Grading policy refined

by Jim Martyka

Although University students might receive grades with pluses and minuses in the near future, they will not have the option of scoring a D-minus.
The University Senate on Thursday unanimously passed an amendment that would eliminate the D-minus grade from the school’s uniform grading policy, which was passed by the senate Feb. 20.
Currently, the University only uses solid letter grades, ranging from A-F. The uniform grading policy would add the option of pluses and minuses to class grades, altering grade-point averages. For example, an A grade is currently worth 4.0 on a four-point scale while a B is worth 3.0. Under the new system an A-minus would equal 3.67 and a B-plus would count as 3.33.
The new plus-minus system does not include an A-plus grade, though.
Laura Koch, who is chairwoman of the senate’s Committee on Educational Policy, said this contributed to the committee’s decision to eliminate the D-minus.
“There was a concern that if there was no A-plus, then there should be no D-minus,” she said. “This was not symmetrical.”
Another reason for the amendment was the committee’s goal of bringing its policy closer to the Duluth campus’s plus-minus grading policy, which also does not have a D-minus.
“We just thought there would be more consistency,” Koch said.
The amendment, which also combines several of the University’s existing grading policies into one uniform code, passed after a brief presentation by Koch.
The amendments and the original policy are now awaiting review by University President Nils Hasselmo, who is expected to give his approval. If he approves the policy, it could take effect as early as fall 1997.