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  1. #1
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    NYU Professor: I Got Fired for Giving James Franco a "D"

    I guess movie stars don't have to go to class like the rest of us...

    http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/12/1...o-nyu-lawsuit/
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    I find it amazing someone can attend a class only 2 or 3 times and expect to pass, let alone get a grade that is considered respectable. Does the school have an attendance policy? Some schools do not and some don't even allow the professors to take role and use it against the students. Of course, there are ways around that such as daily pop quizzes.
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    If an attendance policy exists, passing that class would be extremely problematic, to say the least. However, what evidence is there that the professor was fired for that reason?
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    Here's a Yale professor defending James after he heard about the 'D'. He does come off as somewhat starstuck in the article though.


    As for the professor that got fired, I can't imagine a school would fire him just because he gave a high-profiled student a D. It's not like Jame's grades were public knowledge, so who would have known about it.

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    My university did not have attendance taking (except for attend and pass classes), and I had proffessors that were so bad that I studied on my own for that subject. If you are a good book learner, I don't see any reason you can't pass while not attending class. However, you still have to put in the hours .

    How someone can be fired over grading a single student is really the strange thing. If there really is nothing more to it, then I understand he sues.

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    He'd better have a paper trail backing up the claim of firing over the D for Franco.
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    As for the professor that got fired, I can't imagine a school would fire him just because he gave a high-profiled student a D. It's not like Jame's grades were public knowledge, so who would have known about it.
    Franco publicly chastised the professor for giving him a bad grade. It was public knowledge because Franco made it that way.

    That said, if Franco complained internally about the grade, those in the department would have known, and that's all that would be necessary for the professor to receive retribution (assuming the allegations are accurate).

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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    My university did not have attendance taking (except for attend and pass classes), and I had proffessors that were so bad that I studied on my own for that subject. If you are a good book learner, I don't see any reason you can't pass while not attending class.
    I think it depends on the subject. If the class is one that goes by the book, that's one thing. But if the class is one that requires a lot of hands-on work, student interaction or group work, that's another.

    I'd think Directing would be a hands-on class, but I don't know.

    The professor wasn't fired; he was denied reappointment, which means he was probably adjunct faculty. I can see that happening for giving James Franco a D. Adjuncts everywhere are leery of giving any student a poor grade, because grievances and grade challenges often lead to not being hired again.

    If I were the professor, however, I'd be worried about being sued myself. He's giving interviews in which he publicly discusses a student's grade.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    I wonder if the professor has ever heard of FERPA? If not, I suspect he's about to get a lesson in it.

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    At one time I was working as an adjunct faculty member. One of the graduate students skipped all but 2-3 classes. He did not submit the homework assignments or projects. He showed up for the final exam and turned in wrong answers. I had no choice but to give him F (very unusual in graduate school). I don't know what happened later; I suspect the regular faculty made some kind of arrangement to give him a B or a C (like take another exam afterwards).

    It was only a temporary appointment and I did not try to get a reappointment. It was too much work for very low financial gain. It was not worth my time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I wonder if the professor has ever heard of FERPA? If not, I suspect he's about to get a lesson in it.
    Is this like HIPAA but for students?

    So he wasn't fired, just denied reappointment. Isn't that at the discretion of the department?
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Is this like HIPAA but for students?
    FERPA

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    So he wasn't fired, just denied reappointment. Isn't that at the discretion of the department?
    Pretty much.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    The instructor clearly isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

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    Thanks, Prancer. I wonder what this guy's deal is...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    I'd think Directing would be a hands-on class, but I don't know.
    It would be an extremely hands-on class.

    If I were the professor, however, I'd be worried about being sued myself. He's giving interviews in which he publicly discusses a student's grade.
    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I wonder if the professor has ever heard of FERPA? If not, I suspect he's about to get a lesson in it.
    If it's true that it's the student that revealed the grade to the public first, can the professor get in trouble for saying what grade the student got? From what I've read, Franco told Showbiz411.com last year what grade he got in this class.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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    Yeah, Franco did a video interview last year where he said he got a D in this class. It's been posted on the internet. Not sure how that would get the professor in trouble. The info was only released as part of a court filing, and that's within the scope of FERPA.

    FWIW, there's more to the lawsuit than just this. There's supposedly a string of behaviors that are being contested. The professor in question wasn't just an instructor, but didn't have a regular contract either (visiting professor). He was also head of the department prior to this IIUC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    If it's true that it's the student that revealed the grade to the public first, can the professor get in trouble for saying what grade the student got? From what I've read, Franco told Showbiz411.com last year what grade he got in this class.
    My understanding has always been that students are free to discuss their grades at will, but I can't talk about their grades with anyone not specified as an exception without express permission. We had a case several years ago where a student complained to a reporter about a certain grade; the professor who gave the grade was advised to say nothing publicly, regardless of the fact that the student had already revealed the grade.

    My understanding is that I am allowed to talk about attendance, so I could say that Franco had missed 12 out of 14 classes, but that's about it.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    My understanding has always been that students are free to discuss their grades at will, but I can't talk about their grades with anyone not specified as an exception without express permission. We had a case several years ago where a student complained to a reporter about a certain grade; the professor who gave the grade was advised to say nothing publicly, regardless of the fact that the student had already revealed the grade.

    My understanding is that I am allowed to talk about attendance, so I could say that Franco had missed 12 out of 14 classes, but that's about it.
    I think the issue here is the info was contained in a court filing, and that filing is public record. That's within the scope of FERPA to be released without the consent of the student.


    ETA: One other thing--one of the main profs Santana cites in his complaint is the brother of Elizabeth Edwards.
    Last edited by agalisgv; 12-22-2011 at 02:26 AM.

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    A professor shouldn't discuss any student's grade without permission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think it depends on the subject. If the class is one that goes by the book, that's one thing. But if the class is one that requires a lot of hands-on work, student interaction or group work, that's another.

    I'd think Directing would be a hands-on class, but I don't know.
    That is true, but I would expect the school to have clear policies? Eg. this is a hands on class and a certain lack of attendence will takie your grade down. In whivh case there would be clearly documented reasons why the grade was given... I have a feeling this about something else too...

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