Faculty Senate proposing grading scale that includes pluses/minuses format
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 15:05
Everything Winston-Salem State students know about calculating their GPA may be changing significantly -- if the Faculty Senate’s proposal is accepted next fall.
Himanshu Gopalan, chair of the Faculty Senate said that the Senate is working to alter the University’s grading scale from the solid letter grades like A’s or B’s format to what he calls a “Letter Grade and plus/minus” format.
“We would add pluses and/or minuses to a grade so now you can get an ‘A+/A-‘ or a ‘C+/C-‘ grade which would give us a broader range of GPAs and a more accurate reflection on what the students are doing.”
Gopalan said that the grade scale change is supported by research that indicates that the plus/minus grading scale does not lead to grade inflation or lower GPAs, but in fact helps make grading more accurate.
“It’s to the student’s advantage as well as the faculty member’s advantage to do that [change the grade scale],” Gopalan said.
The vote for the new grading scale will be delayed because the faculty are going to conduct more research and create a formal proposal for the grade change.
“We are going to have a committee that first is going to find out if people want it [the grade change] and if so, we are going to come up with a plan to put it in place,” Gopalan said.
Other Faculty Senate Business
The faculty senate reached a definition of the quorum required for general faculty meetings.
A quorum is the number of members required to be present to transact business legally.
The quorum became an issue because an insufficient number of full-time faculty members were present during faculty meetings.
“We had to come up with a plan for how many people would constitute a quorum, so that the business of the faculty could be conducted,”said Himanshu Gopalan, chair of the Faculty Senate.
“We had discussions about it [a quorum] and came up with recommendations.”
The recommendations were voted on by the general faculty, and one version was approved.
The quorum is now defined as 50 percent plus one of the full-time faculty members present when a meeting is called to order.
“So if we have 50 people there when the meeting is called to order, then the quorum is 26. If we have 100, then it’s 51,” Gopalan said.
If any time during the meeting the number of faculty members in attendance drops below a quorum, then the quorum is lost and a vote cannot be administered.
To find out why faculty members’ participation has declined, the senate has formed the “Campus Culture Committee” which will perform an on-going investigation into why faculty involvement has decreased over several years.
“What they’re going to be doing is conducting focus groups next fall to look at this [faculty participation issue] in more detail, so we can have people providing their honest opinions and concerns,” Gopalan said.
“We want to make sure that everyone’s concerns are addressed as well as we can address them.”