Comments and Questions from Listening Session with Bruce

Mathematics Department

If the university genuinely wants to be recognized on a national scale, we need to pay attention to the most able students.  Our student support areas are mostly focused on students in trouble. 

Our department does a good job of supporting bright students. 

What does it mean to be the best?   I have had some students who didn’t know how to think – their high school career was spent learning for the WASL.   Could we not intervene with the high schools? 

It is incumbent on all of us to teach critical thinking.

I don’t know what a liberal arts college is – doesn’t seem to be what WWU is.  Hope there continues to be support for research – I wouldn’t want to be here if teaching were the only thing.

One of the things the department does really well is deal with huge spectrum of students.  We support the better students by having a small graduate program that the better undergrads can take.  At lower level, work hard to engage students and support them, monitor work carefully, require lots of homework. 

I want to plug our math center (Kim) – we have a large group of undergrad math students who tutor peers in calculus and above.  It is an honor to be chosen to be a Math Fellow; they don’t have to be majors.  This has become a social center as well as a learning center.

Our NTT faculty are amazing.   Those who teach 100 level courses put in a lot of time, energy and care.  It would be a huge loss to the department to lose them.  They also have to deal with grad students who have never taught.  

The University seems to have its head in the sand about the role of NTT faculty.  They are important and many are long term high quality people – not temporary.  

Commend you on football team decision.  Hard on everyone involved. 

Also teach in music and is difficult for us to imagine where cuts will come from.   Is there the same level of scrutiny on the administrative side of things? 

If our bottom line is the success of a student, do we know what the consequences are to success if we have fewer counselors or grounds people?  

This is one of the few math departments that includes math education – one of the most rigorous for HS math teachers, and at elementary level as well.  We need support. 

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Page Updated 11.27.2013