We talk about this twice a year. Sorry, I should say we are forced to talk about this twice a year. Every year. Because every semester, there are law professors out there who refuse to submit grades in a timely fashion.
I don’t know why. Professors have to work like nine or 12 hours a week, maybe eight months a year, and write a final exam and grade it. That’s what the students are paying them for. The rest, the research, scholarship, whatever glad handing they do on their path to tenure, is something they can do on their own time. On the student’s dime, they have to lecture, write exams, and grade them.
WHY DO SO MANY OF THEM FAIL TO DO THIS?
I don’t know the answer to that question. I may never know. Last semester, Columbia Law School threatened to fine professors who handed in late grades.
Columbia’s plan seems to be working, so maybe other New York area schools should give it a try….
Today’s adventure in late grading is brought to you by Fordham School of Law. Spring semester has already started there, but there are still students waiting for their fall semester grades. A tipster explains:
[A]t Fordham Law, we are on day three of our spring semester, 28 days post last day of finals, and I am still missing three grades. Grades were due last Friday. And I’m not the only one. Everyone I talk (read: whine) to about it is also missing at least one grade. Including 1Ls who are obviously losing it right now.
I always think that this happens because professors just don’t understand how important grades are to students. I think that if you could sit professors down and explain to them how their grades are the only meaningful feedback law students get, and the only thing that gives them a shot at getting a decent job, professors would take their responsibilities more seriously and submit grades in a timely manner.
But we also have to consider the fact that professors know and just don’t care. They’ve got other things to do and serving their students in this way is just not one of their top priorities.
That’s why the Columbia model might be the only way to go. Law schools are going to have to hit their faculty where it counts to get them to take notice of their duties.