Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dilbert U

Had one of those days where you wonder if you've stepped into a parallel reality where your life has become an absurdist farce. In fact it must have been a parallel reality, because this sort of thing could never happen in this one!

-- A faculty senate spent an entire early morning session listening to an administrator responsible for student affairs describing her concern, the day some students took over a building, that they were in a building with a functioning boiler and no maintenance staff to look after it. And then some went on the roof - a roof without a proper railing. They were excited and could have fallen off! (She didn't have to say that it was lucky that the boiler didn't explode when the police broke in to save the students from themselves, as they might have concluded the students were terrorists!)

-- An institutional research representative explained to the assembled chairs of a seminar college that a new form of standardized course evaluation did not offer statistically reliable results for seminar-sized classes. The results, however, were still of interest as they were adjusted, in comparison to results from hundreds of other universities (presumably with larger classes), to cancel out distortions resulting from student enthusiasm, commitment, or hard work - factors beyond the professor's control. The chairs duly discussed whether unreliable quantitative information was preferable to none, and took an inconclusive straw vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh, goodness. makes me shudder.