Professor Endeavors to Adjust Grades Based on Gender

Professor Endeavors to Adjust Grades Based on Gender
Susan Dutca-Lovell

A professor from The University of Akron had planned to boost his females' grades "a level or two" as part of a "national movement to encourage female students to go [into] information sciences." A university provost stated that, although the intention "may be laudable", it was unacceptable.

Dr. Liping Liu reportedly sent an email to his class explaining that his female students may see their grades increase a level or two in an effort to have more women go into information sciences. Students were allegedly shocked that a "professor would think that increasing students' grades just based their on gender was the right way to get more women into the technology field."

"I guess you could say it's a noble thing to do, like you want to incorporate more women into the field, however, at the same time it's completely unacceptable and no professor should," said one student. Another student thought that it was a "good idea executed poorly I definitely think we need more women in the STEM fields but I don't think that's the right way of going at it for sure." A university provost issued a statement that "The University has verified that there were no adjustments to grades based upon the gender of individuals in the class. While the professor's stated intention of encouraging female students to go into the information sciences field may be laudable, his approach as described in his email was clearly unacceptable. The University of Akron follows both the law and its policies and does not discriminate on the basis of sex. The professor in question has been advised accordingly, and he has reaffirmed his commitment to adhering to these strict standards." The university also contended that there were no adjustments in grades along the lines that Professor Liu suggested in the email.

Of the 68 students majoring in information systems at The University of Akron this spring, nine of them are women. "I think everything should be based on hard work and I don't think that women need a crutch to get into science," said one female student who found the professor's desire to increase women's grades "offensive."

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