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INSIDE UB

Kerry S. Grant received a grilling from the UB Council at its meeting Friday.

Grant, a vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, was reporting to council members on a survey conducted by the Princeton Review that slammed UB's teachers for "sucking the life" out of their classes.

The survey, reported in The Buffalo News and other media outlets, did not accurately represent the quality of instruction at the university, Grant told councilors.

Nearly all UB students fill out anonymous forms rating their instructors at the end of each semester, Grant said, and this data is far more reliable than the Princeton Review survey.

The university surveys far more students -- 26,000 responses from the College of Arts and Sciences alone -- and their evaluations show a fairly high level of satisfaction, he said.

"This is a very significant snapshot of student satisfaction with the university," Grant said.

The council, an advisory panel made up of local civic leaders, seemed satisfied with Grant's defense of teaching quality.

But councilors sharply questioned why the university isn't doing a better job of getting this information out to the Princeton Review or to the wider public.

"I think this group would be very interested to find out how we're going to confront this image issue," said council Chairman Jeremy M. Jacobs, the chairman of Delaware North Cos.

Grant said talking to the Princeton Review won't work, because the company isn't interested in altering its basic survey results.

Shifting uncomfortably, Grant -- backed up by UB President William R. Greiner -- finally said he would work with the university's communications office to develop a response plan to the negative review.

"All we can do is have a plan to set the record straight," said Gerald S. Lippes, a council member and chairman of the board of directors of Kaleida Health.

The university is seeking public input on a $300 million plan for student housing, service buildings and retail space along Lee Road that would permanently reshape the North Campus.

UB will host public meetings on the master plan from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday in 210 Student Union on the North Campus, from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday in 145B Student Union and from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Harriman Hall Theater on the South Campus.

The project architects will present a review of the plans and answer questions.

Serrin M. Foster, president of Feminists for Life, will speak on "The Feminist Case Against Abortion" at 7 p.m. Tuesday in 109 O'Brian Hall on the North Campus.

e-mail: swatson@buffnews.com

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