Correct the Final Grades of Students of Professor Kathryn Kujawa

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NOTE: This petition is anonymous. Your name will not appear anywhere in this document or any pages related to it, unless you choose to comment with your real name. I am the only one taking a risk by writing it and putting my name on it as the creator. Please do not be afraid of bias on Professor Kujawa's part. You will remain anonymous as a signatory! 

 

On behalf of myself and the students of Professor Kathryn Kujawa, I am petitioning for our final semester grades to be curved by 10 points (one letter grade). Professor Kujawa’s unprofessional attitude, inability to meet the basic expectations of a professor at this university, and ambiguous grading policies have led me to create this petition.


In regards to her attitude, Professor Kujawa is regularly critical of her students in unconstructive ways. Professor Kujawa is frequently passive aggressive, both in individual meetings and in class. During class meetings, she will state her already vague expectations for the project or assignment, and proceed to give passive aggressive commentary on the work we have completed per her guidelines; comments that range from “Oh, you’re really going to do that?” to “You know, that really doesn’t look good,” without any further comments on how to improve our work and meet the expectations she believes she has set for us. In individual meetings, it is common for her to roll her eyes at students, behave in an irritated manner, and scoff at students for “not paying attention” or listening to her. Professor Kujawa regularly creates a hostile and unprofessional work environment for her students. Her attitude towards students does not reflect professional conduct as required of professors by the university.


Despite her accusations of her students inability to follow directions, Professor Kujawa has never provided rubrics for assignments, stated specific materials that will be covered on an exam, or distributed a course syllabus. For her sections of 133, she has yet to tell the class what will be on our final exam, which will be administered 24 hours after the time of writing this petition.


What she does distribute is vague at best. Her assignment descriptions will often ramble on for pages without stating clear objectives, and leave everything up to the interpretation of her students, despite her wanting to see very specific things, which she never states. As a result of this and her confusing grading policy, which does not adhere to the universities policy at all, many students have received poor grades with little to no comments on what to improve, or no grades at all. Often, students have had to wait until beyond the end of a semester to receive a grade for an assignment submitted over a month, or sometimes two months before.


I believe that any student or professor within this department can agree that this ambiguity and unprofessional attitude negatively affects our GPA’s and overall performance within the university. Professor Kujawa does not seem to understand that the grades she gives directly impact the success of her students, some of whom may be graduating and entering the workforce, pursuing higher degrees, or transferring to other institutions. For example, for myself and some of my peers in Professor Kujawa’s 133 course, our acceptance to transfer universities or masters programs remains contingent on the grades we receive this semester, and a poor grade in her course, despite our efforts, may close opportunities many of us have dreamed of, through little fault of our own.


Many students gave Professor Kujawa the benefit of the doubt last semester because she was a new professor. However, someone with her wide experience both in the workforce and in academia should understand that there are universal expectations of her as a professor and employee. Those include clear grading policies, clear expectations for assignments and exams, a professional attitude, and an ability to complete her work (grading, creating exams, course syllabi, etc.) in a timely and effective manner. Expectations which she has yet to meet.


I believe her students all agree that the only way to prevent this from having a negative effect on our grades and future opportunities, and from having an impossible final project or examination in all of her courses, is to put a stop to this immediately. As a result, I ask that as many of you as possible sign this petition, and move for the department to correct our final grades and make Professor Kujawa’s courses clear and fair for her current and future students. 

Amendment: The University of Delaware Faculty Handbook states that "employees are expected at all times, to respect the rights of the University, its students, visitors, and other members of the University community. Inherent in this responsibility is the obligation to be courteous, respectful, honest, and to protect the University environment."

In addition, the Faculty Code of Conduct for the University of Delaware states in section 2.2: 

"As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom."

and section 2.3:

"...In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinions of others..."

From student reports, it is clear that Professor Kujawa is in violation of both of the above sections of the Faculty Code of Conduct. It is unacceptable that Professor Kujawa has been allowed to continue behaving in this manner to her students, and to have been allowed to continue violating the Code of Conduct she must adhere to as an instructor at this university. Her disrespect of students and their opinions leads her to have a clear bias in grading assignments, on time or otherwise. This is a large contributing factor to our request for a grade adjustment. 

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Feel free to contact me personally at mmossess@udel.edu if you have any personal statements which you would like to include in the final packet I give to the head of the fashion department.



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