Rutgers University Senate
Committee on Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee

Status Report on Charges

April 2003

Report on S-0106
Minus Grades: Explore the question of whether minus grades should be added to the default University grading system.

A report from the Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee was provided to the University Senate on May 3, 2002. At that time, the Committee indicated that there were several concerns about proceeding to a final recommendation to the Senate. One question was occasioned by the fact that some students cross-register for courses that are offered by NJIT and the Rutgers Newark campus. These students might find themselves receiving grades under two different systems. The Committee felt that Rutgers would need to know whether NJIT would change its grading system should Rutgers do so. Second, the question was raised about how Rutgers students would be affected by a change in the grading system: Would their grades be adversely affected? Would the new system make it more difficult for students to be admitted elsewhere?

Several others concerns involved process. In May, the Committee recommended that the Administration be asked to report to the Senate on possible means of giving the University Community additional opportunities to be heard on the merits of the proposed change. In addition, the Committee recommended that the various faculty governance units undertake a process of consultation, and that the student governments do the same. At the Senate Executive Committee, Senator DeRosa informed Senator Walker-Andrews (co-chair) that a study that examines the effects on students and student views was forthcoming. It has not yet been received by ASRAC.

At its last meeting, the Committee reviewed information brought by Senator Oren (co-chair) of the committee regarding cross-listed courses at NJIT. Approximately a thousand students are cross-registered between Rutgers-Newark and NJIT. NJIT uses the current Rutgers’ grading system, and does not wish to consider changing to another system.  This problem cannot be solved by exempting Rutgers-Newark from a change in grading systems because there are a substantial number of classes that include students both from Rutgers-Newark and other campuses. It does not seem feasible to ask faculty members to grade students from different campuses under different grading systems.

Therefore, the Committee has decided to defer action on the issue until it seems fruitful to discuss the matter with NJIT. At that time, the Committee can also examine anew whether a change in grading system has merit.

Report on S-0211
Add-Drop Period:  Investigate and report on issues relating to current graduate student add/drop periods. Advise on whether a permanent, formalized, and separate graduate add/drop period should be instituted.

At the Senate meeting of May 3, 2002, the Committee presented a report on Charge S-0108, Review of the Add/Drop Period. That report was approved. The question was raised, however, about whether the add/drop period  (7-day drop, 8-day add for all courses) was a particular burden for graduate students.

The Committee met to discuss the issues. At the meeting of November 22, 2002, the Registrar Ken Iuso and representatives from the Graduate School (Dr. Barbara Bender, Dr. Jolie Cizewski) indicated that the number of graduate students who had been affected by the change in the add/drop period was quite small, and that the appropriate deans were able to deal with the situations that had materialized quite successfully.

Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Add/Drop Period remain the same for both undergraduate and graduate students, as is now the case.