Faculty senate votes on plus/minus grading

Joseph Torres

UTSA’s Faculty Senate voted against the Joint Committee on Plus/Minus Grading’s (JPMC) recommendation of a “complete discontinuation of the plus/minus grading system at UTSA” on Oct. 17. The JPCM, composed of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty from multiple colleges at UTSA, was charged with reviewing the current plus/minus grading system and producing a recommendation to Provost Dr. Kimberly Espy.

A student-wide email was distributed on Feb. 21 requesting opinions on the plus/minus grading system. Approximately nine percent of UTSA students participated in the survey. Out of the 2,723 students who participated, nearly 68% showed a preference for whole letter grades. The survey also included four alternative suggestions for the plus/minus grading system. The most popular option was to eliminate minus grades while adjusting the quality points for the remaining letter and plus grades.

“The Committee has voted to recommend a complete discontinuation of the plus/minus grading system at UTSA consistent with student opinion expressed in the responses to the survey,” the recommendation states. “In the event that the plus/minus grading system is continued at UTSA and mandated university-wide, the Committee recommends that, consistent with the student option expressed in the survey, minus grades are discontinued and that quality-point awards be adjusted.”

Following the Faculty Senate’s decision not to endorse the JPMC’s memo, a motion was made to discontinue the plus/minus grading system without caveats. Upon voting, the results were 15 yes, 18 no and 5 abstained. The split decision by the Faculty Senate will be reported to the provost, and the plus/minus grading system remains in effect at UTSA.