The number of A’s in undergraduate courses declined slightly in 2007–08, but some departments have been “backsliding” in their efforts to curb grade inflation, according to the Faculty Committee on Grading.
The committee annually reports combined figures for the last three academic years. From 2005 to 2008, 40.4 percent of undergraduate course grades were A’s, a sliver below the 40.6 percent reported for 2004–07 and significantly lower than the 47.0 percent for 2001–04, the three years before the faculty implemented “grading expectations” that aimed to reduce A’s to less than 35 percent of course grades.
A release from the committee said that “a small number of departments present cause for concern” because they have increased the number of A’s or shown limited reductions. Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel said that committee members will meet with the chairmen and chairwomen of those departments, which were not identified. “We’re getting there, we’re inching there, but we’re not all the way there,” Malkiel told colleagues at the Sept. 15 faculty meeting.