Dean clarifies School of Dentistry grading procedures
The process involved in the grading of two dental students at the University has recently received public attention and comment following the filing of a lawsuit by a member of the School of Dentistry faculty. Because the University has an obligation to observe the educational privacy rights of all of its students, I cannot comment on that specific case. I am compelled, however, to clarify some of the misinformation being reported about School of Dentistry grading procedures.
First, the dean does not unilaterally determine grades. All grading is done by members of the faculty. In most clinical and preclinical courses, individual faculty members provide input to faculty course directors, who then determine each students final grade. Issues regarding academic performance are reviewed by the Academic Review Board, which is comprised of eight members of the faculty and the associate dean for academic affairs. When a grade dispute arises, there is a process available for students to appeal through the Academic Review Board, with an ultimate right to seek redress from the School Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is comprised of six members of the faculty who are elected by their colleagues, and the dean, who only votes when there is a tie. Any action the School takes with respect to its students is done with careful attention both to the rights of the students and to the Schools paramount concern for the quality of its education.
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is considered one of the top schools in the nation, and the dental education students receive at our school continues to be among the finest available. Our academic programs are rigorous and challenging, and 95 percent of our students pass all of their board examinations within six months of graduation. For more than 100 years we have developed programs that produce high-quality students in general dentistry, specialty programs, graduate programs and research.
William Kotowicz, dean, School of Dentistry