- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2017

A professor at the University of Georgia is letting students decide their own grades if they feel “unduly stressed” by bad ones.

The “Stress reduction policy” is outlined in the online syllabi for two of Richard Watson’s fall business courses, “Data Management” and “Energy Informatics.”

“If you feel unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable material or the overall course, you can email the instructor indicating what grade you think is appropriate, and it will be so changed,” the policy reads. “No explanation is required, but it is requested that you consider waiting 24 hours before emailing the instructor.”

Richard Watson is the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

The syllabi were first reported by CSC Media Group.

The stress policy also says tests and exams “will be open book and open notes, including the use of material on your laptop.”

It gives students permission to “request to discontinue all further group work” and have one’s grade determined “totally on non-group work.”

“Only positive comments about presentations will be given in class,” the policy continues. “Comments designed to improve future presentations will be communicated by email.”

The policy was designed to preempt “emotional reactions to stressful situations.”

“While this policy might hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material, ultimately these are your responsibility,” it concludes. “I will provide every opportunity for you to gain high level mastery.”

Mr. Watson has not yet responded to The Washington Times’ request for comment.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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