Michigan State News

May 18, 1970

"Academic Council expands grading options for strikers"

by Steve Waterbury

The Academic Council Friday approved liberalized grading procedures for striking students and requested a study of the possibility of rearranging the Fall, 1970 academic calendar.

The council also amended and accepted the report from its student affairs committee on "Policies and Procedures on Campus Disturbances."

Acting on a recommendation from its educational policies committee, the council moved to expand options for the use of certain grades for spring term. As a result of council action:

--Present regulations restricting the P-N (Pass-No Grade) system of

grading were waived.

--The use of the INC (Incomplete) grade was broadened.

--The drop period in which a student may receive a grade of N (No Grade)

using a late drop card was extended to the end of the term.

Present regulations prohibit drops after the middle of the term except in special cases such as registration errors or catastrophic events. The council action eliminated all restrictions on the use of the N grade except certification by the instructor of a grade.

The council guidelines state that the use of these expanded options "should be at the request of the student subject to the approval of the instructor."

It is recommended that decisions be recorded in writing.

One premise considered by the educational policies committee in making the above recommendations to the council was that grades should not be used "to either penalize or reward a student on the basis of a decision to dissent or not to dissent."

The council also recommended that instructors permit students to do outside work in lieu of class attendance and provide special examinations. The giving of blanket grades is discouraged.

The resolution providing for a study of possibility of rearranging the fall term schedule to allow members of the academic community time to work for political candidates of their choice in the November election was passed in a nearly unanimous vote.

The resolution labeled as "highly commendable" the present "interest, involvement and commitments made by the MSU academic community in their desire to bring about orderly constructive changes in our society."

The results of the study will be presented to the council for action at the June meeting.

The report on campus disturbances approved by the council was begun following widespread conflict at MSU over the suspension resolution passed by the board of trustees in 1968.

The resolution, later rescinded by the board, allowed the MSU president to suspend any student whose activities constituted "an immediate threat to the normal and orderly operation of the University."

The campus disturbances report was originally presented to the council in November, 1969. At that time the council referred the matter back to committee with specific directive that ASMSU involve black students in the formulation of the report.

The campus disturbance report as passed by the council contains a policy statement rejecting violence and acts of destruction by dissenters and amends the faculty bylaws to provide for the creation of a Committee on Public Safety, which will exist as a regular standing committee of the Academic Council.

The new committee will be composed of five faculty members, four undergraduates students and one graduate student.

The council also voted to postpone Wednesday’s session of the Academic Senate to allow additional time for the dissemination of information concerning Friday’s council actions to faculty members.

The council approved an amendment to the Academic Freedom Report which requires that any change in the report which deals with "the professional rights and responsibilities" of the faculty first be referred to the elected faculty council prior to consideration b the Academic Council.

The Academic Freedom Report change must be approved by the Board of Trustees before it becomes effective.