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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
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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.