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November 9, 2006

Media Statement concerning today's Washington Post article, Dr. I. King Jordan

From: Gallaudet - Nov 9, 2006

Since 1864, Gallaudet University has had a unique mission of providing opportunities to students with diverse educational backgrounds and needs. Since its inception, the university has offered remedial programs and, in recent years, a challenging honors program. Gallaudet remains committed to ensuring that all our students have the opportunity to succeed and, to graduate, every student must satisfy the academic requirements set by the faculty.

Under the leadership of then Provost Dr. Jane Fernandes, a new strategic plan, New Directions for Academic Affairs, was developed that included raising admissions standards. That planning effort was co-chaired by two members of the faculty (who constituted a majority of the Academic Affairs Planning Committee) and was comprised entirely of faculty, staff, and students). In that document is a plan for increasing the number of articulation agreements with community colleges, particularly those who already have experience teaching deaf students, so that remedial courses can be taught there and students transfer to Gallaudet when they complete those courses successfully. The faculty and the board have given their strong support to this and all of the plans contained in New Directions, and these agreements with community colleges are being developed. Anecdotes about a student or students who cannot multiply without a calculator make good news copy but do not represent an accurate picture of the student body at Gallaudet University. We have ambitious strategic goals and plans that are designed to ensure that Gallaudet students receive an exemplary education that will prepare them for the challenges in our rapidly changing world.

Regarding grading practices at the University, it is important to note that there is a standard institutional process for addressing issues of academic performance. There are procedures in place where students can formally bring forth their concerns about their grades to their professors, department chairs, and deans.

Gallaudet remains steadfast in support of our faculty to ensure long-standing academic integrity. Above all else, Gallaudet is dedicated to providing quality education for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Dr. I. King Jordan, President