Volume 93, Issue 99

Wednesday, April 5, 2000


OPINIONS

Finally, someone agrees with Wherry

Western fraternity doesn't deserve criticism

Finally, someone agrees with Wherry



Re: "Time to test the teachers" March 30



To the Editor:

I would like to commend Mr. Wherry for bringing up an issue that has crossed my mind over the past few weeks with instructor evaluations occurring. Although Western has many outstanding teachers, there are the occasional few who have failed to perform at an acceptable level.

Over my two years of studies, I have encountered two teachers that display a pathetic interest in the course and the students. As a student paying almost $4,000 per year in tuition fees, I think it is only fair that I get good value for my money – and nine times out of 10, I do. However, in two courses that I have taken, the professionalism and quality of teaching was disgusting.

Although I realize that course material may become repetitive year after year, I find it appalling that someone who has spent years studying a subject could appear so disinterested in the course content.

It's part of a professors' job to present the material in an interesting and creative way. Sometimes, I have to wonder about their motives for teaching – perhaps they should stick solely to research.

Although salary increases are largely based upon such things as the number of degrees under one's belt and tenure status, students do not give a rat's ass unless they are good teachers.

When it comes to teaching, it doesn't matter how many letters are behind a professor's name, or how many research awards they have won. These are all great accomplishments, but they really have little to do with the actual ability to teach. What matters is that professors are able communicate ideas effectively and show a sincere interest in being in front of the classroom.

Our principle reason for attending university is to obtain a quality education. It really is a shame when a student loses interest in a subject because of a poor experience caused by a professor.

There should be action taken against those instructors who consistently fail to meet basic standards of quality teaching. Their presence is like that of a rotten apple – they can spoil the rest of the bag. A course's reputation should not be jeopardized simply because its teacher does not perform well.

Therefore, while administration is negotiating new contracts with its staff, they should remember there is more than just dollars and cents when it comes to delivering quality education – students deserve accountability.

I challenge administration to do something sensible for a change. Listen to suggestions such as Mr. Wherry's and implement a quality control system that rewards the many faculty who do an outstanding job and disciplines those whose performances are unacceptable.

Chris Donkers
Biology II



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