Survey meaningless to current NIU trend

Just recently the mental monkeys that supposedly run this university published the results of a survey which showed that class availability was not a problem for those alumni who failed to graduate in four years.

The survey was sent out to 300 1991 alumni. From those 300, 79 sent the survey back to the university. So as we see already, these goons are using only 2 percent of the possible respondents out of all of last year’s 3,800 or so alumni in this experiment. So we can already see the results of this study will be a statistical brain fart.

Of those 79 people responding, 52 of those checked responses which applied to their time spent at NIU. Now those responses are not said to be reasons why the respondents didn’t graduate in four years. The survey asks, “If you did not complete your degree within four years, please check all the items that apply.” The question doesn’t say these are items that apply to why they didn’t graduate in four years.

They state the survey “indicates that taking more than four years to graduate is a result of students exercising personal options and not because of problems with course offerings.”

The survey does not show this! In fact 25 percent of the whole 52 people responding said, “Classes in a required sequence were not available when I needed them.” Furthermore, one of the options on the survey was loaded. It said, “Classes I needed were not available at NIU.” Of course the classes are offered, the problem is getting into them. It took me four semesters to finally get into Spanish 101. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t here. All that meant was the school is too cheap to hire enough professors to satisfy the demand. The survey also shows that of the few individuals who were able to graduate in four years, 65 percent had to go to summer school.

What also must be taken into account is the fact that the survey only questioned alumni. This means the respondents graduated from this university. Now if the courses they needed were not at this university they would obviously need to leave this university to satisfy their requirements. This means the people who couldn’t get the courses they needed here at NIU wouldn’t have graduated from NIU and therefore would not have been included in the survey.

Now if students couldn’t get the classes they needed for their majors at NIU but didn’t leave NIU, that means they would have to have changed their majors. Indeed, 46 percent of those responding said, “I chose to change majors and needed additional courses.”

I can just see what can be done with this survey by the Board of Regents. If anyone complains about his inability to graduate in four years, Billy Joe Regent is going to pull out his handy-dandy graph titled “NIU Students Cite Personal Choices for Longer College Stay” and “prove” it wasn’t the university’s fault.

If anyone ever cites this study to you, just quote President John E. La Tourette who said, “Because the number of respondents to the questionnaire is relatively small and no statistical tests have been applied to determine representativeness, the results must be interpreted carefully.”

I recommend they be interpreted very carefully!