Sunday, April 04, 2004

Southern U Scandal

The scandal at Southern University (see CNN article here) is not "news," but I still feel compelled to comment on the administration's handling of the problem. CNN (or the AP, actually) quotes the Chancellor as saying, "I strongly suspect when we start revoking grades, we'll start revoking degrees." Does that strikes anyone else as lukewarm?

In an interview with NPR, the Chancellor was more specific. When asked what had happened, the Chancellor replied that, "Well, I guess some people got a little anxious to get some good grades and chose the wrong path and may have found themsevles in considerable trouble because of it." Excuse me? Some people got a "little anxious"? The Chancellor explained that, "we will revoke those grades, and any degrees had because of those grades," after necessary hearings, if the charges are proven.

Taking a step back, it has become national news that hundreds of SU students obtained their degrees fraudulently. I can't believe how blase the administration appears to be. There are hundreds of students walking around with degrees they didn't earn and don't deserve - this simply isn't a matter of excusable immaturity or "anxiety." For the sake of the thousands of alumni and current students whose degrees deserve to be respected, nothing short of total expulsion (for current students) or revokation of degrees should be acceptable. Or at least, that's what I'd do.

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