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Report of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the FCQ
August 2005
Michael Grant, AVC for Undergraduate Education, Chair

The August 2005 report is a revision of a report initially submitted February 2005.

Committee Members: Susan Clarke, Political Science; Janet DeGrazia, Engineering; Susan Kent, Faculty Affairs; Basim Mahmood, UCSU; Lou McClelland, Institutional Analysis; Joe Neguse, UCSU; Christine Queja, UCSU; Christine Rohde, Honor Code Office; Lori Seward, Business; James Symons, Theater and Dance

The committee met January 2004 through January 2005. Some members participated in only spring 2004 or fall 2004.

The initial report was submitted to Interim Chancellor DiStefano on February 28, 2005. The August 2005 report reflects committee revisions made in response to comments and discussion by many campus groups in spring 2005.

The full report (August 2005) is a 43 page PDF document.  The February 2005 report is available as a 35-page PDF.

Contents of the August 2005 report:





Annotated, question by question set of recommendations for a revised FCQ testing instrument
 .  . Optional filtering procedure for comments



Point by point response to the BFA recommendations about the FCQ



Thirty-five nationally published recommendations regarding several aspects of the FCQ plus our recommendations about each one



Results of a spring 2004 pilot study on the form



Recommendations for interpretation and use of the statistical results by evaluators (personnel committees at the department, school or college and campus levels)



Recommendations directly to faculty regarding administration of the FCQ itself and some guidance about interpretation



Bibliography of key overview research literature citations



The recommended FCQ form itself



The current (through 2005-06) FCQ form, for reference



February 2005 transmittal letter



August 2005 transmittal letter


The August 2005 submittal letter (also part 11 of the report) describes the process and substance of the revisions:

As you requested, the Faculty Course Questionnaire Advisory Committee has now invited and received comment on the draft recommendations made to you in spring 2005 (posted on the ODA /FCQwebsite).  We have received input and/or met with BFA Executive Committee, full BFA, Council of Deans, Council of Associate Deans, Arts and Sciences chairs and directors, UCSU, UGGS, Student Affairs Directors, some individual deans and a large number of individual faculty.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the controversial status of FCQs with many faculty, there was substantial support for the recommendations on the grounds that the process and the instrument would both be substantially improved if these recommendations are implemented.

We have made a few minor modifications in our first draft report in response to these faculty, student and administrator comments and we have made one major change in our recommendations.

The most important difference in the current report from the first draft submitted to you is that the committee, after much agonizing consideration, has withdrawn the recommendation that chairs and deans not be allowed to see the narrative comments from students on the FCQ instrument.  You should know that quite a number of faculty strongly disagree with this revised position and are passionate in their view that those student comments should be seen only by the faculty members themselves.  We provide a detailed recap of the arguments for and against each option in the report itself; here I say the most persuasive arguments to the advisory committee were (a) chairs and deans share responsibility for the quality of classroom instruction and they should, therefore, have access to all relevant information, (b) in many cases  the narrative material is far more useful to reviewers than the numerical scores of the FCQ, and (c) chair and dean access underlines to students and to the public that departments, schools, and colleges care deeply about students’ experience in their classes and that CU as an institution will respond to faculty behavior that students find inappropriate or unhelpful.

Since our recommendation is that the narrative comments be available (as generally has been the case in the past) to chairs, deans, reappointment committees etc. who have a legitimate need to see them, we are also recommending a new procedure to address the most serious objection advanced by faculty who think there should be no narrative comments or that any comments should be seen by only the faculty member in question.  We recommend implementing a pilot process whereby any faculty member can request that their FCQ narrative forms be ‘screened’ or ‘filtered’ by a neutral committee of faculty, students and professional staff in such a manner that inappropriate comments (definition and scope yet to be determined) on an individual FCQ form will result in the removal of that entire form from the tabulation and review processes prior to being seen by administrators or by the individual faculty. (A provision will also be made to allow a faculty member to submit FCQ forms for filtering after the fact, should they decide to do so.)  In this way, we hope to eliminate the FCQs from those few students who abuse the opportunity.

We have also added a recommendation that graduate classes with 10 or fewer students automatically employ the on-line option (already available by request) in order to reduce the fear of compromised student anonymity; this was an issue of high importance to graduate students, brought to us by UGGS. We recommend that this be done on a pilot basis in 2005-06. 

At this point, our committee believes we have thoroughly publicized our recommendations widely and have been as responsive to the many suggestions and to as many multiple perspectives as we can.  If you decide to implement these recommendations, a September decision date will provide enough time before implementation in the Fall of 2006 to do the rather extensive operational changes which will need to be made.

For the FCQ Advisory Committee,

Michael Grant, Chair

August 30, 2005


Last revision 05/19/16

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