Gender

Prof Bumps Female Students' STEM Grades (Because They're Women)

Free extra credit to "encourage female students to go [in]to information sciences."

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Nemanja Mandi?/Dreamstime.com

On May 14, University of Akron professor Liping Liu sent an email to his class sections saying certain categories of students—including women—may see their grades "raised one level or two." Liu claimed his approach was a part of a "national movement to encourage female students to go [in]to information sciences."

Fortunately, the plan appears to have been vetoed. Asked for comment, university officials say that "no adjustment in grades along the lines suggested by the professor has occurred or will be permitted to occur." But Liu's suggestion is still troubling.

According to The College Fix, Liu's email claims that some women in his classes aren't doing very well and would probably have to "repeat the courses or leave the program" without any sort of grade inflation. But artificially boosting someone's grade doesn't set her up for future success. It just makes it easier to advance without a firm grasp of the material.

Liu is right that STEM fields often have gender imbalance. In 2017, only 26 percent of high school students taking the AP computer science test were female. A little less than 18 percent of bachelor's degrees in computer science were given to women in the U.S. But surely the best way to correct such numbers is not to boost students who do not grasp the material at the expense of people who do.

Thankfully, the university agrees. "While the professor's stated intention of encouraging female students to go into the information sciences field may be laudable," says Provost Rex Ramsier, "his approach as described in his email was clearly unacceptable." He reaffirms that the university "follows both the law and its policies and does not discriminate on the basis of sex."

Liu isn't the first college instructor to toy with identity-based grading. In April, a teaching assistant at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Denisha Maddie, tweeted: "Grading papers for my mentors and I'm giving these white students a runnnnn for their grade honey!! The exam is on race." She added two purple devil emojis and one laughing face emoji.

The tweet has since been removed, and Maddie's intent remains unclear. It could've been a careless, offhanded comment from an inexperienced young professional who assumed her sassy tweet would have no repercussions. Or, Maddie might have been bringing race into her grading, when really it shouldn't have been a factor. The Chicago School released a statement shortly after which said "a person affiliated…posted a tweet on their personal account that runs counter to our internal policies related to grading, as well as our core values. The Chicago School does not agree with, or condone, such sentiments or behavior."

A decent point is buried in the TA's tweet—white students might understand less about race than students who've experienced discrimination firsthand—but exam grades are presumably about how well a student has learned the material that has been taught to them, not a student's race. The Chicago School has stated that they're investigating the incident.

In both cases, the universities made the right calls by refusing to buckle to the whims of their instructors. But why are professors and TAs entertaining the idea that students can be rewarded or punished based on identity at all?

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  1. I identify as female

    1. Good point. In an attempt to satiate the Diety of “Gender Equality”, not only does the good (read: idiotic) professor basically say “they aren’t”, but it also forgets the reverence one must pay to the 28 different versions of Hx Holiness.

      1. The professor has made it clear to everyone who ever suspected that female engineers are a cut below the norm that in fact, they are – else they wouldn’t need a grade bump.

        Moral: For a whole host of reasons, including the fact credentials which men EARN in STEM are probably falsified for women in STEM, no company should hire any female graduate in a STEM field.

    2. Looks like Robby posted under his female nom de plume too. Guess he’s hoping for some upgrades.

      1. He’s hoping the commentariat won’t be so hard on him if we think he’s a chick.

        1. He’s probably right. Though man or woman, with that hair I’m still in love.

    3. Why take an incremental step? I identify as a straight A student. The world must make it so or my feelz will be hurt.

    4. Start earning $90/hourly for working online from your home for few hours each day… Get regular payment on a weekly basis… All you need is a computer, internet connection and a litte free time…

      Read more here,…. http://www.onlinereviewtech.com

  2. But why are professors and TAs entertaining the idea that students can be rewarded or punished based on identity at all?

    They’re just trying to be the change they want to see in the world.

  3. Any woman who supports this is a fool.

    The end result will be men assuming that every woman going for a job is dumber than she might actually be. You either earn your CV or you don’t.

    1. I suspect most professionals just assume that everyone coming into a job from college doesn’t really know much and will need to be trained. That’s just how it is in the real world.

      1. If you get a job as a network engineer and don’t know what an IP address or subnetting is, you’ll probably get fired.

        Actually, you probably won’t get the job.

        1. And that’s where hiring quota’s come into play, of course.

          1. HR has more to do with getting the job than any technical interview. And HR is staffed by every women’s studies major that couldn’t get a job in the UofM diversity department, rare as that might be.

            1. Bingo

              The Left engages in relentless in group preference and out group attack, and gravitates to positions with the power to do exactly that

    2. Totally agree. I was in only the second group of women hired in my region by Western Electric as installers … trying to “improve” the mix of workers. But the plain fact was, only two of us out of the twenty hired was actually willing and able to do the work required. Then meant every new job site I went to, I had to prove myself all over again that I was actually there to work as well as any guy, not to fill a quota.

      When I went back to college, the one who wound up being one of my favorite professors, started the semester off by going over the syllabus and then was asked by one of the students what his grading curve was. His response was priceless. “I do not grade on a curve. Five years from now you will be designing the elevators I’m riding in. These are my standards.”

      1. Your professor was Howard Roark?

    3. The very same argument, though correct, has done nothing to slow down affirmative action.

    4. Those of us who have long been in the tech field already know this to be the case.

  4. “She added two purple devil emojis and one laughing face emoji.”
    I wonder what Freud would have to say about that

    1. She wishes her nickname was finger cuffs?

  5. Why is the ‘professor’ not fired for continuing the sexist lie that women are incapable of handling their own affairs, and need a ‘man’ to take care of them?
    Why? Off with his head!

  6. “China”, Fox Butterfield, 1982: Urban Chinese, going to a doctor for the first time, eyed the date on the diploma. If it was during or immediately after the ‘cultural revolution’, they found reason to go elsewhere.
    U of A just made their paper worth a whole hell of a lot less, even by hinting at it.

    1. UofAkron. U of A is ARIZONA, baby!!!

      1. Bear down.

  7. In 2017, only 26 percent of high school students taking the AP computer science test were female. A little less than 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science were given to women in the U.S.

    Obligatory

    1. “”A little less than 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science were given to women in the U.S.””

      I love that way that is framed. Your degree is “given” to you.

      What’s that the women that don’t pursue that field is not actually interested in pursuing that field. I know several women in that field. They all have one thing in common, they wanted to be in that field.

      1. Right? Not every profession has to have a 50:50 split between men and women.

        1. Even if it did, the women that make up the 50% should be there voluntarily. If there is not enough interest by women, forcing them into a job in order to make the 50/50 quota would be wrong.

          1. Make every woman register at 18 for the STEM draft.

          2. You never hear anyone complaining that all the garbage collectors are men.

            1. …and garbage collectors make good money.

              IIRC, in the Chicagoland area, they start at $68k. Not sure if that includes overtime or not.

        2. Has there ever been an extensive survey asking women why they didn’t go into Computer Science or something?

          1. It’s gender bias all the way down. They idea of surveys is likely the creation of some white cis male.

            1. The self selection in those surveys is as bad as the sexual assault surveys in campus…

        3. They’re only interested in a 50/50 split where there’s a shit ton of money to be had for simply having credentials. You’ll note they don’t give a flying fuck about women being virtually non-existant in off-shore drilling or fishing trawlers, possibly because of the trendemous chance for early retirement via dismemberment or drowning.

          You see, those are jobs that this type of individual doesn’t care about a gender imbalance in. It’s almost as if they don’t give a fuck about far, far more men dying on the job and only really give a shit about rising above those who are more capable.

          Now, if women are being graded more harshly than men that would also be a problem but I don’t think many are making that claim.

          1. While you’re correct, off shore drilling is a terribly lucrative career if you can stomach the hours.

            STEM is lucrative and you get to sit in a cushy cubicle.

            By introducing the “need” for diversity (for diversity’s sake), they create a demand and artificially inflate the asking price, and the void is filled with substandard talent (not to say women aren’t capable; the good ones will get even topper dollar). It is vile, and the clowns who are trying to help (like Liu) only serve to hurt the women who are interested and good.

      2. I love that way that is framed. Your degree is “given” to you.

        If this professor had gotten away with his bullshit, yes.

        1. The government gives you a loan, you give the loan to the school, the school gives you a diploma. Not sure about the confusion…

  8. Give them whatever grade you want, it is meaningless anyway. Companies like Google and Boeing ignore education on resumes, as it is misleading and only fuels selection bias. They’ve found that education experience is no measure for how programmers actually perform. The one thing any institution cannot teach is level of interest in any given subject. You are either passionate about the subject, you don’t give a fuck at all, or are somewhere between. Those who are more interested than others will achieve more.

    Tech interviews are really difficult, often more difficult than is the work required for the position. You can have a 4.0 GPA and still fail to make it past the technical interview. If you can’t demonstrate that you are competent, then it doesn’t matter what grade you have, or even if you have a degree at all. Candidates who are invested in their careers will do better than those who are not.

    I’m a self-taught software engineer, with 20 years of experience. I still have to go through the grueling 5+ hour technical interviews where I have to demonstrate my competence. The reason technical interviews are getting harder and harder is to weed out all the applicants who have some bullshit popsicle degree. Also to weed out candidates who have “experience” from landing jobs with their popsicle degrees (and even some of us self-taught engineers) who fail to pass muster.

    1. Companies like Google and Boeing ignore education on resumes, as it is misleading and only fuels selection bias.

      But they don’t ignore gender.

    2. Not sure if they still follow this, but for years the unwritten hiring policy at Google was “no Ivy league, no hire.”

      1. Not anymore for sure. Lots of people from my university working there now.

        1. I know an SC (not $C) grad there. Once you’re in it’s hard to be kicked out.

    3. Grades get you in the door for your first job. After that it’s just experience. But the grades really do matter for your first job.

      Oh, and while grades don’t belong on a resume, academic honors do, and they can be hard to get when Social Justice Warriors ding you for not being the preferred gender or ethnicity.

    4. Companies like Google and Boeing ignore education on resumes

      Yeah, that’s why they have minimum GPA requirements for entry level positions (at least Boeing does, I don’t know about Google – never applied for a job with them).

      1. Bell Labs wouldn’t even talk to anyone with less than a 3.6 GPA. Most companies found that they did best with the B average people … smart enough to do the job but not so smart that they get bored with it too easily.

        1. Just this morning I heard about a college student looking for an internship who was turned by Samsung because his GPA was a 3.48 instead of a 3.5.

        2. Another view.

          Google isn’t big on college degrees, although the search giant is inundated with applicants touting perfect GPAs from Ivy League schools.

          Google’s chairman and head of hiring, Laszlo Bock, has given a few insights in the New York Times on how he sorts through a multitude of bright applicants.

          The upshot is that Google values the skills and experiences that candidates get in college, but a degree doesn’t tell them much about talent or grit.

          1. A 4.0 in a STEM field? That seems highly unlikely.

            “… inundated with applicants touting perfect GPAs from Ivy League schools” AND having a STEM degree? I can understand why Google isn’t big on degrees from those schools.

    5. I disagree. At least here in Alabama. If you get a BS in computer science from either U of Alabama or UAB (Birmingham) you’ll have to build a programming language interpreter as a required course to get your degree. And every programmer in Alabama knows this. When I was in 11th grade I asked programmers what they make, what it’s like to do their job, how to get where they are, how to excel in the career, etc. Almost without exception they told me to get a BS in CS from one of those two schools. And it’s been very profitable for me (on top of learning it on my own since I was 14). I’ve had many programmer jobs (current title is software engineer) and had to rarely show off my skills for the interview process, simply because programmers in my area know what I had to do to get my degree.

  9. This whole “GIRLS AREN’T IN STEM! AIIEEE!” bullshit is beyond tiresome.

    Rather than address the terrible imbalance in sexes attending college, let’s focus on one of the few areas where men outnumber women.

    “Sure, the university overall is approaching 60% women…but THIS field here is why we need affirmative action!”

    1. I don’t know what the numbers are now, but even when I was in engineering school, almost all the women were in either Computer Science or Chemical Engineering. Almost none in Mechanical Engineering and only a few in Electrical, which is what my majors were in. Nice “clean” jobs where you aren’t likely to be sent into the field or out on a plant floor or do anything physical.

  10. Men aren’t in education. Where’s the caterwauling?

  11. But why are professors and TAs entertaining the idea that students can be rewarded or punished based on identity at all?

    Welcome to planet Earth! What time last night did you land? I’m assuming the last transmission your planet received was from about 50 years ago when a guy named Martin Luther King, Jr. said something about judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, but, yeah, we killed that dumbass. We don’t do things that way and we don’t aspire to doing things that way, in fact, it’s sexist and racist *not* to judge people by their sex and their race. And about forty-eleventy other characteristics – you’d better be on your toes about offending the perpetually offended or get your ass back to your own planet. I’d suggest that second one.

    1. you’d better be on your toes about offending the perpetually offended or get your ass back to your own planet. I’d suggest that second one.

      But before you leave, can you take me with you? I don’t live on this planet anymore.

      1. *…don’t want to live on this planet anymore.*

  12. I agree with the professor. Women are weaker and dumber than men so they need all the help they can get.

    1. I like the idea that it’s laudable to encourage more women to enter the STEM fields who’s only objective contribution is T&A.

    2. Elizabeth Holmes exploited that blind spot to the tune of $9 billion. Sure, she eventually got caught, but she actually managed to sucker former high-level Presidential cabinet members into her orbit because of her ability to bullshit.

  13. “While the professor’s stated intention of encouraging female students to go into the information sciences field may be laudable,”

    So, a male college professor encouraging female students to assume one or several positions that they aren’t prepared for may be laudable?

  14. Why shouldn’t this principle be applied to beauty contests?

  15. Ok, so this professor doesn’t think women can succeed on their merits in her own field so…that’s an interesting point of view for a woman that’s already succeeded well enough to teach in a given field to have. Perhaps she resents that she has to teach instead of doing?

    The only effect bumping women’s grades based on their gender will achieve is a Title 9 lawsuit. Congrats, dumbass, for being the very thing you claim to loathe.

    1. that’s an interesting point of view for a woman that’s already succeeded well enough to teach in a given field to have. Perhaps she resents that she has to teach instead of doing?

      Not that it clarifies the logic but maybe makes the stance more easily rationalized: Professor Liping Liu is a man.

      1. Motherfucker, I missed one of the very few gender specific pronouns in the story. You’re right, and I feel shame! (The first one I see is in paragraph 5 in a quote, I wonder if Liz is practicing writing without gender?)

        1. I was going to comment the professor probably wants some reciprocal ‘bumping’ in exchange for the bumped grades. I guess it’s still possible.

    2. The professor was a man.

      1. Read this in an Austin Powers voice.

  16. “A decent point is buried in the TA’s tweet?white students might understand less about race than students who’ve experienced discrimination firsthand?”

    What on Earth are you talking about? We White Bastards know more about race than anybody! How else would we know who to oppress and subjugate on a daily basis in every conceivable way?

    /sarc

  17. “”But why are professors and TAs entertaining the idea that students can be rewarded or punished based on identity at all?””

    Ummm, someone hasn’t been paying attention…

    1. Yeah, the memo has been nailed to the Government Door for some time now.

  18. >>A decent point is buried in the TA’s tweet

    not really.

  19. I can’t imagine how pissed off any woman who had already actually earned an A would be at that.

  20. I love how if a profession is considered desirable/classy and there are more men, then it’s a problem. Otherwise it’s cool. Very few female plumbers, oil field workers, mechanics, etc. No biggie, those jobs are dirty. Few male elementary school teachers, day care workers, who cares. But a high paying computer science job, DISCRIMINATION!

    Discrimination can be a very real thing, but someone freely choosing not to go into a particular field isn’t it.

  21. How very patronizing.

    -jcr

  22. The SJWs continue to do more harm than good for their causes. All this behavior does is make people less likely to view a woman who succeeds in a STEM field as having accomplished something on her own. That’s the problem with affirmative action in any form. It cheapens the accomplishments of those who succeed on their own because everyone assumes they were simply handed their degree or job for being a minority.

  23. Affirmative action in admissions
    Affirmative action in hiring

    Why not in grading?
    It’s less objectionable than the first two

  24. Shit like this is exactly why incompetents get hired right out of college and then everyone is mystified when they can’t actually do the fucking job. Including the incompetent doof, who thought they actually knew what they were doing.

    If you can’t hack the coursework, change majors.

  25. Had a machine design class. Got stuck with a team of 3 women, some of the only women in ITEC. I did the entire CAD drawing set myself and these bitches did nothing. We used my drawings for our “Team” project submission. They all got A’s and I got a B. Nothing more to say!

  26. “A decent point is buried in the TA’s tweet?white students might understand less about race than students who’ve experienced discrimination firsthand…”

    Sooooo…. being singled out for being white and being held to a different, harder, and arbitrary standard ISN’T experiencing racism firsthand?

    1. The difference is that white people deserve it. Or so I’m told.

  27. When I was in law school the grades were all “blindly graded” meaning the professor did not get to see your name. BUT, they had a policy where smaller classes could be graded by a paper instead of exams, and those were not blind – the professor got to see the names. There was one black professor who only taught these smaller classes, and opted to use the papers instead of exams. Everyone in the school could not help but notice that white students who were in the top 10% in blind grading would get C’s and black students in the bottom third of the class would get A’s. Everyone dealt with it by just not taking her classes (she often ended up with 90% black classes in a school that was 15% black). I don’t know what we would have done if she taught any mandatory courses.

  28. The university wants him to do it. They just want him to do it quietly without ever admitting what he’s doing.

  29. A decent point is buried in the TA’s tweet?white students might understand less about race than students who’ve experienced discrimination firsthand.

    How is that a “decent point”? Are you saying I’ve never experienced discrimination firsthand because I’m white? Because that’s complete bullshit. I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of discrimination.

    What I don’t understand is navel gazing about your place in the victimhood olympics instead of just getting on with your fucking life.

  30. Hey, why the hell not? They already adjust up the SAT scores of vibrants for purposes of admission. This is the next logical step to utopia.

  31. Wow. Since Asian students tend to do better, lets LOWER their grades a level or two, to equalize them with everyone else.

    There, that will fix it.

  32. This prof is the misogynist’s dream.

    Not too soon, in the real world of earning your paycheck, these bumped-up students will get fired for incompetence and there’ll be a hue and cry about discriminating victimization. But it’ll confirm that ‘equal qualification’ is only one of the parameters on which an employee is judged.

    In the meantime, the prof is not only potentially damaging young lives but also causing prices to rise because recruitment is not a cheap business.

  33. Re: “While the professor’s stated intention of encouraging female students to go into the information sciences field
    may be laudable,” says Provost Rex Ramsier”

    I have another word for it, but this is a family website.

    Women integrate less into “male” jobs for the same reasons men integrate less into “female jobs”: daycare worker, maternity ward minder, clerk-typist. How much of this is discrimination and how much of it is choice? See:

    “A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality: The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research” http://www.malemattersusa.wordpress.c…..-research/

  34. Christ, what assholes.

  35. sooo, let me get this straight, your only objective qualification for this position is that you possess a vagina?

  36. Funny, I always thought that grades were given in direct proportion to a student’s performance and merit.
    Apparently this professor’s mindset is, doesn’t matter what you did, it matters who and what you are.

  37. “But why are professors and TAs entertaining the idea that students can be rewarded or punished based on identity at all?”

    Um, because this is the era of identity politics, and in “academia” (generously and loosely so-called) the long push to achieve parity in the sciences (and elsewhere) necessarily leads them to look at identity and therefore to cater to it. The ultimate problem of course is that if a student, any student, does not understand the material well enough to do well on an exam that same student will not understand it well enough to do well on the job. But what the heck, the college will have lots of great numbers to show when called upon to do so, and that’s what really matters. Right?

    (FTR, I am not a STEM guy and only really got interested in trig and related sciences when I was a millwright in a steel mill and needed that knowledge to do the job)

  38. Educators so often seem so clueless.

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