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Washington State University
Washington State University Responses to Constituent Concerns

Provost Search

For the second time in a row, an external provost search has ended with the selected provost stepping down to become a regular WSU faculty member within the first weeks of assuming the office. In the first case, under President Floyd, the person was paid his full provost salary for seven years after stepping down, because that was what was stipulated in his contract when he assumed the provost’s office. The question now that this has happened a second time is: is the latest provost to step down, Prof. Montoya, also going to be paid her full provost salary for the next seven years, or will she be paid a salary commensurate with her role as a full professor in the Carson College of Business?

The concern is that, if external provost candidates are routinely guaranteed their full provost salary even if they step down early, they have a significant incentive to step down early and earn a salary far higher than they would as a regular faculty member, as they can earn this high salary without the increased responsibilities of being provost.

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Online courses killing face to face classes

This semester, when I try to check course enrollments for the Pullman campuses, 75% of the time, I am immediately directed to global campus offerings. Though I understand that students deserve the option, the automatic re-direct is killing face to face classes. Please make changes so students can see all options when they click on “wsu course schedule.”

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Blackboard updates/design is detrimental to student grades and record keeping. The time faculty spend correcting BB is too long and too much.

Blackboard’s gradebook has become almost non-workable. Fall 2018 changes altered the way the gradebook looked, and has made it more difficult to see the student grades and more difficult to view the student grades online (for the faculty). This is a problem if you have 20-odd students, I cannot imagine what this is like for a faculty member who has hundreds of students.
This spring, I found an error in the gradebook (that I didn’t find when checking in Fall) that inflated a student’s grade by a half letter grade–not a real big deal, but it alerted me to be more aware of the glitch this spring. What I found this spring was that in addition to the design of the gradebook (which doesn’t take up the entire screen and is almost impossible to widen), Blackboard made a change to how grades are overridden (like if a student turns in a late assignment), which means that even if the faculty member regrades an item, BB keeps the new grade hidden. This resulted in several errors during the semester, that I was able to correct, and just now I almost failed a C student today (grades are due today).

We need an LMS system that is better designed.

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