D:F/M Grade Appeal Cha-Cha-Cha – A Sonnet for the Chair of the Department

D:F/M Colleagues, including some who have retired. A new logo is in the works.

D:F/M Colleagues, including some who have retired. A new logo is in the works.

A version of the material below was recently sent to full-time Colleagues in the Department of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York, regarding the latest decision by the Senate Grade Appeals Committee to reverse another in a long line of funky decisions by a D:F/M Grade Appeals Committee to give a passing grade to a student whom I flunked for cheating – and clearly deserved it.

In other words, I flunk them. A Grade Appeals Committee passes them. And the Hunter College Senate Grade Appeals Committee reinstates the original grade. The latest student was involved in the most brazen episode of cheating this instructor has ever dealt with in all his years of teaching (Hunter, Rutgers and LIU, Brooklyn campus).

I once had a D:F/M Grade Appeals Committee – Bob Stanley, Larry Shore who was the Chair, and Bernard Stein – include in a decision that I be investigated for harassing a student because I flunked her.  They gave the student credit for the class, the chair accepted the findings and the Senate committee reinstated the F. The Four Barnacles of the Apocalypse, that’s what I named that committee, with the Chair being the fourth barnacle. More about this later.

The buck on these decisions, however, stops at the Department chair.

Spring, 2013 Cha-Cha-Cha:

Student flunks class for cheating. D:F/M Grade Appeal Committee gives student passing grade. Senate Grade Appeal Committee reinstates the F, Olé! – the Cha-Cha-Cha over and over and over again for years, an undeniable chronicle of festering ignominy. Nevertheless, the list of Colleagues lining up to fall on their swords, their names indelibly etched in this widening smear, must be heartening to the Chair.

Interested folks can review the attachments for context and details regarding a snippet of the latest Cha-Cha-Cha. Attachments: 2013 Cha-Cha-Cha, a perspective; HC Grade Appeals Procedures.pdf for Colleagues who don’t want to fall on their swords and for those ready and willing; and thestudentsaid.pdf, an important file regarding the latest Cha-Cha-Cha. [Blogging Note: The College Grade Appeals Procedures.pdf and the studentsaid.pdf are not included in this blog .]

This caper fits snugly with other amazing moments of D:F/M academic incredulity, such as but not limited to, the cancelling of the Clemente Soto Vélez screening, the rationale for the cancellation truly moronic; followed, of course, by the phony Violence in the Workplace complaint (resonating still); the siccing of Hunter-5-0 on a department staffer (at a department meeting of all places) for doing his job; the demise of the best undergraduate IT network at CUNY as well as the demise of ICIT support; the parking meter caper (never ending); the 4 Barnacles of the Apocalypse. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

I assume everyone is getting ready for the next big one.

Back to the attached document: The student said she talked to the Chair who supported her position.* Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. Maybe he said, QMFE, “Hell, yes, I support ya’.” Maybe he said, QMFE,”What, you think I’m that dumb?” She said she also talked to other media professors who supported her position. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. She also said that she talked to classmates who supported her position. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. Maybe they did, Maybe they didn’t.

That she submitted to the D:F/M Grade Appeals Committee a doctored copy of the class syllabus (removing the course guidelines that she violated) shows serious academic mischief as well as her acute understanding of how this department works. She, of course, didn’t provide several other important documents, such as course guidelines and rules. Etcetera. I consider those omissions acute reasons supporting probable cause for disciplinary action. That isn’t in accordance with the prevailing thought in this department, however. So be it.

If she had met with the instructor, per class instructions, the latest Cha-Cha-Cha wouldn’t be archival material. But she knew if she appeared before the class instructor, per class instructions, there would be no surcease for nasty allegations about her class performance. If she had met with the instructor, per College guidelines for grade appeals, that too would have shorted out the archiving of her plans for a grade that she didn’t deserve. Colleagues prefer falling on their swords than following Grade Appeal Guidelines. So be it.

Some might wonder what the chair might have to say about this latest episode?

If it results in another “hit me … hit me,” I’m contacting Dr. Phil.

G Morris


PS.1  Please note, for those who read the attachment, that the grades the student listed in the attachment were not her final grades. Missing are the F-s she received and would have learned about if she hadn’t refused to show up for the end of the semester review of her work. Students have been known to blow off the final meeting because of the anxiety created by the anticipation of really bad news. Some hope that their Hail Marry Pass for a grade they don’t deserve could have a good chance of reception by the D:F/M Grade Appeals Committee. There’s a record to support that hope because of the never ending list of Colleagues ready to fall on their swords.

 PS.2  Regarding the 4 Barnacles of the Apocalypse, I bet Bob Stanley is happy that he wasn’t involved in this latest Cha-Cha-Cha.

PS.3 “hit me … hit me” – recalls the day that the Chair lost his cool and asked a Colleague to him. The Colleague didn’t. And a phone Violence in the Workplace complaint was filed against the non-hitting Colleague. More about this later.


Gregg Morris, editor of the WORD and this site.

Gregg Morris, editor of the WORD and this site.


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