Lehigh University student sues school for $1.3 million over C+ grade

Lehigh University
Wikipedia / Matt Casey. Lehigh University’s Alumni Building.

Former Lehigh University graduate student Megan Thode, 27 – whose father is a professor at the Bethlehem school – has sued the university for $1.3 million in damages because she received a C+ in a finance course, according to multiple reports.

Thode, who was at the time she received the grade enrolled in her final year of a masters program in counseling and human services, needed at least a B to move on to the next course required to complete the degree, according to The Morning Call.

She instead graduated with a masters in human development and now works as a drug and alcohol counselor. Thode says the $1.3 million is to make up for the salary she would have earned over the course of her career, had she graduated from the human services program and obtained employment as a state-certified counselor.

Though her lawyer, Thode is now also claiming the C+ was part of an attempt by her teacher and the degree program’s former director to force her out of the graduate program in retaliation for a complaint she filed after having to find a supplemental internship mid-semester. She further alleges the program director was biased against her because she was an LGBT rights advocate.

The school countered that Thode was unfit to move onto the next phase of the program, citing emotional classroom outbursts, and claimed that Thode has already received preferential treatment – including free tuition and access to campus jobs – due to her father’s employment as a professor at Lehigh University. She allegedly filed multiple grievances and showed up with her father to numerous meetings in an attempt to get the grade change and obtain financial compensation before the suit was filed.

A Northampton County judge yesterday allowed the trial to continue, in part because of the way the grade was calculated, according to The Express-Times. Thode was given a zero for classroom participation, bumping her grade from a B to a C+, and no other professors that testified could recall grading in such a way.

Arguments are slated to continue this afternoon.


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Comments

1

  1. I was deeply moved by the story regarding a former Rutgers student of mine Louisa
    Leal. She was in my public speaking class. She was so inspired by my teaching
    that even though she is not Jewish she asked me to pray for her which I did.I
    went out of my way to help her as I did with many other students who needed
    extra help. I was there to help many athletes get through Rutgers, particularly
    those who had injuries and learning problems including Ray Rice, Jeremy Britt
    and most of the NFL players over the last twenty plus years. Last year I was
    terminated from Rutgers after teaching there since 1990. The Home News has not
    been willing to do my story. My crime was that I was not willing to give 20% A’s
    and 20% C’s and D’s to my students, creating and using my own textbook (not
    unlike other professors) and being unwilling to accept the disrespect given to
    me by the chairman of the department. THE HEAD OF THE UNDERGRADUATE DEPT. CONVENIENTLY RETIRED AND THE DEPT. CHAIRMAN IS ON SABBATICAL MAKING A FORTUNE AS A FULL PROFESSOR WHILE ADJUNCTS STARVE.
    I always received the highest student ratings. Please ask Louisa about me and she
    will verify this. I would love to speak with her if you could convey that . A current student at Rutgers told me today that certain professors are curving grades so that if you are one of the unlucky 20% YOU MIGHT GET A D EVEN THOUGH YOU REALLY DESERVED A HIGHER GRADE. If you do not believe this ask students at Rutgers. There is no way that I would ever do that to a student. That is why I NO LONGER TEACH THERE.
    message.
    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg