Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs:
News & announcements from Asst. Dean Stephen D. Sowle  for the week of August 31, 1998

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More CALI Award Winners.  Congratulations to the following students, who received the highest grades in the courses indicated.  Your names will appear on the award certificates and in the program for the Student Awards Luncheon as they appear below.  Please e-mail me if you want to make any changes. 
Spring 1998 Semester 
Advanced Research (Prof. Livingston):  Wendy Butler & Lauren Meyer 
Insolvency and Reorg. (S. Harris; LL.M.):  Robert A. Stearn 
Justice & the Legal System (Prof. Nance):  Steven Edward 
Justice & the Legal System (Prof. Sowle):  Jennifer A. Henrikson 

1998 Summer Session 
Bankruptcy (Prof. Reibman):  Matthew D. Sobolewski & Joseph Stachnik 
Negotiations (Prof. Schoenfeld): Timothy J. Vertovec 
Personal Income Tax (Prof. Chapman): Jennifer A. Henrikson 
Trial Advocacy 1 (Prof. Erickson):  Trina Hardman-Burt 

Change to Mandatory Curve for Elective Courses.  The following memorandum was issued on August 26 by Dean Perritt: 
"At its first meeting of the year yesterday, the faculty voted to change the mandatory curve applied to elective courses with 25 or more students enrolled.  These changes will take effect immediately and thus will apply to Fall 1998 courses. 

"The existing curve required professors to stay within specified ranges for each grade 
increment (A, A-, B+, etc.) and also placed limits on the numbers of grades given cumulatively.  The faculty has eliminated all of the "range" requirements for the various grade increments and all but three of the "cumulative" limits.  The following are the cumulative limits that remain: 

          Grade   Cumulative Limit 
             A-       maximum of 30% 
             B+      maximum of 50% 
             B-       maximum of 85% 

"Thus, for example, a professor may give, cumulatively, no more than 50% A's, A-'s, and B+'s.  One consequence of this is that professors are no longer limited to giving a maximum of 15% A's, but may allocate the highest grades as he or she sees fit between A and A-. 

"The primary effect of these changes will be to give professors greater flexibility in 
assigning the grades they believe are deserved.  There has been mounting concern among many faculty members that the existing curve often forced them to give higher grades than were warranted based on the merits of the exams.  The changes described above help to address that concern by giving professors greater latitude in assigning grades that accurately reflect the quality of the work. 

"I believe that these changes will give more meaning to your grades, because they will not reflect the artificial inflationary effects sometimes caused by the existing curve.  As some of you may know, a survey of law school grades was recently published in the National Jurist.  The data indicated that, among the schools included in the survey, Chicago-Kent had worse grade inflation than all but three other law schools.  Such an impression hurts our graduates by inviting skepticism about honor grades received by Chicago-Kent students. 

"The faculty will be addressing a range of academic issues this year, including the grading system, and additional refinements to the mandatory curve may be forthcoming.  I welcome your thoughts and recommendations as we proceed."

Enterprising Students Wanted for IIT Interprofessional Projects (IPRO's).  IIT has pioneered in offering undergraduate students experience working in team projects to explore solutions for problems provided by industry.  The projects vary widely.  Teams recently have explored how to plan for a new Chicago Bears stadium; whether computer simulations can be designed for easy use in criminal trials; how to create more efficient patient monitoring devices; and the legal dimensions of using solar panel advertising on IIT property.  Please see Prof. Krent (Room 735) if you are interested in working on an IPRO this semester.  Academic credit is available. 

Spring 1998 Grade Distributions.  The grade distributions for Spring 1998 courses are linked to this page. Copies of the grade distributions are also posted on the second floor bulletin board.

Academic Calendar Reminder.  In observance of Labor Day, there will be no classes on Saturday, September 5 or Monday, September 7. 

Faculty/Staff Team Prevails in Softball Game Against Students.  In an impressive display of athletic acumen, the faculty/staff team defeated the student team by a score of 6 to 5 in the recent softball game sponsored by the Student Bar Association.  As a member of the prevailing team, however, I feel obliged to acknowledge the important assistance provided by several students, who graciously agreed to play for the faculty/staff team upon discovering that there were too few faculty and staff members present to field a team.  There is no truth to the rumor that the margin of victory was provided by a well-timed threat from one of the faculty players to "flunk, flunk, flunk, ha-ha-ha" several members of the student team. 
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