A professor at Texas A&M Galveston has “reached the breaking point” and failed everyone in his Strategic Management class not just for poor academic performance but mainly because of inappropriate behavior. Professor Irwin Horwitz sent his students a fiery email, which recounts his experience with the class, to inform them he will no longer be teaching the class and everyone will get a failing mark.
“None of you, in my opinion, given the behavior in this class, deserve to pass, or graduate to become an Aggie, as you do not in any way embody the honor that the university holds graduates should have within their personal character,” said Horwitz in the email, obtained by Inside Higher Ed . “It is thus for these reasons why I am officially walking away from this course.”
Among the alleged students’ misconduct towards the professor include cheating, lying, and spreading rumor about his family and him online. At one point, he even require police security during that and the following class.
“Since teaching this course, I have caught and seen cheating, been told to ‘chill out,’ ‘get out of my space,’ ‘go back and teach,’ [been] called a ‘f**king moron’ to my face, [had] one student cheat by signing in for another, one student not showing up but claiming they did, listened to many hurtful and untrue rumors about myself and others, been caught between fights between students…” said Galveston in his email.
One of his students, John Shaw, said he was overwhelmed when he received the email since he has been performing well on the class and worries the score might affect future employment. Horwitz admitted that there are a few students who did not engage in misbehavior and are also the academic performers in the class. He said he offered the university administration to keep teaching those students but was refused, leaving him no choice but to walk away from the class, flunking everyone.
The University, however, does not back the professor’s decision. In an interview with KPRC, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Patrick Louchouarn said “None of them have failed until the end of the class, meaning the only reason a student would fail [is] because he or she has not performed the expectations for that particular class.” A spokesperson for the University said the blanket failing will be-reassessed and anyone not failing academically will have the flunking grade retracted. Meanwhile, the department head will be taking over the class.
Horwitz, however, stands by his decision to flunk the class, saying most of the class do not have the ability to perform basic tasks that the course requires. He said he feels his academic freedom is violated by the university’s decision to change the marking he gave.