Letter: Roman Wrong

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University of Calgary vice-president external relations Roman Cooney was recently quoted throwing around some numbers that I couldn't quite follow.

Referring to the Maclean's University Student Issue, published in June 2006, Cooney said that "the data are four years out of date since they were first published." The article also paraphrased Cooney as having said that the data in the survey was used inappropriately and did not provide an accurate reflection of the undergraduate experience. It further quoted him adding that "[w]e didn't expect Maclean's to create a survey that would accurately capture the things we've done over the last three to four years."

Let's be clear: The survey results for the U of C published in June by Maclean's were the most up-to-date information available. And the surveys that U of C's results were drawn from weren't designed or commissioned by Maclean's, they were commissioned by the U of C.

The Maclean's University Student Issue contained student satisfaction results for the U of C from the 2004 National Survey of Student Engagement and the 2005 Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium. Last I checked, neither 2004 nor 2005 was four years ago. Or even three.

These scientific surveys, commissioned by the University of Calgary, asked students some simple questions: If you could start over again, would you go to the U of C? How satisfied are you with the quality of teaching? How would you evaluate your entire educational experience at the U of C?

The answers given by U of C students and the comparison with responses to the same questions from students at other universities speak for themselves.

Tony Keller

managing editor, special projects, Maclean's Magazine