I was enrolled in a Communications Law 653 at ***** State University in Spr 2010. I was given an F by the instructor, I believe, because I argued against the indomitably of media. The instructor has a renowned for being a notoriously biased against graduate candidates who do not hold Mass Communications Bachelors degrees. I have a Bachelors in General Psychology with a Minor in Early Childhood Education. I had been researching the effects of age appropriate entertainment media forms and psychosocial development of children and when I mentioned to him as a subject of my presentation, he told me that he was "required by law to inform the student if he/she is going to fail..." and "you gave it the old college try....". At that point, I had a B and was not in jeopardy of failing, but I could see that I was going to be one of the many proverbial "lambs to the slaughter" and met with the Provost.
After meeting with the provosts, I went back to the instructor and asked for any suggestions he might have for me to help me pass the class. He handed me a folder of 250 articles, gave me 24hrs to return it, and referred me to the Writing Lab - the director of which I had recently done PR work for on the 2009 English and Foreign Language Conference. I did everything he asked of me, including seeking assistance from the Writing Lab. When I showed him the director found no error in my writing, he began to insult his intelligence as well.
As the semester continued, I was graded above average on group projects, average on personal presentations, and failed miserably on tests which were comprised on essay questions. And so did a few other students, but they all received C's. I received an F.
I immediately went back to the Provosts office to find out what could be done. After meeting with both of them again, the only solution the university could offer was to retake the class. But in Fall 2010, he refused to enroll me citing that I had not followed procedure for Graduate Admissions.
When he gave me the F, my GPA tanked and I automatically dropped from the Graduate Program. This action was preemptive on the part of the instructor. Now, I had to resubmit an application to the Mass Communications Graduate Program and he would be able to deny my application because he was on the sat on the Graduate Admissions. So, I went to the Provosts again. This time they stated their hands were tied because the instructor had tenure and as a result, has "academic freedom" to do as he pleases.
I filed a grievance, but from what I understand no student has ever won because members of the hearing panel are members of the faculty and already biased. I contacted the Southern Association of Colleges and was told there was nothing they could do either.
Can I file suit against the school for failure to provide checks and balance for tenured faculty? Has there ever been a decision made against a school or faculty member for abuse of tenure or "academic freedom"?