Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Amid Allegations Over Grade Changes, Texas Tech Dean Resigns

By Matthew Watkins

The dean of the Texas Tech University business college has resigned after a school panel found that he improperly changed the grades of four MBA students against their professor's wishes.

Lance Nail, who has presided over the Rawls College of Business since 2012, will remain a tenured finance professor at the school but will step down as dean at the end of the year, the school said. A faculty panel found that he didn't follow the proper procedures when he changed the grades of students who failed an information systems class.

Those students had complained to the dean that they wouldn't be able to graduate. According to previous reports, the students' professor found out about the grade changes in May after seeing that some of those students had received their degrees anyway.

According to the review panel's report, Nail allowed the students to take an "alternative test" to pass the professor's class. He argued to investigators that the students would have missed out on job opportunities if they didn't graduate. Their alternative test was written by another professor who didn't know the full reason he made it, the report said.

The students' original professor complained, leading to the school review. According to the panel's report, Nail argued that the professor was biased against the students who failed. The panel said that claim was "unsubstantiated."

"At Texas Tech University, we have policies and procedures in place to protect our fundamental academic standards and uphold the central role of the faculty," said Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec. "In this instance, the policies supporting these principles were not followed."

Nail didn't immediately respond a message seeking comment.

Disclosure: Texas Tech University is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

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