UGA professor wanted to let students choose own grades

It was billed as a "stress reduction police" for his classroom and was met with mixed reviews from students.

CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. — A University of Georgia professor’s proposal to allow students to select their own grades has been shot down by his boss. It was billed by some as a "Stress Reduction Policy" for the professor’s classroom.

Business majors on campus Tuesday said you don’t need a degree to know that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"That's crazy. I've never heard of that before,” freshman Mandy Dao said.

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Students Channel 2's Berndt Petersen talked to were floored over a syllabus the university confirms professor Rick Watson had placed on his website that would allow students to choose their own grades.


"This is just handing it to you. You wouldn't be putting in the effort to get what you deserve,” freshman Aryan Taeed said.

Published reports stated that if a student felt stressed by being involved in a group project, he or she could leave the meeting immediately without explanation. The proposals apparently didn’t sit well with Ben Ayers, the dean of the Terry College of Business.

“The syllabus did not conform with the university’s rigorous expectations and policy regarding academic standards for grading. Rest assured, this ill-advised proposal will not be implemented in any Terry classroom,” Ayers said.

“I understand why he'd want to take it up with him,” freshman Chase Patrick said.

For a moment, students Petersen talked to said giving themselves A's is a policy they’d like.

"I would. But I don't think it would help me in the future,” Mandy Dao said.

"I mean, it would be nice, but I feel like it wouldn't be right. I feel like I have to work for it and get what I put in the effort for,” Taeed said.

The university said Watson has removed the statement from his syllabus. A call and email to the professor have not been returned.