The 4 Barnacles of the Apocalypse (A Work in Progress)


[This page is pockmarked with weird symbols like  â€“ I’m because of WORDPRESS updates. This page will be eventually removed and the edited contents will be added to another web site.]

This – I’m referring to all the words below is an edited version of an email sent to my department about grade tampering, and I also alluded to gross violations of academic freedom and academic collegiality as well as to what seem to be odious F/M customs and practices, such as colleagues engaging in defamation and slander. This kind of sleazy office politics seem to be cherished traditions in my department and are regarded, insanely I have to add, by too many colleagues as “Collegial.”

I have also referred to these perversions in various communiques, emails, listserv postings as well as as Farce and Mediocrity. The original title for the email to my department was:”Recommend For New Business, Wednesday, Grade Tampering in F/M- A Big Barnacle: Is a discussion needed?” I was interested in a discussion at the last department meeting of the fall semester, 2008, not that I was expecting a discussion. But I wanted to know how colleagues would respond and I needed to gauge things.

Narrative Began:

I was in touch a while back with Richard Stapleford, Senate Chair, about the F/M Chair jimmy-jamming the grading system so that a former student enrolled in the former MA program could get a passing grade instead of the terminal TF he so rightfully deserved. Enrolled in a course I taught in said program several years ago, the student never turned in an assignment and stopped attending class within a few weeks of the semester start and never made any effort to make up the course work.

But he expected to get a passing grade ’cause he believed his relationship with the Chair and the Chair’s buddy, Arnie Gibbons, would be enough to get him over.

It did. And it didn’t.

I assume it is generally known that the Chair has been accused of using his position as chair to try to help students get grades that they didn’t deserve, that the department’s grade appeal apparatus has been accused of being corrupt if not profane. And if it isn’t generally known in the department, it is generally known in circles around the College (where memos and complaints and other forms of communiqué have been circulating widely for a long, long time).

Is it only a matter of time before the next big smear (some would say barnacle) appears on F/M radar?

If so, then this should be considered a topic under New Business at the Wednesday department meeting, right?

Anyway, the Chair told Stapleford that the passing grade was a mistake by his buddy, Arnie. I told Stapleford there was no mistake. It was a scam. I was in the office* when the student and the Chair were commiserating, the student smugly exulting over the new grade that he didn’t deserve, the chair smirking like a free-basing Cheshire that just ate the canary. That malodorous moment – some would say a barnacle moment – drove me to the Registrar’s office and, lo and behold, there it was, as thick as F/M sleaze can get, the canary (or the barnacle, if you will).

Please note: Above, is the edited version of the original text that was in the email. The rest is an edited version of the text provided as a word.doc attachment because of the length. The edited versions should help fill in some blanks for readers unaware of comings and goings in the Department of Film and Media Studies.

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