Thursday, April 04, 2013

so, now what?

This is one of the things that frustrates me about being a prof.

I had a student sign up for two of my 'arranged' classes - a research class and a readings class last fall. Understand that these classes are ALWAYS unpaid overload; we offer them as a service to students but we see no pay, and no credit hours on our FTE sheets for them, because they aren't "full" classes.

Well, he started off the semester, and then he disappeared. Didn't respond to my e-mails, didn't show when we had scheduled times to meet. I was angry: I had loaned him books, thinking he could be trusted! (Eventually, he did bring the books back, but at a time when he knew I would be off campus, and left them with the secretary).

I also filled out the paper work for site permissions (to do research on a couple local park sites) and then had the embarrassment of having to call the managers up and go, "Yeah....I don't think we're going to be out there; my student has disappeared."

Apparently he came at some point and ranted at my chair about....stuff. She said it wasn't very coherent but apparently he was very "down" on the university. (He has a brother working in North Dakota, in the energy industry, who had been pressuring him to drop out and go work with them.)

Well, he never dropped my classes. At the end of the semester, his name was still on the roster. SOP is that people that you have no basis on which to grade earn an F.

Well, today, I get a letter from an administrator, and a letter forwarded from him, asking for the Fs to become Ws because....apparently the numbers of the classes were printed out wrong when he tried to drop them, or something.

I don't know what to do. (I have a faculty meeting today so I can approach my chair with it). On the one hand, it's no skin off my nose to let the grade be changed, and in the long run it might actually  benefit me, because it shows me assigning fewer Fs. (Yes, that's getting to be an issue now: how many Ds and Fs students in our classes earn.)

On the other hand, it irritates me that he apparently couldn't/wouldn't take the responsibility to check back then (or he didn't try to drop at all and this is a CYA thing). I don't want people who GENUINELY failed my class to be able to pull this stunt.And also, I put myself to a little extra work for this guy, and he just flaked. I admit I'm angry and I feel burned - I'm really reluctant to take research students now because so many of us have had flakey ones.

I'd say "This is what they pay us the big bucks for," but seeing as the alleged average full professor salary is $130,000 and my full-professor salary is less than half that, I'm not so willing to say that.

But, argh. I'm in a crappy mood already and I don't need this kind of thing added on top of stuff.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

That just sounds outrageous and a tremendous waste of your time and effort. Then again, I'm not allowed to give out failures, so I feel your pain.