Friday, March 31, 2006

Official Announcement of the Awful Retake Policy

Lisa Danielson posted the official retake policy to the list. We have discussed it before. Two new comments on the policy appeared: Larry Carlin reaffirms the lack of discussion on this policy. John Koker noted the policy is strangely unenforced, in that students are supposed to obey the policy, with no oversight from the registration office. Will the star report catch students who retake with too high of a grade point?

This is a terrible policy, adopted without discussion and input from the faculty--proof of no real faculty governance on this campus. Look at all the complaints, and yet, no movement by anyone to reconsider this punishment of good students to benefit the bad.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement:

Students may only repeat a course if they have received a grade of C/D or less. The most recent grade awarded will be used in the computation of grade point averages and credit earned. If a student repeats a course and earns a lower grade, the lower grade will be used in the computation of grade point averages. Although grades earned at other post-secondary institutions will be included on the credit evaluation and on the official transcript, the official UW Oshkosh grade point average is not affected by grades earned elsewhere. Undergraduate courses repeated after graduation will not change the undergraduate cumulative grade point average.

Note: Although TitanWeb will allow registration of all repeats of courses students may only repeat courses with a C/D or less. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of this policy and to adhere by the rules.


S.B. said...

Haha, we're on the honor system with this one? Way to make a rule no one's going to abide by!

JRS said...

FYI- I e-mailed Larry Carlin the following information about the genesis of the Repeat Policy. This policy may well be as seriously flawed as some of your discussants have argued but it is also the basic one in place at UW LaCrosse, UW Eau Claire, UW Whitewater and the majority of comprehensives nationwide.

Jim Simmons


The Repeat Policy was proposed back in May of 2003 after over a year of review by the Provost's Staff, Admissions and the Improvement of Instruction Committee before it was passed by the Faculty Senate in November of 2003 after much debate. The senate was asked to reconsider the policy due to budgetary considerations but reafirmed it in Spring 2004. Implementation was delayed for several years for computer software adjustments and the Chancellor's stay for financial reasons.
The main impetus behind the change in the old policy was all the problems created for students by the 30-day rule that prevented students from retaking a course until students taking it for the first time had already registered. This rule, among other things, kept many students from repeating several high demand classes or gaining admission to several majors especially in the sciences. No other campus we could find had a "30-day rule."
The many alternatives considered ranged from the most "liberal" with unlimited retakes replacing existing grades and no registration constraints to the most restrictive allowing students a very small number of retakes to replace only Fs with the second grade averaged into their GPA. There were also proposals to increase the number of faculty in specific departments to handle demand and to require professional programs to reconsider their use of GPAs as an admission standard.
The Retake option actually chosen was the one most common at other UW campuses and the one most consistent with policies at comparable universities. Those campuses don't seem to have all the problems feared by some of the participants on this discussion list.
I doubt that any of the participants in the discussion three years ago thought that this was an ideal policy but it was seen as the best possible one given the complexity of the issue and the university's financial condition. However, You will have to ask others about their reasons for favoring the policy since I was not a member of these committees nor chair of the faculty senate that year. I'm sending you a few of the relevant documents by snail mail.