Faculty address grading system

The much-debated issue of implementing a plus/minus grading system will be put before the Faculty Senate this afternoon.Although the House of Student Representatives voted against a resolution to support a plus/minus grading system earlier this month, Faculty Senator David Grant said he reminded the Faculty Senate Academic Excellence Committee that implementing a plus/minus grading system falls under faculty jurisdiction.

Grant, committee chair, will present the motion to the Faculty Senate to approve and forward a request for a plus/minus grading system.

Although Grant said he does not think the motion will come to a vote tomorrow, he said “The important thing to keep in mind is if the Senate approves this, it still has other committees to go through.”

But, Grant said, “If they vote against it, it would kill it in the water because it means the representative group of faculty would not support it.”

Trevor Heaney, student body president, said he thought a lack of understanding about plus/minus was to blame for the negative vote from the House.

“Sitting in on that meeting, (plus/minus) was a heavily debated topic,” said Heaney, a junior finance and entrepreneurial management major. “We didn’t have our finger on what would be best for students.”

Grant said he regretted that he was unable to attend the meeting to help clarify information about plus/minus. He was occupied with comforting the wife of Daryl D. Schmidt, professor and a former chair of the religion department, who died the day of the meeting.

Jason Ratigan, chair of the Student Government Association’s Academic Affairs Committee, presented the resolution to the House and said he thought a lot of the negative votes came from representatives who did not believe they could accurately represent the views of students on plus/minus.

“What I believe happened is that you had some people who supported it, some against, and a whole lot in the middle who felt they couldn’t represent the students because it is such a complex issue” Ratigan, a senior history major, said.

Andy Fort, Faculty Senate chair, said although there may be some debate, he thinks the plus/minus issue will be approved, and take up very little of the Faculty Senate’s time.

Fort, a professor of religion, said he believes the report on service and advising, which will also be presented, will take up the most time at today’s meeting.

“One thing faculty have been interested in is how service counts in tenure, promotion and salary decisions,” Fort said.

Faculty Senator Stuart Youngblood, who will present the report, said it will include the results of a survey depicting what each department says their service and advising requirements entail.

Fort said a motion to endorse the creation of a University Compensation Advisory Committee is also on today’s agenda.