Friday, August 3, 2012

Higher Education: The Committee

After serving as the responsible full biological offspring representative at my father's recent death celebrations, Brother-Unit Grader Boob returned to the Land of Erudition last week where he continues the attempt to weave and knit together enough university employment to have a usable oven mitt to remove the pizza rolls from the microwave without blistering His Instrument:  the red pen-holding hand.

He just sent me an email that had this warning in the subject line:  "Get ready for a long one..."

"Ayuh," said the Maine girl in me.  I eyeballed the roughly 4 inches of text I was gonna have to labor through, a good part of which consisted of this:

Well, that’s it for now—but let me end with an anecdote.

On Wednesday evening, the entire ABC online faculty had an ******* meeting to discuss the fact that “some” professors were giving higher grades than had actually been earned. The Center for Online Edification had been “horrified” to discover that a basically illiterate student had worked his way through several classes, actually getting a B- for the second Comp course. (I started chuckling and began yelling at the computer: “I’m shocked, shocked to find there’s gambling going on in this establishment!”)

At first, the group blamed student quality, always a safe scapegoat, especially after it was revealed that 75% of those taking the “entrance exam” end up in remedial courses. (By this time, I was chanting, “Money! Money!” at the screen.)

They then decided that plagiarism was the culprit, even though they do like how has gotten so user friendly. Moments later, there was a call for an institutional grading rubric and a committee to look into that.

“Money! Money!”

Finally, someone noted that this seemed to be a faculty issue, for they’re the ones giving out the higher grades. Silence filled the chat room.

“Exactly! Exactly!”

The evening ended shortly thereafter, with the standard academic result—further discussion and a committee.

Sadly, no one got fired!

Well, that exhausts my narrative skills, and so I’ll just say ta-ta.

I do love my Brother-Units!  And their emails.  When I get them.  Hint, TW, hint.  

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