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Orange County Focus

MISSION VIEJO : Faculty to Protest Change of Grade

January 22, 1992|GREG HERNANDEZ

A group of angry faculty members from Saddleback and Irvine Valley colleges are expected to attend tonight's meeting of the Saddleback Community College District's Board of Trustees to speak out against a controversial grade change that has led a professor to file a lawsuit against the district.

The group is also expected to address contract negotiations that have been stalled since September.

Hugh Glenn, a veteran writing professor who has been teaching at the district since it was founded 25 years ago, is suing administrators for raising a student's grade.

Glenn gave a student a D for a class taken last spring after the student had completed all course requirements except for submitting an acceptable term paper.

The student appealed the grade under the district's grievance procedure to Glenn's immediate superior, Peter Morrison, chairman of the college's School of Humanities. Morrison ruled that the grade should be raised to a C.

Morrison's decision was then reviewed by the vice president for academic affairs, as well as the president, legal counsel and, finally, District Chancellor Richard Sneed.

Morrison and Sneed are named in the lawsuit, which was filed on Jan. 7 in Orange County Superior Court.

In a prepared statement regarding the grade change lawsuit, Sneed said, "At each level, there is concurrence that (Morrison's) action was in accordance with board policy and state law."

But faculty members have sided with Glenn in the matter.

"A lot of people are very, very concerned about the grade change," said William Jay, president of the Saddleback Community College Faculty Assn. "Obviously, the faculty association is in full support of Hugh Glenn."

Jay said faculty members are also frustrated by stalled contract negotiations. Because the faculty and district administration have been unable to come to agreement on a new contract, the issue has been referred to a state mediator.

"We've been in negotiation since April and we're trying to wrap that contract up," Jay said. "It's time to end this dispute; it's ridiculous that it has stretched out like this."

The faculty is asking for a 5% pay increase while the district's offer calls for no pay increase.

"The 5% pay increase is simply beyond what we can do," Sneed said. "We're in a recession like everyone else. Our current offer is zero, but we have a state mediator and are trying to find some way to reach agreement."

The board meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Library 105 at Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway.

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