A Georgia college professor says he was fired for refusing to boost the grades of students who complained his classes were “too difficult.”
On Thursday, Professor Kendrick Morales told “Fox & Friends” that he was fired by Spelman College – a private, historically black, women’s liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia.
Morales said he told the school he would not offer his economics students easier work and raise their marks on assignments just because the classes are hard.
However, he says the college boosted the grades anyway and later fired him.
“They definitely applied some pressure on me to raise grades above what I thought was reasonable, which I thought was totally against what I was supposed to do,” he told host Lawrence Jones.
“I thought I was responsible for setting academic standards and making sure that the grades and degrees the school was conferring actually held its value.”
Even with the alternative grades, Morales calculated that 44% of his class would still fail.
He said the dismal performance was part of a larger “incentive problem.”
Morales revealed that, if students complained, administrators would ultimately capitulate to pupils who were not motivated to work hard.
The professor admits that he is still trying to determine whether academia is still the right career trajectory for him following the Spelman fallout.
“I thought, in terms of going for an academic position, that I would be able to have autonomy and not have administrators kind of meddle with grades and meddle with the incentive structure that I was trying to put in place,” he added.
“I’m not really sure if it’s viable for me to continue as an academic.”
Morales also revealed that he has contacted the Academic Freedom Alliance to weigh his options.
Spelman College responded to Morales’s allegation by issuing a statement.
“At the heart of the Spelman College experience is the academically rigorous program we offer our students,” the school said.
“Meaningful and effective classroom engagement is the hallmark of a Spelman education.
“The College, its administrators, and faculty exercise appropriate judgment in the delivery of our learning activities in order to maintain consistency across Spelman’s campus.”
“Spelman College has reviewed this matter and has no further comment on the opinions of this former faculty member,” the school added.
Spelman College is the oldest historically black private liberal arts college for women in the United States.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the school is ranked first out of 79 historically black colleges in the United States.
In addition, the school is ranked second of 196 in “Social Mobility,” 15th of 19 for “Most Innovative,” and 19th of 36 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.”
The prestigious college also leads the nation in enrolling the highest percentage of Gates Millennium Scholars and is the second-largest producer of black college graduates who go on to attend medical school.
Notable alumnaes of the college include Marian Wright Edelman, Stacey Abrams, and Alice Walker.