Akron Professor Prevented From Increasing Grades Of Female Students Based Solely On Their Gender

300px-University_of_Akron_seal.svgStudents in the information sciences class of University of Akron Professor Liping Liu were taken aback by an email that shared some information on how Liu intended to engage in open sexual discrimination in his final grades.  Liu announced that he intended to increase the grades of female students to encourage their continuation in the male-dominated field of information sciences.  Liu has been prevented from carrying out his flagrantly discriminatory plan but there is no indication that he will face discipline for such abuse of his academic position.

The business and management professor said that he was experimenting with a way to encourage women and understood that his plan was “questionable.”  He told College Fix that his class of 20 to 30 students had only  “one or two female students” and they are “not doing well.”  He indicated that they would likely fail or have to retake the course without an adjustment.

The reference to the one or two females doing poorly might also not sit well with those students as a discussion of their academic performance. In Torts there is a concept of per qoud defamation where the identity of an individual or individuals is easily established by extrinsic facts.  This is more of a confidentiality than defamation concern.  Since there are only one or two females, Liu just told all of the other students about their status and performance.

In his email to students, Liu divided the class into categories and said females would get grade raises as part of a “national movement to encourage female students to go [in]to information sciences.” Of course there is a world of difference between encouragement and discrimination.

Liu’s good motivations should not relieve him of the responsibility for seeking to discriminate against male students.  If he had announced a policy to support men or whites in such grade manipulation, would he be allowed to continue without discipline at Akron?

Liu’s academic position is not license to manipulate grades to achieve social changes.  Our students sacrifice greatly to come to college and graduate schools. These grades mean a great deal to them.  Liu was suggesting that such work and academic performance would not be the sole criteria for his grades.  His discriminatory proposal undermines the integrity of the entire university. Indeed, if he is not disciplined, some students may conclude that his primary mistake was making the preference for female students public.  That leaves male students wondering if their performance is not the sole determinant of their grades for faculty with social or political agendas

 

33 thoughts on “Akron Professor Prevented From Increasing Grades Of Female Students Based Solely On Their Gender”

  1. Isn’t it interesting how people who are as intelligent as one must be to become a university professor can be so downright stupid in their attempts to do good or right some perceived wrong?

  2. “The reference to the one or two females doing poorly might also not sit well with those students as a discussion of their academic performance. In Torts there is a concept of per qoud defamation where the identity of an individual or individuals is easily established by extrinsic facts. This is more of a confidentiality than defamation concern. Since there are only one or two females, Liu just told all of the other students about their status and performance.”
    ***************
    Since truth is an absolute defense to defamation (not to mention statements of opinion about performance being exempt from defamation) why are we to assume Liu is lying about the female’s performance, and if he is lying and they are doing great why is he helping them out with the fraudulent grades?

    1. “…a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”
      _________________________________________________

      “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

  3. The idiocy of some of these people is just stunning. How, pray tell, does he expect people that can’t pass the class to go on to comepetency and thriving in the actual field?

  4. I’m sure women have been disadvantaged in the past BUT this alleged strategy is wrong, wrong wrong. Grades should be a measure of merit only.

    1. I’m sure women have been disadvantaged in the past

      Not only are they not disadvantaged now, but women have been incrementally abandoning programs in cognate disciplines for 30 years. The share of degrees in computer science awarded to women reached it’s peak in 1984. It’s declined such since then that the ratio of women went from 1.6:1 to 3:1.

      The people shuffling off into retirement as we speak received their BA degrees (if they have one) ca. 1977. It was just a couple of years later that the number of women enrolled in tertiary schooling exceeded the number of men enrolled. The notion that any significant population of women have been ‘disadvantaged’ is tommyrot.

  5. WTF: this man teaches at the business school. Fully half the business degrees awarded each year in this country are given out to women. Some departments in the business school have more women, some have fewer. You can bet the faculty teaching courses in HR, marketing, merchandising, and hospitality don’t give a rip about recruiting more men.

  6. Liu’s good motivations

    He had no good motivations. Academic disciplines and trades are neither enhanced nor diminished by the presence of women. It’s all about status signaling in foetid little faculty subcultures. If you were a square shooter you’d acknowledge that.

  7. My God, what happened to suggesting a tutor, study groups etc? I am a woman and would never feel motivated by a grade, I didn’t earn! I’ve seen Professors do all sorts of creative things to help their students grasp the topics in their class. He may not have “gone through with it” but who really knows? Did the girls pass?

  8. I once took one of those senior level history classes that can also be used as a graduate class and we got this really pretty girl in it. She was way over her head. The professor came to three of us, that he knew personally, and asked us to get her through the class. We were able to take her aside and tutor her enough to get a C in the course. She was a freshman and thought 400g was just how they numbered the classes sequentially. 🙂

    That is what the professor should have done, get the females help.

    1. Good job, Paul, and sensible approach. I was once an adjunct instructor at a major university and a female student who was just a few points short of the number needed to earn an “A” came to me and asked me if I’d reconsider the results of her last exam. I told her that I couldn’t change her exam grade, but she was welcome to do one of the periodic extra-credit research projects I offered all students in my class to take throughout the semester. As I explained to my classes at the beginning of the semester, I offered such extra-credit for qualified work so that students would continue to feel incentivized to work harder through the rest of the period even if they happened to have scored lower on midterms than they would have liked. The student took me up on the program, as did a few others, so she ultimately earned her “A.” Some might call me a “softee” for offering such extra-credit programs, but I’ve always felt that exam results needn’t be the sole determinant of grades.

    1. Penal codes incorporate penalties for attempt and conspiracy, and so should faculty discipline.

      1. Self-Declared Asia American – did he not go through with it because he was caught before he could do it and told it was a no-no?

  9. He must have a low regard for women since he believes they can only make excellent grades if the standards are lowered.

    1. It’s a reasonable wager he’s trying to get a date out of some ho’ in the English department who specializes in ‘women’s literature’.

  10. BSU is all the hint you get on this one. Taking Swimming and Bowllng for the two required phys-ed. classes. Swimming teacher, a coach, announced only those on one of the school teams and cheer leaders would be accepted. So changed to bowling. That instructor, another coach announced major teams and cheerleaders would get A’s, Minor Team members Bs and the rest C’s. Finally went to a third activity insearch of the mandatory requirement. First Aid. Lo and behold received a C in swimming a C in Bowling and an A in sports medicine. A Senior clued me in Ask to be on the support staff, water boy or something for one of the sports. teams. Second year mopped the dressing room and laid out gear for football, basket ball and baseball Sure enough … straight A’s. That was my introduction to poltiical science.

    1. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Ask Ted Kennedy Re. Chappaquiddick (if/when he awakes from his dirt nap).

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