Are university students customers or products?

My op-ed in Friday’s Orlando Sentinel.

(Update, Friday 10:30 am):  And here is coverage from the News Service of Florida (as published in the Tallahassee Democrat) of President Barron’s response to the Texas model, as presented to the FSU Board of Trustees yesterday.  One excerpt:

For instance, the Texas plan suggests monitoring how effective professors are by the number of classes taught, student satisfaction surveys and the number of A and B grades awarded.  But Barron believes this type of emphasis on effectiveness will result in larger classes, less emphasis on smaller science and engineering classes and turn teaching into a popularity contest.

Here’s the article, as distributed by Jack Fiorito from the FSU faculty union:

trustees

(Update, 1:00 pm Friday:  This subject cries out for some appropriate music.)

(Update, 9:00 am Saturday:  Here is the Lilly Rockwell article as posted at the Tallahassee Democrat web site.  And an additional Rockwell article posted at the St. Augustine Record.  Florida House Education Chair Bill Proctor told the University of Florida trustees that using student evaluations as the sole way of evaluating faculty is “pure foolishness,” the Ocala Star-Banner reports.)

(Yet another update, 9:30 am Saturday:  FSU’s faculty union has posted a copy of President Barron’s 25-page document.  It is linked here.)

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One Response to Are university students customers or products?

  1. steve says:

    ….Barron says productivity should be gauged by factors such as freshmen retention and graduation rates.

    so having a bachelors degree from FSU will mean nothing. I cannot keep my job or get a raise unless I do not fail the freshman and make sure they do not fail until graduate school or are unable to keep a job.

    wasn’t there something that they wanted to grade the colleges of education on the quality of their graduates?

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