Professor urges students to learn about plus/minus


    The plus/minus system was once again the topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting when a chemistry professor asked SGA and other students to continue learning about the system. “I challenge the SGA and the students of TCU to go out and ask two or three of your professors about what they think on the issue of the plus/minus system,” said Bob Neilson, a chemistry professor.

    Neilson said he wanted to make sure students know how faculty members feel.

    “The faculty really do appreciate the work that students at TCU do,” Neilson said. “We have blown this issue completely out of proportion. We are not changing the grading scale nor the grading system.”

    After Neilson presented to SGA, he opened up the floor for questions.

    Mickey Ley, a junior political science major and AddRan representative, was the first to question Neilson.

    “I am wondering if the school wants to go to plus/minus because they think that their prestige will increase and put TCU with other top universities,” Ley asked.

    However, Neilson said the plus/minus system is not being implemented for this reason.

    Haley Murphy, a sophomore political science major, said she has spoken with two professors about the fairness of plus/minus and said they told her the system will allow for only one or two students to receive an A+.

    “Is that an accurate assessment of the system?” she asked Neilson.

    Neilson said he felt he would not use the plus/minus to just award the all-star students but professors can use the grading system in any way they want to.

    He said professors will still use the 4.0 scale that is used now and would be able to administer grades, with or without pluses and minuses, as they see fit.

    SGA Vice President Jace Thompson closed the meeting after Neilson left, saying SGA is committed to accurately representing student opinion.

    “The SGA will stand by the student body. Whether the students are for plus/minus or against it,” he said. “All students want to make sure that everyone is graded equally and that student opinion on the plus/minus issue would be heard and made meaningful.”

    A forum regarding the system will be hosted by Nowell Donovan, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, sometime in the near future. The forum will be open to anyone.