I am in my 4th year teaching at a large state uni in the northeast. My department is gigantic, and we occasionally get treated as if we were runaway slaves or prison escapees. We get department-wide mandates that come sweeping out of the heaven of the department office, and how the mandates get settled or decided is never made clear.
As this semester ended, we were deluged with emails - and one video from our chair - about the need to better "align our grades" to those of the majority of our colleagues.
All sorts of plans are in progress for the coming fall; a portfolio from each faculty member must be submitted. Final grades should fit inside an approved "distribution bell," and our T&P portfolio will now have one additional requirement - a report on the aligning of our grades to the departmental norms.
Q: Is this unusual? Is anyone out there going through something similar? I'm a little alarmed about it all, but feel as if I don't really have a broad enough experience to know if my alarm is warranted. I do know it made me pull up my past grades to see what they looked like - although I don't know yet WHAT they're supposed to align like. Should a department's grades align with each other?
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