Primary File

I Deserve an ‘A’: A Professor’s Dilemma

Larry Carstenson, Noel F. Palmer, Srivatsa Seshadri
January 1, 2016
Ethics & Social Justice
6 pages
ethics, Ethical decision-making, ethical theory, study abroad, student
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

This case involves a dilemma faced by a professor, Dr. Bethany Locasta, in assigning grades to a student, Brock, who departed a study abroad program early because of a family emergency. Dr. Locasta led a study abroad trip to South Africa, which included four courses. During the program, Brock received word that his father attempted suicide, and he departed to be home with family. This left unfinished coursework that Brock did not complete. The unfinished work had a severe, detrimental effect on Brock’s grade average in all four courses; however, Dr. Locasta felt that assessing the low grades would punish Brock for uncontrollable circumstances. Professor Locasta decided to intervene on Brock’s behalf, negotiating with the other professors. They settled on assigning B’s for all four courses. Dr. Locasta felt she did a good thing, but Brock reacted angrily; when he left South Africa, he believed he had an A average.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Increase sensitivity to ethics issues in decision-making.
  2. Understand and apply a process of ethical decision-making.
  3. Understand and apply concepts from multiple ethics theories as decision criteria in an ethical decision-making process.
  4. Develop ethical decision alternatives



This case allows a lot of conversation on others ethical views and perspectives. This is a great case which allows for a lot of responses. It gives a lot of information that shows the dilemma that is given. This is a great case that tells a lot of peoples ethical leadership perspective. 


I enjoyed this case, especially as our first one, it was the perfect length and amount of detail where I wasn't bored reading, but knew enough to form a well-supported opinion. I agree that it is a relatable case, something the majority of students will be able to either relate to, or will be able to put themselves in Brock's shoes quite easily. My only reason for 4 and not 5 stars is because though I did think the length was very manageable, there seemed to be a little bit of unnecessary info in the very beginning of the case. Other than that, great read. 


I liked this case a lot too. I really think that students like the case more when you can relate to it as this one you could too. Also includes a lot of detail so you were never lost. 


I really appreciated the amount of detail in the case. It helped in the development of my opinion on the scenario. I also enjoyed the subject matter, and as a college student I found it to be quite an easy case to relate to.