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An overwhelming majority of college faculty members polled in a recent nationwide survey believe academic standars at their universities are declining.
Compiled by researchers at Stanford and the University of Connecticut, the report found that most faculty members also believe students entering college are less well-prepared than in the past, and that grade inflation is a rising trend.
No Decline Here
Faculty at the higher rated schools--including Harvard and Yale--said that entering students evidenced no decline in academic competence though grade inflation is still cited as a major problem by this group of academics.
Faculty members at the University who were reached for comment yesterday agreed with the findings of the roll, saying that Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, a common index of academic preparation for college, have remained virtually constant at Harvard, in contrast to the downward trend nationwide.
They said grade inflation can be partially attributed to increased competition for acceptance to graduate schools, where other applicants have been attending schools in which grade inflation is even more pronounced.
Patricia J. Eberle, instructor in English Literature, said yesterday that she has felt no pressure from the University to give out inflated grades. She added that her experience at the University of Texas, where she had previously been employed, had been different. "A failed student represented a failure on the part of the instructor," she said.
The survey found that the degree of grade inflation and lack of student preparation is greater among "junior colleges and lesser four-year institutions" where three-fourths of the faculty saw these as continuing trends.
In the Doghouse
In addition, the poll reported that faculty members polled see higher education falling in the public opinion. Three-fourths of the pollees said that universities no longer hold the public favor as they did in the 1960s
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