Faculty Senate to Study Grades Given at George Mason

Posted: November 18, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Following up on preliminary evidence that grades given at George Mason may be “unduly high,” the Faculty Senate voted last week to establish a Task Force on Academic Standards that will study the issue.

The task force will look at the present distribution of grades, grading trends over time and by departments, schools, and programs as well as by categories of instructors. If the study finds that current grades are inappropriately high, the task force is charged with attempting to determine what factors are promoting grade inflation and making recommendations to correct it.

The task force will have five members: four faculty members elected by the senate and a member appointed by the provost. The Nominations Committee, headed by Richard Coffinberger, School of Management, will create a slate of nominees to be voted on at the Dec. 4 Faculty Senate meeting. A final report is due from the task force to the senate by November 2003.

The senate also voted to raise the limit of semester hours for undergraduate Extended Studies students from 9 to 10 to allow a 4-credit lab course to be taken; approved an academic calendar for the years 2004-07; and expressed its appreciation to the Board of Visitors and George Mason administration for allocating part of the recently imposed student surcharge to increasing course offerings and reducing class sizes.

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