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May 18 2018

Akron Professor Raises Grades for Female Students--Just Because of Their Gender

by Charlotte Hays

University of Akron professor Liping Liu must think women students aren't as smart as their male counterparts.

Professor Liu,who teaches information systems analysis, is adding points onto the grades of female students for no other reason than that they are female. Of course, Professor Liu doesn't portray himself as condescending to women. But he is.

Here is how he explained his policy in an email to his students:

"FYI, your grade has been sent to the university registrar. The following categories of students may see their grades raised one level or two: Female students (it is a national movement to encourage female students to go to information sciences)."

Why would inflated grades be a good way to encourage women to go into information sciences?

It is 2018 and women are just as capable as men of excelling in Professor Liu's class. His condescension is not needed.

The University has stepped in, with the Provost calling Liu's grading scheme "clearly unacceptable."

But I was interested in some of the responses:

“I guess you could say it’s a noble thing to do, like you want to incorporate more women into the field," said senior psychology major Samiyyah Ceaso. "However, at the same time, it’s completely unacceptable and no professor should."

In what academic universe is grade inflation "a noble thing to do?"

Here's another response:

“I think it’s a good idea executed poorly," Milos Kupusovic, a junior communications major, told the station. "I definitely think we need more women in the STEM fields, but I don’t think that’s the right way of going at it."

So it's just a communications problem? The email should have been rewritten?

A Fox affiliate reports that there are 68 students majoring in information systems at Akron. Only nine are women. It looks like this might be a high-paying field, and so more women might want to look into the field.

Perhaps the university should encourage women to consider this profession. But unearned grades is not the way to go.

I agree with this student:

Michalla Gordon, a nursing student, told FOX-8 that "everything should be based on hard work, and I don’t think that women need a crutch to get into science."

Depressingly, the Akron professor isn't alone in believing women need crutches to succeed in academic pursuits. Prestigious Oxford University in England has adopted a policy of giving women more time to complete their exams.

So I guess the women's liberation has come full circle, from equality to I-need-more-time to finish my exams.

Of course, we don't need more time, and, while it might make for good satire, it is crippling to treat women this way.

IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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