Once again the administration and the Board of Regents have thumbed their collective noses at the students.
Plus-minus grading has been approved and will start in the fall 2007 semester. I feel sorry for the students who will be here when it is implemented.
In spite of overwhelming student opposition to this idea, the new grading system was rammed through the Faculty Senate by questionable means even though most of the faculty seems to have been opposed to it.
Then it went through the Board of Regents in spite of the fact that the Student Government Senate, the elected voice of the students, voted unanimously against it.
In fact, very few students are in favor of it. Most students are against it because the minus part of the new grading system can do nothing but hurt the students.
Here is a good example of how it can hurt: You have a professor who teaches a course here at NKU and also teaches the same course at Thomas More College, which uses pluses but not minuses in their grading. A student at Thomas More who ends up with a 90 percent will get a full A and a 4.0 for that class.
A student taking the same course with the same professor here at good old NKU ends up with a 92 percent, two full percentage points better than their counterpart at TMC. The problem is that the student at NKU gets an A minus and a 3.67 GPA for the course.
The result of the above scenario is that the NKU student actually performed better in the class but ended up with a lower GPA than the TMC student.
When those two students apply to the same graduate school and their overall records are compared, which student do you think will be accepted to that grad school and which one will have been screwed over by their own school?
The answer is painfully obvious: The NKU student, who actually received a higher score in the class, will be left out in the cold.
That scenario is not at all far-fetched. There are several professors who teach the same classes both here and at TMC. What I just described is a very real possibility. Some of our students could miss out on a graduate school opportunity because of this grading system.
I believe that the NKU administration gave little or no thought to the consequences of this new grading system. It was an idea that should have been studied more in depth before it was brought to the table. All of the grading alternatives should have been looked at and discussed by the Administration, faculty, and students prior to anyone making a recommendation about it to the Board of Regents. The students should have been consulted because they are the people most directly affected by the grading system. Also, the SGA Senate should have been listened to since they are elected to represent the students. However, the Administration decided to leave them out of the loop. No surprise there.
I sincerely hope that the many faculty members who are opposed to this new system will simply refuse to use it. I also hope that the Administration and the Board of Regents will reconsider this ridiculous policy which hurts the students instead of helping them.
Maybe they will reconsider it. After all, helping us with our education is supposed to be their job isn’t it?