficient correlation
between ratings of the two evalu-
ation systems.
But his more startling finding
came when he added the noto-
rious RateMyProfessors chili
pepper into the equation, which
students award to teachers they
deem attractive. While students
may assume the chili is just a
silly pepper, LaVaque-Manty's
research shows it might be a spic-
ier indicator than students think.
"The professor who doesn't
have a chili pepper has to be
almost as easy as the hardest
professor who has a chili pepper
to get the same quality rating,"
LaVaque-Manty said.
Faculty with a chili pepper are
more than likely have pretty good
student evaluation scores, while
those without a pepper may or
may not have good scores.
His theory is that the chili is
not just a measure of "hotness,"
but also of rapport - a teacher's
emotional respect, empathy and
consideration for the student.
"They might be Ryan Gos-
ling or Jennifer Lawrence,
but if they're mean, you likely
won't give them a chili pepper,"
LaVaque-Manty said.
Finding a first-rate solution to
such a complex issue will nothap-
pen overnight, but the University
maintains that it's working on it.
University spokeswoman
Kelly Cunningham wrote in a
statement that "the University
is exploring options for sharing
course and instructor evaluation
data in a central, easily accessible

From Page 1
impressed by her overall pres-
Gerken said she learned a
lot about election law while
attending the University's Law
School in the early 1990s.
"I was one of the first Dar-
row Scholars at the Law School,
so Michigan gave me a free ride
From Page 1
into Gibbons' alleged miscon-
duct, and whether or not the
Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities was
applied properly throughout
OSCR's investigation.
Public Policy junior Bobby
Dishell, CSG vice president,
will lead the taskforce, which
will also include Keeney and
LSA sophomore Meagan Sho-
kar, speaker of the CSG assem-
Per a provision in the Code
of Conduct, Keeney will have
exclusive access to "review all
confidential and non-confiden-
tial OSCR documents pertain-
ingto investigations ofstudents
for violations of the Statement
... and/or the student sexual
misconduct policy," according
to a CSG press release.
Although the taskforce's
final report may have to redact
specific documents, Proppe
said Keeney's review work will
allow CSG to draw conclusions
with regard to OSCR's pro-

which was amazing," she said.
"I had the good fortune to be
mentored by one of the found-
ers of the field."
On March 27, the Ford
School will be hosting human
rights activist, Paul Rusesa-
bagina, who saved the lives of
more than 1,200 people during
the Rwandan Genocide. His
actions are famously docu-
mented in the movie "Hotel
ceedings in the Gibbons case
and release these to the student
The executive order comes
in the midst of CSG initiatives
to increase administrative
transparency and reevaluate
the student code of conduct.
Recently, the assembly unani-
mously passed a resolution ask-
ing the administration to give
the body the power to screen
all proposed amendments to
the Statement.
For the last month, the CSG
resolutions committee has
also been considering sub-
stantive changes to the code of
conduct and plans to propose
a number of amendments for
vote in the assembly Feb. 4,
Keeney said.
"I don't necessarily see
this case as any impetus for
changes to the Statement,"
Proppe said. "We were look-
ing for changes to that pro-
cess regardless of this. But
we are going to take a look at
how the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities is
applied, and how does it apply
when policies are changing."

City council
vote reallocates
unused funds for
public art pieces

From Page 2
management director for EMU,
said only certain parts of its notifica-
tion system are activated depending
on the event. For example, during
the polar vortex this past month,
EMUused its notification system for
weather-related emergencies.
"We don't use all the systems for

those notifications," Wesley said.
"We'll do the campus e-mails and
text messages for those types of
Susan Smith, associate profes-
sor at Indiana University and the
associate editor of The International
Journal of Emergency Manage-
ment, described that more univer-
sity emergency alert systems were
implemented after the Virginia Tech

"Universities started to more
systematically look at ways to alert
students and that's when they put in
abort systems that will help either
text you or send you a telephone
response or e-mail," Smith said.
Because many universities across
thenationnowhave emergency alert
systems, Smithsaiduniversitieshave
to periodically test their system to
ensure that all facets of the system
are efficient and effective.

of pi
or n(
the P
one t
to se
the A
and r

)ufltilmembers Councilmember Sabra Bri-
ere (D-Ward 1) announced
;tpone discussion her intention to propose what
she believes will be a more
of possible efficient method of purchas-
ing and generating public
oking ordinance art in Ann Arbor. Her ideas
garnered the support of sev-
By EMMA KERR eral council members who are
DailySraffReporter unhappy with past attempts
to allocate funds to public art.
fter the Percent for Art Councilmember Margie
ram was dismantled, Teall (D-Ward 4) was the only
Arbor City Council mem- council member in opposition,
voted Monday to return and said she feels Ann Arbor
ed funds, up to about is falling behind by not com-
,000, to address basic mitting funds to public art.
structure needs includ- In a separate issue, Coun-
sewers, streets and mis- cilmembers Eaton, Sumi
neous funds. Kailasapathy(D-Ward 1),
xpporters of the Percent Mike Anglin (D-Ward 5)
Art attended the meet- and Jane Lumm (I-Ward 2)
Monday night in defense voted against a resolution that
ublic art to express their would have ensured the salary
ts in city council mem- of the Public Art Administra-
dedication to keeping tor came from the Public Art
Arbor a creative, unique Fund. It was implied he would
go unpaid and therefore ter-
his ordinance, however, minate his employment as a
not affect major ongoing result.
ects. Discussion of a potential
his is not about whether smoking ordinance is post-
ot we are going to have poned until March 3rd. Under
icly funded art, this is the new law, citizens would
t whether or not we are be fined $50 for refusing to
g to have sewage related stop smoking or relocate if
said Councilmember instructed to do so by law
Eaton (D-Ward 4). enforcement. The proposal
ayor John Hieftje and encompasses areas 20 feet
orting council members from city building doors, pub-
to find a solution in the lic parks and bus stops.
future to transition from Finally, the ongoing ques-
'ercent for Art program to tion of whether or not the
that reflects their contin- city should use its first right
dedication to public art. of refusal and purchase the
ieftje said he would like Edwards Brothers property,
'e fewer restrictions and preventing its sale to the Uni-
uate staffing when it versity, remains unanswered
es to public art - and that after a closed-door discussion
e is indeed some beauty in with the city attorney.
inn Arbor sewage system The next city council meet-
related art. ing is scheduled for Feb. 17.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 3
From Page 1
brought candles and held up signs
that matched their shouts of "Stop
the Pipeline!" and "Pipeline, no!"
During the event, multiple people
shared their views on why Presi-
dent Barack Obama should reject
construction of the pipeline.
Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor),
a speaker at the event, said he
opposes the construction of the
pipeline, and seeks the develop-
ment of more clean energy sources.
"If we want to power prosper-
ity in this nation going forward
for many generations, then we
need to start thinkingsmarter, we
need to start thinking cleaner, we
need to develop sources that we
control," Irwin said. "We're cer-
tainly working hard in Lansing
to try and support clean energy
LSA sophomore Nicholas Jan-
sen represented the University's
"Divest and Invest Campaign,"
which promotes America's sepa-
ration from the fossil fuel industry
in favor of clean energy invest-
ments. Jansen said KXL is a piv-
otal point for American politics.
"While the Keystone XL won't
have the most dramatic impact on
the climate, it's a very symbolic
partofthe movement," he said. "If
it ends up getting passed, it's real-
ly showing what our government
thinks about our climate and the
direction we're going."
Thanks for following!
From Page 1
The program will include
a large lecture course open to
undergraduate and graduate stu-
dents on urbanism, urban issues
and egalitarianism in architec-
ture. It will also involve two small
seminar courses focused on post-
industrial cities experiencing a
decline in population, as well as
growing Latin and South Ameri-
can cities like Mexico City and
Rio de Janeiro.
"Urban designers and archi-
tects are designing spaces and
buildings in urban areas for a
variety of people," Curry said.
"The challenge is how to deliver
the work for that client but also to
recognize that your building and
your project sits within a larger
context in which part of it will be
seen, if not used, by the general
The program will incorporate
informal events where students

and faculty will come together to
discuss different topics covered in
the classroom their work. There
will also be an annual symposium
that will bring in faculty from the
University and outside experts to
talk about relevant topics.
If the program is successful,
Curry said the college will seek
"continuance funding" from the
Mellon Foundation to continue its
progress after its first four years.
"In my mind, by bringing
together the depth of humanity of
scholarship with a secular knowl-
edge of design, the Mellon grant
represents a major step forward
in refraining how we think about
urbanism," Architecture Prof.
Monica Ponce de Leon said.
The University will showcase
exhibitions featuring the work of
architectural designers and stu-
dents studying the humanities
on campus and in the Museum of
Contemporary Art Detroit.
The program will also offer
four four-year postgraduate
fellowships. Two candidates
will be selected to teach in a
new architecture preparation
course for high school students
in Detroit, and two others will
teach the large lecture course
offered through the new grant
At the end of the four-and-
a-half years, a large book will be
produced featuring the work of
people who have participated in
the program, along with other
scholars and designers from out-
side of the program.

niversity compensation
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