Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/417

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407
DISTRIBUTION OF COLLEGE CREDITS

grades and low grades assigned to him. Thus, for example, instructor number 4 has the high rating of 41 in the quality of his students and the low rating of — 23 in the assignment of grades. Instructor number 26, on the contrary, has the low rating of — 21 in quality of students and the high rating of 52 in grades assigned. In other words, he has a conspicuously large proportion of the students whose general scholarship is low, and to these poor students he awards a conspicuously large proportion of high grades. Many a teacher would be surprised to discover his standing on such a scale, and the college administrator who undertakes to deal with such discrepancies, through discussion with individual members of the faculty, will do well to provide himself with a quantitative presentation of the facts.

TABLE V

A Rating of Elective Classes in Williams College

I II I II
1 113 0 16 2 41
2 113 0 17 1 42
3 77 27 18 — 1 56
4 41 — 23 19 — 2 6
5 39 23 20 — 4 — 11
6 39 — 21 21 — 5 89
7 24 3 22 — 7 63
8 20 49 23 — 8 59
9 17 50 24 — 14 40
10 15 34 25 — 17 95
11 13 20 26 — 21 52
12 9 41 27 — 22 89
13 7 32 28 — 30 114
14 6 58 29 — 33 66
15 5 63 30 — 40 73
 

Such regulation will be resented by many college teachers as an infringement on their rights. But academic freedom that allows each member of a faculty to do as he pleases in matters that reach far beyond the interests of his own department is intolerable license. As President Eliot has said:

A faculty can properly criticize the results of any professor's, or other instructor's, work as they appear in certain easily visible ways. Among such visible evidences are. . . the resort of obviously incompetent or uninterested students to his courses; examination papers of a trivial or pedantic sort; uniform high grades or uniform low grades returned by the professor; an extraordinary number of distinctions earned in his courses; or an extraordinary number of rejections and failures. These are legitimate subjects of inquiry by a faculty committee or by faculty officials, and can be dealt with by a faculty without impairing just academic freedom. The knowledge that this power of revision resides in a facility is a valuable control over individual eccentricities.

It is sometimes said that "there are usually some courses in a university which, from year to year, secure only an inferior grade of pupils, and other lines of work which, for various reasons, secure a dis-