Faculty to grade plus/minus system

Students had their chance to express their opinions on the plus/minus grading system last week, and now, it’s the faculty’s turn. All faculty members may assemble today to debate and vote on the plus/minus grading system.

Faculty can discuss the issue for as long as necessary, said David Bedford, chair of the Faculty Senate Student Relations Committee. After the debate, all members present will vote on it, Bedford said.

Bob Neilson, chair of the Academic Excellence Committee, and Bedford both said the results of last week’s student online poll, which was reported at the Student Government Association’s meeting Tuesday to have found as many as 87 percent of students oppose implementing a plus/minus grading system, will most likely not impact the faculty’s decision today.

“I’m sure somebody is bound to bring that up,” Bedford said, “but ultimately, it is the faculty’s decision and prerogative.”

Neilson said he agreed.

“I think students who are against it have not been correctly informed,” he said.

The Faculty Senate already voted to approve the plus/minus system 16-5 in a March 30 meeting, Bedford said. Today’s assembly will be a chance for all faculty members to vote on the grading system.

“If there is anything to be said, the time is now,” Bedford said. “If the new grading system does pass, we will move ahead and make it work.”

If a majority of the faculty votes for the plus/minus system, the proposal will continue to move through the curriculum process, Neilson said.

Bedford said the new grading system will be optional for professors to use if it does get approved.

Overall, Bedford said, he thinks the majority of the faculty support a plus/minus grading system.

“I have some good reasons against it, which I will bring up today, but I don’t think it will be a negative thing for the university,” Bedford said. “If it passes, I hope it is beneficial to students and professors.