I had an exam in a class on Monday at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). During the next class, today, the professor for the class, Dr. Michelle Peace, said that she had seen several instances of suspicious behavior during the class and she had to issue several warnings to the students. She went on to say that she had worked to improve the stature of VCU in the eyes of the academic and professional community and she didn’t want students undoing her work.
She went on to say that the university had also worked for many years to improve its image. And while I agree wholeheartedly with her opinion on this matter, and frankly, if they’re cheating, give them a zero and report to them to the Honor Council, this university has done nothing to improve its image.
When you award someone a degree when he has failed to meet 10 of the 28 requirements for receiving the degree, you’re not improving your stature.
When you refused to rescind the degree awarded, you’re not improving your stature.
And, as most people probably know, I am referring to former City of Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe.
But it doesn’t just stop with him unfortunately. I was talking to a couple of people (who shall remain nameless) about a receiving a degree with a double major in Criminal Justice (the primary major) and Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (the secondary major). According to the bulletin for receiving a double major according to VCU’s website:
A double major is the concurrent fulfillment of the requirements of two majors. To earn a degree with two majors, the student must complete the courses required in each major, any collateral/prerequisite courses required for both majors and the general education requirements of the primary major.
According to the bulletin posted for a B.A. in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness:
In addition to the homeland security and emergency preparedness courses required for the Bachelor of Arts degree, students must complete the study of a foreign language through the intermediate level (202 or 205) through courses or placement.
While I was talking to these students, they asked why would someone go for a minor in Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness when you could just go for a double major and take a couple more classes.
I brought up the fact that you had to go take two additional language classes on top of what is required for a B.S. in Criminal Justice, which only requires a foreign language through a 102 level (two classes).
Care to guess what they said? “Oh, I got that waived.”
They got it waived. By whose authority? The degree requirements are pretty clear. You have to complete a foreign language through 202.
I e-mailed the President of the College, the Provost, as well as the Director of the Wilder School on April 16th and asked where there is authority to waive a clearly stated degree requirement (without mentioning any student’s name).
And I am still waiting on a response.
But, hey, at least it’s not only the big shots that get out of doing mandatory degree requirements.
Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.