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February 22, 2024

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USG, Provost discuss new faculty evaluation methods

A new method for evaluating faculty members will debut this semester in at least three colleges at BGSU.

At last night’s Undergraduate Student Government meeting, Mark Gromko and Dan Madigan from the Office of the Provost shared details of the new evaluations with USG senators.

The College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and Firelands College have already agreed to the pilot program, while other colleges are considering joining the test group.

Vice Provost Dan Madigan said many academic departments are in favor of testing a new student evaluation system named IDEA.

“They don’t think that the student evaluation of teaching right now is very effective for evaluating faculty,” he said.

Madigan said the new evaluations would ask questions that students would be more capable of answering and would offer more accessable ways to complete the evaluations, including face-to-face and electronic distribution.

Though USG President Bernard Little and Vice President Kristin Kulbis were hoping to move the evaluation date to the middle of each semester, Kulbis said the new evaluation program is a step in the right direction.

“Perhaps once the testing period goes through that might be something they can incorporate,” she said. “I’m just glad they’re taking the initiative to make feedback held to a higher standard.”

Another issue addressed at the meeting was the GPA requirements for those who hold an office in USG.

Academic Affairs Chair Mark Pontius presented a resolution to raise the required GPA from a 2.0 to 2.5, which is the standard requirement for most leadership positions on campus.

At-Large Senator Natalia Ramos was in favor of the idea.

“People are supposed to look up to us,” she said. “How can you look up to someone that you feel like you’re smarter than?”

But to Justin Barnhart, MacDonald representative, the requirement is too strict.

“We should be inclusive to all and exclusive to none,” he said.

The resolution was tabled until the next meeting when the senate will vote on the issue.

At-Large Senator Jason Snead also presented an amendment regarding USG legislation. The most discussed portion of the amendment was the addition of a “simple resolution” which the senate could express an opinion on an issue in which the president could not veto.

Mike Woodall, at-large senator, was opposed to the change due to potential abuse by the senate.

“That gives us a lot more power than I think we need,” he said. “Our job is to, combined, express the opinions of the students.”

But Snead said he had confidence that members of the legislative branch would express only the opinion of students whom they represent.

“We are obligated as elected representatives to vote as a majority of our constituents,” Snead said.

Another issue addressed at the meeting was the buffet at Common’s dining center and its slow business.

At-Large Senator Johnnie Lewis, who also sits on the Food Advisory Board, presented the latest issues in dining services, including the financial troubles involving Commons.

“Commons dining center has continued to be an economic eyesore for University Dining Services,” he said. “For some odd reason people don’t eat at Commons; we’re trying to figure it out.”

Senators suggested the slow business may be due to a lack of food variety and inconsistant hours.

Lewis said he and Dining Services are always open to suggestions to help revive Commons and encouraged students to fill out comment cards in the dining facility.

Students are also encouraged to get involved with USG by attending one of three election information sessions. The first session will be held Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in room 318 at the Union.

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