When students go to other faculty to have their essays graded

(1/8) > >>

One of my colleagues is in a bind. One of her students has sneaked over to *another* faculty member and had his essay "pre-graded". This other faculty gave the student a grade very different from the grade that my colleague graded.

Now, student is complaining that *other professor's* grade is more "correct", and that my colleague is grading too harshly and unfairly.

The other professor is actually siding with the student, and is now requesting to see my colleague's rubric. This other professor has no official status with this student for this course, her only link is that she teaches the same kind of course. I see no legitimate reason why a student would bypass his actual instuctor, and I also see no legitimate reason why another professor would agree to grade work from another professor's students.

This situation is such a completely outrageous breach of academic ethics, I do not even know where to begin in giving my colleague advice. I am recommending immediate consultation with the associate department chair.

The other professor is a wackaloon.

Is your colleague tenured? If so, send the other professor a sharp email, perhaps CC'd to the chair. "Dear John: Susie tells me that you have been counseling her about her grade in my class and urging her to dispute her very fair grade. I will remind you that I am the instructor of record in this class and that assigning grades are entirely my responsibility. I would also ask that you not interject yourself into my classes, just as I do not interject myself in yours. Sincerely, Pookie"

Option #2 is just to ignore the other instructor. Tell Susie, "Look, I am your professor for this class. What Dr. Wackaloon thinks your grade should be is not relevant--he is not the professor in this class, and he is in no way my supervisor, so stop dragging him into this. Do I make myself clear?" Susie will go back and tell Wackaloon what transpired, and he will escalate or not.

Finally, whatever he does, a chat with the chair would be entirely appropriate at this point.

The other prof is worse than a wackaloon; s/he is a saboteur.  Either your colleague (or you, if you are tenured and colleague is not) should go to the chair.  --Or, even better, as LarryC suggests, craft a sharp e-mail to SaboProf and cc the chair.

As for Susie, I would tell her pretty much exactly what LarryC suggests, without changing a word.

The other prof sucks. I have a colleague who would totally do this to me if s/he had the opportunity.

The wackaloon is insecure and needs to feel superior to your friend. That is only reason why the wackaloon would devote so much energy to the issue. In the long run, people like this behave better if they are appeased with praise. If your colleague is untenured and/or must work frequently with wackaloon, your colleague would have better luck with a less stern email that allows wackaloon to save face. Something like, "Gosh, I know it's annoying when students pester you about papers for other people's classes. I hate when that happens to me. I'm sorry you got dragged into this. Anyway, as I'm sure you understand, I of course have very clear expectations/rubric for this particular assignment, and I'm confident I've evaluated the paper fairly."

If your friend is tenured and/or doesn't need a friendly relationship with this wackaloon, larryc's email is appropriate.

If your friend is untenured, then she should not send an email, but rather tell the chair about it in person. If the department is functional, the chair will put an end to these shenanigans.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page