Here’s the weird thing about the account of that business class at Cal Poly taught by Kinko’s founder and mega-donor Paul Orfalea, besides the catering and the hand-picked class roster and the back-room dealing and the Geography 101 quizzes and the catering … Did I mention the catering?
The weird — or weirdest — thing is the response reporter Nick Wilson received from Dean Dave Christy, who, to his credit, was at least accountable in dealing with the controversy.
That being said, why did some of his answers sound the same, dubious “who cares?” kind of logic?
On the claim that students would get an A just for participating: “These are students with GPAs of 3.65 and up, or somewhere around there, and they probably would get A’s anyway.”
So, the reasoning here I guess is that, after a student has exhibited some kind of pattern of performance, we can just pencil out the rest of their college career on that trend line?
This is a business class, after all. Isn’t anyone familiar with the investing refrain: “Past performance does not guarantee future results”?
On the question of giving A’s to the entire class: “A lot of faculty members with students doing senior projects or independent projects give their students A’s.”
Again, what does some student getting an A on his essay about the merits of post-Greenspanian economics have to do with the overall grading for a particular class?
Yes, some students get A’s. Some get B’s. Some have a bad quarter, break up with a girlfriend and see their grades fall off a cliff.
Should they be automatically rubber-stamped as perpetual high achievers anyhow?
After word of the class got out, some in the business faculty were irked, and two lecturers actually ended up getting paid NOT to teach the class, while Orfalea worked for free.
Getting Orfalea to teach for free, now I’m all for that. But paying two others so you can essentially tap-dance around union rules seems unwise at best, especially in this day and age.
Wonder what those kids had for dinner. …
Courtesy photo of Paul Orfalea
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