Moral of the story? Don’t mess with the professor’s assigned grade. Scott Jaschik, with Inside Higher Ed, writes:
Jay Conover, a professor of mathematics and statistics at Texas Tech University, got quite a surprise when he learned three of his former students graduated from the business school’s graduate program this year. He was surprised because he had given the students grades so low he thought they wouldn’t be able to graduate.
It turns out the Business School’s Dean, Lance Nail, had gone behind Conover’s back to get another prof to set up an alternate exam for a group of five students who complained that Conover’s exams and/or standards were too tough. Based on their score on this alternate exam, Nail then raised the grades of four of the five students.
Once someone blew the whistle, the Provost appointed a faculty panel to reviewed the situation. The Provost accepted the panel’s report, met with Nail, who then announced his resignation as dean, effective at the end of the year. (Nail will retain his position as tenured professor of finance.)
Jascich reports this reaction from Conover:
“I am glad the dean is resigning. I am sorry that it has taken so long. I expected it last June when it became apparent that he was responsible for the grade changes. I am sorry that the dean still has not been relieved of his duties, and won’t be until Dec. 31. Also I am sorry the report did not address the remedial action necessary to redact the four bogus M.B.A. degrees awarded this summer, three in May and one in August, long after this grade changing incident was publicized. Those four students need to either return their M.B.A. degrees, or transfer in a legitimate graduate-level course in statistics.”
Good for Texas Tech. Glad they made the right call.