Chicago State U. Boosted Numbers by Keeping Failing Students Enrolled

A new scandal has turned up at the troubled Chicago State University. Instead of dismissing students with grade-point averages lower than 1.8, its stated policy, it has been allowing students with failing grades to stay enrolled, raising its enrollment and retention figures, the Chicago Tribune reports. The university was reaccredited in August 2010, but only after a year of uncertainty over whether low retention and graduation rates would cause it to lose its status. Wayne D. Watson, Chicago State’s president, said the “totally inappropriate” practice predates his administration and had continued without his knowledge. The college put a stop to the practice at the same time the Tribune began asking for information on students’ grades. Mr. Watson has attempted to increase confidence in the college, which has a history of financial mismanagement and poor performance, since he took office, in October 2009. A state audit of the university for the fiscal year ending June 2010—the first audit after Mr. Watson became president—turned up 41 problems, up from 13 the previous year.

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