Brown responds

Ivygate picked up our post about the repetitive “survey plz” e-mails some students (including, sadly, me) have been getting. Well, guess who read it?

Dean Shaw says:

I’m flattered to be referenced in IvyGate, but I was hoping that my first mention would be for something more substantial than an alleged spamming of students at other universities. The survey in question is a joint project of 8 colleges, including Brown and Wesleyan. The project, funded by the Teagle Foundation, is an examination of the values and practices of the “Open Curriculum”, in which students have significant freedom to design their own academic programs. In interviews with alumni of our institutions last year, the importance of good advising was a central theme, so this year the focus of the project is on improving advising at our schools. Emails to invite students to participate in a survey of advising are sent out by each school to students at that school. My name is included in all the emails to conform to requirements of the Institutional Review Board (human subjects protection board) that participants have a contact to whom they can address questions about the project. It may have seemed to students at Wesleyan that the emails were sent by me, but they were sent by Wesleyan personnel from Wesleyan. Three Wesleyan students did write to me about the project and I replied to each of them. Students from the various schools who participated in the survey have made extensive comments about their experiences with advising and suggestions for change. These will be discussed at length at each school next semester. We have also set up a message board on which students at these 8 schools may post their observations about their experiences with advising. I invite any interested students to visit this message board whether or not they participated in the survey:

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone sends him a 4MB “I’m sorry, Dean Shaw” bitmap.

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