[TACRAO] Listserv SMU Response: Revoking a degree

Hall, John jhall at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jun 13 10:35:02 CDT 2013

Jerry -

As you know, and others have pointed out, revoking a degree is neither pretty nor easy.

My favorite case at SMU was where a faculty member submitted a grade change from a C to a F and asked us to revoke the student's degree the week after graduation. Seems that at the last minute the previous week, the student pled a case with the instructor promising to submit some missing work on Monday after graduation if only the instructor would give him a passing grade now so his mama could see him graduate. Of course Monday came and went without the student submitting the missing work. Enraged, the instructor wanted to correct the situation. We did not process the grade change or revoke the degree, and thought about giving the student some advance standing credit for Oral Persuasion.

But we have revoked a degree now and then at SMU. We do not have a policy and it seems each case is slightly different. And, just as we have revoked a degree now and then, we have also let a minor error go, and let the degree stand.

We rely heavily on the opinion of the degree awarding school, the magnitude of the degree deficiency, now long the error has existed, how reasonable it is that the student should have known that an error occurred and whether the student should have known that they really didn't graduate.

Good luck,


From: tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu [tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu] on behalf of Jerry Martinez [Jerry.Martinez at utb.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:55 PM
To: tacrao at tamuc.edu
Subject: [TACRAO] Listserv Revoking a degree


If it was discovered that there was an administrative error (incorrect grade) that resulted in a student being certified for a degree, what process do you have in place to retract/revoke their degree?

Do you even consider retracting the degree?

Things to consider?

You can reply to me directly at jerry.martinez at utb.edu<mailto:jerry.martinez at utb.edu> if you feel more comfortable. :)


Jerry Martinez
Assistant Registrar
Office of the Registrar
Tandy 105
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas 78520
T: 956-882-7578 | F: 956-882-8832
jerry.martinez at utb.edu

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