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Curriculum Center Browse Bibliography Build EPacket Pricing Structure Distribution Process Management Control in Nonprofit Organizations
Kyle Evans
Young, David W.
Functional Area(s):
   Organizational Behavior
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pages: 8
Teaching Note: Available. 
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First Page and the Assignment Questions:
    On Thursday morning, Kyle Evans suffered a severe emotional trauma in his personal life.

    Shaken and in a state of emotional shock, Kyle went immediately to see Paula Sanders, the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the Lexington Business School. Dean Sanders spoke at length with him in an effort to deal with his confused feelings. During the conversation, Kyle mentioned that he had a two-hour exam (the second exam of the semester) scheduled for that evening in his accounting course, A214. Dean Sanders told him that, given his emotional state, he should not take the exam. Kyle did not mention to Dean Sanders that the syllabus requirement for A214 exams was quite explicit: if he missed an exam for any reason, he would receive a grade of zero. The syllabus made it clear that there were no opportunities for makeups. Since the exam constituted 15 percent of the final grade, Kyle’s grade in the course would suffer as a result, and his status as an honors student  would be jeopardized.

    Kyle did not take the exam. On Friday, Professor Harley Davidson, the course coordinator for A214 spoke with Dean Sanders during a faculty retreat. After some discussion about Kyle’s situation and his upset, Professor Davidson told Dean Sanders that it was unfortunate, given the circumstances, but Kyle would nevertheless receive a grade of zero on the exam. Dean Sanders asked if there were any way to make an exception in Kyle’s case. Professor Davidson responded that, if he made an exception in Kyle’s case, he would need to do so both for all other students who had missed this exam or the prior one, and for those students who had taken either exam while ill and thus had not performed up to par. Professor Davidson said that he would take up the matter with the A214 faculty team (three adjunct instructors, the Accounting Department’s Assistant Coordinator for Undergraduate Core Courses, and a student teaching assistant) to get their reactions.

    At the A214 faculty meeting on the following Monday, Professor Davidson described the situation and solicited input. The faculty, while sympathetic, all agreed that Kyle should receive a zero on the exam. On Tuesday morning, Professor Davidson sent the following E-mail to Dean Sanders:


The A214 faculty spent a considerable amount of time at our meeting yesterday discussing Kyle’s situation. Donna Patterson [the Assistant Coordinator] told us of the idea you had suggested concerning taking Exam #2 this summer, and we discussed that in some detail. Here are our reactions.

We do not believe that Kyle should be offered any sort of makeup opportunity, either now or in the summer. To give you a sense of why, here's an E-mail that I sent to one of the students in the course on the day of Exam #2:


1.     Should the memo be sent to the students? If not, what should be done about the problem with Kyle?  If so, how, if at all, should it be reworded?

2.    Assuming the memo is sent as is, should Professor McGuire permit Kyle to take a makeup exam? If so, should other students who missed exams be allowed to take makeups? What should be done about students who miss an exam due to illness. What about students who took an exam while ill, and hence performed poorly?

3.    Is there a role to be played by any of the other individuals who have been copied on the various E-mails?

4.    How should the school resolve the conflicts concerning course policies for A214? (Note: you are not being asked to recommend policies, but rather to propose a process for resolving the conflict between Dean Collins and Professor Davidson concerning A214 exam policy, as well as any other differences they have concerning policies for the course.)