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Faculty Senate fails A+ plan

Students receiving an A+ in the fall could have earned merit points that would be noted on their transcripts. But the Faculty Senate voted Wednesday to reject the Student Government senate’s resolution to give extra points to all students.

The resolution raised concern with the Graduate Council that the merit points system, in which students could receive up to a 4.33 for an A+, would hurt students applying for postgraduate studies at other institutions because some may look at it negatively.

The points given for an A+ and an A is currently a 4.0, which was agreed by the Faculty Senate as enough points for a perfect score.

Christopher Cook, liaison to the Faculty Senate, said he contacted various institutions, including Brown University Medicine School, that said the merit points would not hurt transfer students.

“Colleges of medicine and law schools said it wouldn’t hurt students in any way,” Cook said.

Alaa Ashmawy, an engineering professor, said although some of his students receive an A+, he is not in favor of giving extra points to students.

“Inflation is difficult to define,” Ashmawy said.

“I don’t see how we could graduate someone with a 4.2 or 4.3″Jarrod Ali, attorney general for SG, said with the merit points system the students grade point average would not reach higher than a 4.0.

Ali said the total amount of merit points a student received from each A+ would be noted separately on the transcript to add credentials to his or her transcript.

In addition Ali said the transcript would also note in which courses the student received an A+.

Cook said the resolution is now dead and the maximum amount of points for an A+ will remain as a 4.0, but the Student Government senate is going to continue to look at other options for a new resolution.

Gregory Paveza, president for the Faculty Senate, said the resolution was presented to the executive committee at the last senate meeting March 6 with three options. Two options were to accept the merit points resolution for all students or to accept it for only undergraduates.

Paveza said the committee decided on the third option, to reject the A+ merit points, but the recommendation had to be voted on by the Faculty Senate.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the university’s budget and salary increases.

USF Provost David Stamps said there are plans for faculty to form relationships with private foundations to obtain funding that can be used for their program of interest.

“It’s not just funds for research,” Stamps said.

However, Stamps warned the senate it is difficult for faculty to have resources to access funding from private foundations.

Stamps said, out of the 11 universities in Florida, USF ranks ninth for the amount of funds it receives.

“We are supposed to be a research university, but we are ninth,” Stamps said.

“We want to begin to replace some of the money we lost (this year).”

In addition, Stamps announced that faculty and staff would receive raises next year, but in order to receive the raises, he said the senate has to make sure Gov. Jeb Bush does not veto the increase.

“I can stand up here and say we will get raises next year,” Stamps said. “How much, I can’t say.”

  • Contact Grace Agostinat