CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- A University of Northern Iowa professor has received hate mail and threats after a National Guard soldier filed an official grievance with the school stating she refused to allow him to makeup a test he missed while attending an out-of-state Guard drill.
Freshman James Roethler said psychology professor Cathy DeSoto told him and another soldier they would have to take a zero on the test. However, as part of the class policy, students are allowed to drop their lowest score from the final grade. UNI President Ben Allen has openly supported the student and his office has worked with Roethler to help file the grievance.
Friday, United Faculty, the union representing UNI professors, issued a statement about that support.
“We are concerned that his statement has made this situation worse. UNI has a policy that must be followed,” the release said. “United Faculty does assert that the rights of the faculty member, and all individuals involved, must be protected and all the facts must be reviewed. It is unfortunate that UNI’s established procedures are being ignored by UNI’s own leadership.”
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DeSoto said this week university policy kept her from commenting on the specifics of the case.
“This is not an issue for the newspapers and media to resolve. The Academic Appeals Board exists precisely to deal with such situations. This process has started and it should be respected,” said Dan Power, the United Faculty president. “If the policy on class attendance recently approved by the President needs amendment, the Faculty Senate can recommend needed changes. But it is inappropriate for President Allen to ignore the due process procedures designed to protect both students and faculty.”
Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, the Northern Iowa Student Government president, is responsible for convening the appeals board. He could not be reached Friday morning.