January 26, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 30°F


Faculty Council addresses student grade changes

The two main topics discussed at the March 4 Faculty Council meeting were a proposal to revise the process of changing a student’s grade and the faculty assessment and perception of the Integrative Core Curriculum.

Cyndy Scheibe, professor in the Department of Psychology, began the meeting by bringing a proposal to the Faculty Council about extending the deadline for grade submission in the fall semester so professors don’t have to grade finals through the holiday season. Though the Faculty Council discussed this topic, Peter Rothbart, chair of the Faculty Council and professor of music theory, history and composition, said it will be added to the official agenda for April’s meeting to be discussed further.

Carol Henderson, associate provost for accreditation, assessment and curriculum, attended the meeting to present the proposal that the Academic Policies Committee had already passed to revise the way students can request to change their grades after final grades are released.

“We were experiencing larger and larger numbers of students coming back to us years after they graduated and wanted their transcripts modified,” Henderson said.

Currently, alumni follow the same procedures current students go through to petition a grade change for a course they have already taken.

There are two main elements to the new policy if the dispute cannot be solved between professor and student, Henderson said. First, students requesting to change a grade must send written notification to the professor of the class and the Office of the Registrar. She said this would put the responsibility in the hands of the Office of the Registrar to keep track as to when the student initiated the process. The deadline for requesting a grade change is the second week of the semester after the class was held.

Once the student has made the initial contact to request the change by the second week of the proceeding semester, the process of changing the grade can take as long as it needs, if for example the professor is on sabbatical, has retired or was an adjunct who left the college.

Danette Johnson, assistant provost and director of the core curriculum, attended the Faculty Council meeting to follow up on a discussion about faculty assessment and perception of the ICC.

As a professor who doesn’t teach ICC seminars, Don Lifton, associate professor of management, said he feels negatively affected by the program. He said the time slots when he can hold his classes are restricted because certain blocks are reserved for ICC courses, preventing him from scheduling some courses required for a student’s major.

Johnson said the faculty should develop a survey to determine how faculty are working with the ICC, which would best be shown through a survey.

“It’s really cutting into the advancement of their own courses within their department,” Rothbart said. “They spend so much time talking about how to deal with the ICC.”