United Faculty, the collective bargaining unit for University of Northern Iowa faculty, says the professor at the heart of a grievance over a missed test by a member of the National Guard is receiving threats.
United Faculty President Dan Power says Cathy DeSoto, a psychology professor, is receiving hate mail and threats to herself and her family following news reports about a grievance filed by student James Roethler over a missed test.
Roethler, a member of the National Guard, says he went to DeSoto last week when a test was moved from October 17 to October 19. Roethler says he asked DeSoto if he could make-up the test because he would have to be gone on October 19 for a four-day Guard drill. Roethler says DeSoto told him no.
DeSoto says students are allowed to drop one test without having a negative impact on their grade. Roethler says he didn't want to use that for this situation since he felt he had a valid reason for missing the exam and should've been allowed to make it up.
After the story was reported, UNI President Ben Allen released a statement saying that he disagreed with DeSoto's decision. United Faculty believes that statement made the situation worse.
"UNI has a policy that must be followed. United Faculty does assert that the rights of the faculty member, and all individuals involved, must be protected and all of the facts must be reviewed. It is unfortunate that UNI's established procedures are being ignored by UNI's own leadership, and it is important that several facts about this situation be made clear."
Power goes on to say that President Allen did not talk to DeSoto before releasing the statement and he made no attempt to resolve this problem informally.
Power says DeSoto is "being subjected to harassment for doing her job and following a policy in her syllabus."
A grievance board will meet to decide if Roethler should be allowed to make-up the test.
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