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Houstonian 1994
Academics
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Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1994 - Academics. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 18, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/20605/show/20435.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1994 - Academics. Houstonian Yearbook Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/20605/show/20435

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston, Houstonian 1994 - Academics, Houstonian Yearbook Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 18, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/20605/show/20435.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houstonian 1994
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Academics
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name yearb_1994_093.jpg
Transcript Scrutinizing Academic Freedom UH Professors worry about students evalutating their professors At the end of each semester students get a chance to evaluate the perfomianceoftheirprofessors,butm&^ styles, a debate is on about whether these evaluations help improve quality of teaching or restrict the academic freedom of instructors. Law Professor Michael Olivas, associate dean for research for the Law Center and author of The Law and Higher Education, said many court cases involve administrative or external controls about what to teach and how it should be taught, but just a few cases have risen from a student's objection to a teacher's professional decisions. "The paucity ofstudent dissatisfaction taken to court isdue in part to the relative powerlessness of students, but is also attributable to nearly absolute autonomy accorded to professors freedom norms," Olivas said. Recent developments show that teaching styles and methodologies may be open to greater scrutiny. Olivas predicted that the state will regulate teaching methodologies more. He said 22 states have laws to regulate teaching methodology concerning a teacher's accent. He said the law discriminates against foreign facidtyandevenminorityfacultywhomaynot speak with traditionl accents. The state policy requires every class to be evaluated and evaluations are to be put on display in the library. The evaluations at UH are kept on the third floor of the M.D. Anderson Library. Students don't take the evaluations serious because they don't believe they'll be taken serious, said Olivas Olivas said to be more efficient and accountable, schools are going to evaluate professors more. "Faculty rights are going to prevail because the faculty has to be responsible for the entire class, whereas students' individual rights often have to be subordinated to faculty rights," Olivas said. He said, however, in some cases faculty members who cursed at students in class were dismissed from tenured positions. Even though the faculty member claimed swearing was his academic freedom to get students excited about learning, Olivas said courts don't accept it as a defense and find it insulting to students. The American Association ofUniversity Professors defines academic freedom in the classroom as: "The teacher is entitled to freedomin the discussing (his/her) subject, but...should be caeful not to introduce into (his/her) teaching controversial matter which has no relation to (his/her) subject." Faculty members have the responsiblity to enlighten students, but students are often uncomforatable because of different "Faculty rights are going to prevail because the faculty has to he responsible for the entire class," Michael Olivas ideas, said Judith Walker de Felix, assistant dean of the College of Education. Nevertheless, she said teachers have to give up their biases and explore ideas. Bredo Johnsen, the chairmen of the Philosophy Department, said his freshman philosophy students feel uncomfortable when he talks about God. "I talk about rationality of God and refigiousbefief. Studentsdon'twantto touch thatareaoftheir lives. I know they are uncomfortable, but that doesn't prevent me from talking about it," Johnsen said. Johnsen believes academic freedom is an unquestionable right of the professor. "Individual people have to be free to investigate and find truth." Academic freedom can be abused like anything else, but the solution is not to put restrictions on it. "Professor are bound to treat students in a professional way. Students aren't entirely powerless," said Johnsen. Students havearighttopresent their side of the case, he said. Regular mul- tiplechoicestudentevaluationsmaynotiden- tify abuse problems, but free form of evaluations, which allows students to comment is better suited to find out if there is abuse of academic freedom on the part of faculty, he said. If a professor's style is in question, students'evaluations canhelpto diagnose the problems, said Felix. Complaints affect faculty's salary increase decisions and promotion, she said. Afaculty member's tenure was denied recently because of teaching problems, she said. David Tomatz, dean of the School of Music, said he is a strongbeliever in academic freedom. "The university is an idea factory. The only way that thought can develop is to share ideas," he said. "It is hard for me to imagine a rational professor abusing the academic freedom policy." Students don't have to sign up for a professor if they don't like his or her teaching style, said Tomatz. Richard Bannerot, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department, said faculty members don't have an unlimited right because the should stay within the context of their subjects when teaching. Bannerot said although his department has student advisors, in addition to the chairman, to respond to complaints. Students who are uncomfortable tend to go toafaculty member they trust instead of the advisors. Mustafa Lokhandwala, dean of the College ofPharmacy, said evaluating a complaint is not difficult. "When you boil things down to individual cases, it is easy," he said. In the College of Pharmacy, grievance committees for both students and faculty make recommendations to the dean about problem situations. Yonca Poyraz-Dogan Evaluations 63) 123