Grade-Fixing Audit Finds No Sign of Fraud At TSU

Several state lawmakers are suggesting allegations of grade-fixing at Tennessee State University were untrue, and stemmed from a big misunderstanding. At a hearing with top TSU officials today, legislators said the mix-up was blown out of proportion, and should’ve instead been handled internally.

TSU was accused of handing grades of ‘C’ to nearly 300 math students who had received an I, for incomplete. That’s not exactly what happened though, according to an audit by the Tennessee Board of Regents, which oversees TSU. It found those students had Incompletes because they didn’t finish some side work that was separate from the actual course.

TSU Interim President Portia Shields says it didn’t make sense to hold up so many grades over work that wasn’t required. So instead officials decided to let students keep whatever grade they had already earned.

“These students earned credits starting with ‘A’ and went to ‘F.’”

Shields felt vindicated by the hearing, but at the same time says the allegation has already hurt TSU’s reputation. That it reached state lawmakers, Shields acknowledged, shows TSU needs to improve internal communication.

A faculty whisteblower told lawmakers he went around normal channels to complain because he didn’t want to get colleagues in trouble. And he said he hadn’t thought his complaint would go as far as it did.


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