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KRUSE REPORT: Increasing Transparency in Higher Education
Start Date: 2/18/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 2/18/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

By State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn)

Transparency in education is essential to ensure that our colleges and universities are utilizing best practices to serve Hoosier students. Increasing the availability of information allows state leaders to establish ways to improve higher education administration in areas like grading practices and faculty policies. To create more clarity between state educational institutions and the public, State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) and I have authored Senate Bill 180.

SB 180 would require every state college and university to share information on grading for general education courses and faculty member organization with the Commission for Higher Education. The Commission would then compile this data in an annual report to be made available to the public and then presented to the Senate Education and Career Development Committee and the House Education Committee.

Information to be submitted to the Commission includes grade distributions for similar courses that are offered in each college or university. This data will be helpful in combating the issue of grade inflation, which is the gradual increase in grades over time for the same educational works done in the past. In order to stabilize grading across the state, academic practices of state institutions need to be transparent.

Educational data sent to the Commission also includes faculty salaries, governance, sabbatical practices and tenure policies. The report would also include the percentage of courses taught at the campus by teacher’s assistants, instructors, non-tenured and tenured professors. This allows the Commission to see who is teaching our college students and what results they are producing. Additionally, the annual reports increase the accountability of state institutions by making information such as faculty hiring procedures and performance evaluations publicly accessible.

To keep the public aware of higher education trends, we chose to make this information open and available. With this academic data, parents and high school graduates will have a better understanding of how a particular school measures up when selecting a college or university that best fits their needs. Information in the report, such as faculty to student ratios, helps demonstrate the institution’s educational environment for each department within the school.

Members of the Senate and House Education Committees will analyze the data received from state colleges and universities to determine what institutions are doing to provide an exceptional college experience to their students. The information would also be useful in determining if a school is encouraging faculty to participate in opportunities for educational growth or professional development.

Increasing the transparency of state institutions allows state education committees to look at ways to improve grading practices and faculty policies. SB 180 will better prepare Indiana students for the workforce in whatever career path they choose. What do you think?

Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Education
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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