The Fall 2013 Faculty Report Card

By: Sam Laughlin, Editor-in-Chief

Data Compiled by: Stacy Allura Hostetter and Sam Laughlin

Once a semester, our law school professors request from us 15 minutes of our time to fill out a simple evaluation.  These evaluations aid our professors in shifting their teaching methods based on student input.  Students are also welcome to visit the Student Affairs office to view evaluations on professors and classes that peak their interests.

In reality, students and professors both ignore many of these evaluations.  The evaluations exist only in physical copies stuffed into a single large filing cabinet.  Much of the data from these evaluations is overly complicated, sometimes missing, and dramatically incomplete.  Out of every class from the fall semester of 2013, only 55.28 percent of students enrolled actually completed evaluations across all classes offered.

The administration makes a concerted effort every semester to strongly encourage faculty and students to cooperate in the process.  Student Affairs reports that low response rates are a problem at every school that uses on-line evaluations, and the administration does read the evaluations and uses student input gained from them and elsewhere to make decisions about hiring and promotion.  Having used them this year once again for determining faculty merit salary increases, the Dean’s office is committed to following up with those faculty who don’t cooperate and letting them know we expect them to do so.

In an effort to better encourage student participation in evaluating their professors, Student Affairs offered to open its doors to Motions for a detailed report on this data.  What follows is the result of weeks of hard work in the Student Affairs office, tediously compiling data from over a hundred evaluations.

The goal with this report is to offer students a better, more accessible idea of where classes and professors stand in the evaluation area.  Students are often too busy to sit in the Student Affairs office to pile through this data.  So we did it for them.  All of this information is built off information accessible to all students.  We do not wish to upset any professors, but this is harsh reality of the student evaluation process.  We encourage professors with low evaluation return to, in turn, encourage their students to fill-out their evaluations.

We have included data from only the fall semester of 2013.  We hope that, by keeping our report focused, we can better help students in making their decisions for the fall of 2014.  Here at Motions, we hope to make this report a part of our job, providing it every semester to the student body.  We hope you enjoy the report and that it helps you in making your class decisions in the future.

The data and rankings will follow a disclaimer on how some of this data came about.  If you’re anxious, just skip below to see the rankings.

 

Disclaimer:

 

Because only half the students actually filled out evaluations, we cannot profess this report absolute in its scientific accuracy.  But, we will attempt our best effort.

One problem we faced in compiling this data is the difference in evaluation returns and class enrollment.  It simple cannot be fair to compare a class with a total enrollment of five students, with only one returned evaluation, to a class of 80 with a return of 46.

To better separate the smaller classes from the larger ones, we have created two brackets.  Regardless of the total enrollment, the brackets are divided based on the number of returned evaluations.  14 or more evaluations returned lands a class in Bracket A.  13 or less, Bracket B.  We understand this is not a perfect system, and that the dividing line appears rather arbitrary.  However, a line had to be drawn, and it was drawn there.  Suggestions for future editions of the report are welcome to figure out a better system.  Motions is, after all, consists of a staff of law students, not statisticians.

We also decided to include clinics in this report, as students need help in making decisions about them.  However, we decided to not include classes built on law journal comments, as we do not consider these “classes” in the same way.

We have included some comments made by students for the full report.  This was, by far, the least scientific part of this report.  We chose to note comments that either 1) represented the overall return of comments made in that class or 2) jumped out at us with some level of particularity.  All comments are quoted accurately from the student evaluations.  We could not include all the comments, so we had to make some editorial decision.

At the end of this report, please find some of the methods behind how we processed this data until the end of the article.

All averages are based out of the same 1 to 5 score provided on the evaluation survey form.  Please keep in mind, all evaluations are completed BEFORE students take their final exams.  This data does not conclude on how a professor may exam his or her students.

 

BRACKET A (14 or more evaluations)

 

BRACKET A

TOP 10 PROFESSORS

 

Devitt                          4.88

Garewal                       4.88

Campbell                     4.86

Martin                         4.81

McCloud                     4.81

M. Fleischer                4.77

S. Smith                      4.77

Partnoy                        4.75

Huffman                     4.74

M. Ramsey                  4.74

 

 

BRACKET A

TOP 10 CLASSES

 

Evidence (Devitt)                                           4.88

Legal Writing 1 (Garewal)                              4.86

Legal Analysis of Crim Pro (Campbell)          4.86

Civ Pro (Martin)                                              4.86

Fundamentals of Bar Writing (McCloud)      4.81

Tax 1 (M. Fleischer)                                        4.77

Criminal Law (Lee)                                         4.77

Torts (S. Smith)                                               4.77

Corporations (Partnoy)                                   4.75

Crim Pro (Huffman)                                       4.74

 

 

BRACKET A

BOTTOM 10 PROFESSORS

Kelly                           3.48

Claus                           3.87

Ursin                           3.89

Cole                             4

Dallas                          4.02

Schwarzschild             4.03

Pearl                            4.15

N. Smith                      4.18

Lilly                             4.27

Dripps                         4.37

 

BRACKET A

BOTTOM 10 CLASSES

 

Remedies (Kelly)                                            3.48

Con Law 1 (Claus)                                          3.87

Torts (Ursin)                                                    3.89

Legal Writing 1 (Pearl)                                   3.95

Criminal Law (Cole)                                       4

Corporations (Dallas)                                      4.02

Evidence (Schwarzschild)                              4.03

Negotiation (N. Smith)                                   4.18

Trusts and Estates (Lilly)                                4.27

Legal Writing 1 (Pearl)                                   4.34

 

BRACKET B (13 or fewer evaluations)

 

BRACKET B

TOP 10 PROFESSORS

 

Brooks                         5

Quinn                          5

Sansone                       5

Wright                         5

Dalls                            4.99

Dalton                         4.99

Muth                           4.98

Carpenter                    4.97

Fell                              4.96

Fellmeth                      4.94

 

BRACKET B

TOP 12 CLASSES (all that scored 5’s)

 

International Redress (Brooks)                       5

Edu. And Disability Clinic 1 (Dalton)            5

Family Law Mediation Clinic (Dalton)          5

Child Adv. Clinic (Fellmeth)                          5

Child Adv. Clinic (Fellmeth)                          5

Public Interest and Practice (Fellmeth)           5

Landlord Tenant Clinic (Gruber)                    5

Entrepreneurship Clinic 1 (Matias)                 5

Entrepreneurship Clinic 2 (Matias)                 5

Entrepreneurship Clinic 2 (Matias)                 5

Land Use Clinic (Quinn)                                5

Agency Internship (Sansone)                          5

 

BRACKET B

BOTTOM 10 PROFESSORS

 

Wagner                        3.23

Heriot                          3.36

Schulman                    3.53

Jelsma                          4.01

Horton                         4.03

Landon                        4.12

Schwarzschild             4.17

Turner                          4.2

Laserow                      4.24

Gidlund                       4.25

 

BRACKET B

BOTTOM 10 CLASSES

 

Agency Internship (Sansone)                          3

Immigration Clinic (Wagner)                          3.23

Torts (Heriot)                                                  3.36

Judicial Internships (Horton)                          3.48

ADR (Schulman)                                            3.53

Tax of Property Transactions (Jelsma)            4.01

Corrections (Landon)                                      4.12

Entrepreneurship Clinic 2 (Matias)                 4.15

Public International Law (Schwarzschild)      4.17

Tax 1 (Lazerow)                                              4.18

 

FULL BRACKET A PROFESSOR RANKING LIST:

 

Devitt                          4.88

Garewal                       4.88

Campbell                     4.86

Martin                         4.81

McCloud                     4.81

M. Fleischer                4.77

S. Smith                      4.77

Partnoy                        4.75

Huffman                     4.74

M. Ramsey                  4.74

Semitsu                       4.72

V. Fleischer                 4.71

Heiser                          4.7

Greene                         4.63

Lee                              4.62

Cannon                        4.6

Alexander                   4.57

Ramirez                       4.57

Lawrence                    4.51

Wonnell                       4.51

Brooks                         4.47

Fellmeth                      4.47

L. Ramsey                   4.4

Lobel                           4.39

D. McGowan              4.38

Dripps                         4.37

Lilly                             4.27

N. Smith                      4.18

Pearl                            4.15

Schwarzschild             4.03

Dallas                          4.02

Cole                             4

Ursin                           3.89

Claus                           3.87

Kelly                           3.48

 

FULL BRACKET B PROFESSOR RANKING LIST:

 

Brooks                         5

Quinn                          5

Sansone                       5

Wright                         5

Dalls                            4.99

Dalton                         4.99

Muth                           4.98

Carpenter                    4.97

Fell                              4.96

Fellmeth                      4.94

Gruber                         4.92

Berend                        4.9

Hirsch                          4.9

Duane                          4.89

Tyree                           4.88

Sperow                        4.85

Valdez                         4.84

M. Fleischer                4.83

McCloud                     4.81

Snyder                         4.81

Wolds                          4.8

Agcaoili                       4.79

Beresford                    4.79

Matias                         4.79

Edelman                      4.77

Fox                              4.77

M. McGowan              4.76

Brennan                       4.71

Lilly                             4.71

V. Fleischer                 4.65

Lawrence                    4.65

M. Ramsey                  4.64

Brandes                       4.6

Simpkin                       4.6

Martin                         4.59

Sichelman                    4.58

Devitt                          4.88

Downey                      4.55

Giacinti                       4.51

Doucette                     4.48

Relyea                         4.44

Bauman                       4.4

Kalemkiarian               4.39

T. Smith                      4.36

Crosby                         4.25

Gidlund                       4.25

Laserow                      4.24

Turner                          4.2

Schwarzschild             4.17

Landon                        4.12

Horton                         4.03

Jelsma                          4.01

Schulman                    3.53

Heriot                          3.36

Wagner                        3.23

 

The following classes were missing from the evaluation files:

Brinig – Finance and Accounting for Lawyers

Carpenter – Criminal Tax Fraud

Cotsirilos – Death Penalty

Folsom – European Union Law

Forry – International Investment

Henning – Civil Procedure I

Horning – Real Estate Transactions

Horowitz – Tax’n of Anti-Money Laundering

Kane – Immigration Clinic

Lane- Trial Advocacy

Legrand – Comparative Law

Marchese – Patent Litigation

Rappaport – Administrative Law

Robinson – International Property Law Clinic I

Schovsbo – European Union Commercial Law

Sharp – International Human Rights

Shaw – Advanced Business Planning

Ulfbeck – European Union Commercial Law

Watson – Sexual Equality

 

The Full Report, sorted alphabetically by class (which includes selected student comments) may be found in this link:

*CORRECTION* Please note, comments attributed to Professor Quinn, director of the Land Use Clinic course, were erroneously attributed to her.  Those comments belong to Professor Muth of the Veterans Clinic.  Motions apologizes for the confusion.

Student Evaluation Raw Data Sheet

 

DATA REASONING:

The Brackets are divided at the number 14 based on the average evaluation filled-out in each class, regardless of enrollment.  That average was actually 13.62, so we rounded up to 14.

Some professors crossed brackets.  For example, Professor Martin teaches Civil Procedure with a class evaluation return of 41 evaluations (Bracket A) and Pre-Trial Practice with a class evaluation return of 6 evaluations (Bracket B).  For professors such as this, their classes in different brackets are ranked independently of each other.  Professors who teach only one class, however, do not have this issue, and their overall score represents that single class.

All rankings and averages come from a combined average of all the average scores for each section of the student evaluations.  These individual averages exist printed in bold for the following areas: Teaching Ability, Preparation, Personal Responsiveness, and “General.”

The “General” section in the student evaluations is divided as follows: 1) Professor’s apparent command of subject matter of the course; 2) What is the frequency of your class attendance; 3) What contribution did your class attendance make to the value of the course; and 4) Professor’s overall effectiveness.  All these scores are included in the overall class and professor score averages, but note, that we separated #’s 1 and 4 to include in the full report.  We did not consider #’s 2 and 3 very informative.

The overall class score is particular to that specific class.  The overall professor score used to make the top and bottom professor rankings comes from the averages of all the classes that professor teaches in that bracket.  For example: if a professor teaches 4 bracket A classes and 2 bracket B classes, this professor can appear in both the A and B bracket.  The overall professor scores do not cross between brackets.

Some professors and classes could not be found in the evaluation files provided by student affairs.  Motions does not claim to know why these classes are missing, and Student Affairs does not know where they could be.  It is possible that professors who no longer teach here have their files destroyed or that some files have been misfiled somewhere.  Please refer to Student Affairs if you have questions about missing evaluation reports.

Professors who taught multiple classes on the same subject have their individual separate classes ranked independently (thus why a few professors appear multiple times in some of the class rankings).

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The Fall 2013 Faculty Report Card, 4.7 out of 5 based on 15 ratings
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