With the University of Chicago finally dropping its Quixotic commitment to maintaining the curve after it looked around and realized all the serious and responsible schools had moved to mandatory Pass/Fail, it looked as though the legal academy had finally achieved real consensus. Professors are achieving varying levels of success in dealing with this, students face timezone challenges, and everyone may also be dealing with friends or family suffering at this time. If students are absorbing enough knowledge to be passable, that’s good enough right now — we can put aside figuring out who deserves sartorial honorifics right now.
But Baylor seems determined to charge ahead to accomplish… what exactly? Employers aren’t worried about a semester without letter grades. Judges aren’t worried about a semester without letter grades . Peer institutions don’t seem worried about a semester without letter grades.
At least the Baylor Law students recognize this and put together a petition to the administration outlining the entirely reasonable approach that almost every other law school has adopted at this point .
Defiantly though, the Baylor administration is going to stick with being an outlier. In a blog post last week, Baylor Law’s dean, Leah Teague, displayed almost inhuman levels of disconnect with the reality of legal academia: We’re now in our third week of online classes. Our faculty have been meeting (virtually, of course) every few days to make important decisions. We decided early on to stay with our grading system and to address accommodations on an individual basis. Because we are small – student population of 430 – we are better equipped to manage this decision. We spent the last three weeks determining what adjustments we can make to our policies and procedures to help our students. We quickly extended the exam period and doubled the normal number of reading days. Instead of our typically tight exam schedule, they now have a break every few days during the exam period providing more time to study in between exams. The school added days between exams. This is a “we see that you’re homeless and starving, here’s a coupon for a […]