AKRON- The University of Akron had to intervene after they saw a copy of an email from a professor to his class explaining that he may be increasing the grades of some students, specifically the female students, in order to encourage more women to go into the information systems field.
The university says Dr. Liping Liu who has been a professor at the school since 2001 sent a note to his class explaining that the women may see their grades increased a level or two as part of a “national movement to encourage female students to go into information sciences.”
Students on campus Wednesday were shocked that a professor would think that increasing students’ grades just based their on gender was the right way to get more women into the technology field.
“I guess you could say it’s a noble thing to do, like you want to incorporate more women into the field however, at the same time it’s completely unacceptable and no professor should,” said Samiyyah Ceasor, a senior majoring in Psychology.
“I think it’s a good idea executed poorly 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 for sure,” said Milos Kupusovic, a junior who is majoring in Communications.
The University officials sent a statement to FOX8 on behalf of Rex Ramsier, Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Officer and Provost saying, “The University has verified that there were no adjustments to grades based upon the gender of individuals in the class. While the professor’s stated intention of encouraging female students to go into the information sciences field may be laudable, his approach as described in his email was clearly unacceptable. The University of Akron follows both the law and its policies and does not discriminate on the basis of sex. The professor in question has been advised accordingly, and he has reaffirmed his commitment to adhering to these strict standards.”
The university also said the students have been told that no adjustments in grades along the lines that Professor Liu suggested in his email will be allowed.
It appears to most on campus that Dr. Liu had positive intentions with wanting to encourage female students to go into the technology field, but went about accomplishing that in the wrong way.
The stark reality of the disparity between male and female students studying information systems is certainly present. According to the school in the Spring 2018 semester there were a total of 68 students majoring in Information Systems, nine of those were women.
The school also says in their College of Applied Science and Technology, 68 out of 484 total students this semester majoring in Computer Information Systems were women.
Michalla Gordon, a nursing student says she almost finds the professor’s desire to increase women’s grades offensive.
“I think everything should be based on hard work and I don’t think that women need a crutch to get into science,” she said.
“I don’t think that there should be any boost or help with that because it’s just showing that we need help which I don’t think we do,” Gordon continued.
The University of Akron says they have spoken with Dr. Liu and from now on he will be grading based on the school’s strict standards.