28 September 2009

Marshall's Turn for a Grading Dispute

Both state Treasurer John Perdue and his daughter Emily have spoken to The Charleston Gazette about a dispute over grades she's received for independent coursework at Marshall University.

The younger Perdue "said she did nothing wrong and got no special treatment when she earned two A grades this summer to replace two 'incomplete' grades for courses she took during the spring 2009 semester," the article said.

She and her father said the school had allowed her to remedy the incompletes under the instruction of Rosalyn Templeton, executive dean of Marshall's College of Education and Human Service.

The Democratic officeholder had earlier told The Associated Press and others that his daughter "has become an innocent victim in an internal power struggle" in Templeton's department.

The daughter's professor during that spring coursework, Laura Wyant, has asked Marshall's Faculty Senate to investigate the grade changes, arguing they were done without her permission.

School Provost Gayle Ormiston told AP that he's reviewed the situation and concluded that Perdue's daughter "earned the grades" after she completed the coursework.

The Charleston Daily Mail, which first reported the story, called Templeton's involvement an "unusual step" as she had not been the instructor for the two independent study classes. That article also said that "Emily apparently needed the courses to gain admittance to Marshall's business school."

The Daily Mail also interviewed some of the daughter's classmates, who questioned her attendance at the coursework's non-mandatory class meetings and said that she brought her mother with her to these meetings at least twice. It further quotes an e-mail to report that Emily Perdue and her father met with a business school dean about completing the coursework so she could enter the program.

AP noted that "Perdue's situation comes two years after West Virginia University became embroiled in a master's degree scandal involving Gov. Joe Manchin's daughter. Former WVU President Mike Garrison resigned and former Provost Gerald Lang gave up his administrative post after investigators found that Mylan Inc. executive Heather Bresch was wrongly awarded a retroactive degree."

Update: the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington reports that Wyant "will take whatever steps are necessary to file a grievance" over the grade changes.

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