Monday, April 18, 2011

Another day in our litigious society

From the City Pages blog: "Steve Uhr says Linda Zinter 'forced' to take wrong classes"

Linda Zinter, a former graduate student in the U's Master's of Liberal Arts degree program, sued the university after her adviser, as we put it, "suggested" she take courses to complete her degree. But Zinter's attorney points out that the classes weren't just a suggestion--Zinter had the impression that they were a requirement for her to graduate. ... The whole problem started when Zinter had only one course left to complete for her master's degree. Her adviser recommended (or forced) her to take two classes that weren't required, wasting her time and money. Zinter received a "C+" in one, and then dropped out of the second, leading her to get an "F" ... Zinter sued for $6,775 in tuition damages, and she and her lawyer have said they may also seek damages for lost wages suffered as a result of not completing her master's degree.

SERIOUSLY!? I went to the U of M and I had no trouble figuring out degree requirements. Here's a list of the graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts. Pick one and look at what classes are required. This lady is acting like she was majoring in Feminist Studies and her academic adviser told her to take STAT 5302, Applied Regression Analysis and ESci 5353, Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice, in order to complete her degree. I realize that probably sounds like I'm attempting to perpetuate the commonly-held view that women suck at science, but I only picked those because of how far removed they are from liberal arts. I'm a woman with a science degree and I guess I just like to poke fun at people like that.

I think this woman is upset because she expected the adviser to do everything for her. All the academic adviser is responsible for is advising you on what classes to take, not dragging you down to the registrar and forcing you at knifepoint to sign up for certain courses. If you have questions, ask them. Look in the student handbook. Check online. Do your research. Don't be stupid.

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