State lawmakers have cleared Tennessee State University of accusations of academic fraud. The panel reviewing the case says the problem at TSU was not grade-fixing, but a failure of communication.
TSU administrators had been accused of changing 270 math grades from ‘incomplete’ to C’s. Actually, the students were graded as ‘incomplete’ for not doing some side work outside the main course. Officials decided they couldn’t require that extra work, and ended up letting the students keep whatever grade they had earned.
A report from the State Senate Higher Education Subcommittee says while it’s not fraud, the school should have made faculty and department heads part of the process, and clearly documented it.
TSU officials have said sorting out the matter before lawmakers has hurt the school’s reputation. Some blame a campus culture they say stifles open discussion. This week the faculty senate head, who first rang the alarm bells on the grade-fixing allegation, was arrested for disrupting a meeting with top officials.