Public University Unfairly Raising Grades of Black Students, Say Three Former Faculty Members

Oliver Darcy, Campus Reform, July 1, 2013

School administrators at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) are systematically raising the final grades of African-American students, three ex-faculty members told Campus Reform last month.

Former Director of Academic Technology Shira Hedgepeth, along with two former professors who spoke to Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity, alleged administrators at the historically black college routinely increase the final grades of African-American students in order to raise the school’s standing.

“Some students had their final grades changed based on their race,” Hedgepeth told Campus Reform on June 6. “That was a common complaint of many of the faculty that I worked with.”

“None of the Caucasian or non-African American students… none of their grades were changed,” she added. “The way the grades fell out, there was no other reason for changing.”

Documents provided to Campus Reform by one of the former faculty members appear to validate these claims. {snip}

According to Hedgepeth, and the two former professors who were granted anonymity because of they feared speaking out may jeopardize their retirement, instructors would submit final grades to the school only to have them later revised upwards by administrators as a way to “take care of their African American students.”


According to one of the former professors, however, several faculty members have filed numerous complaints which were ignored.


“I have tried reaching out to our accrediting body but they would not take complaints such as these,” added Hedgepeth. “We have done everything we can to get somebody to start looking.”


The two professors wished to remain anonymous due to fears the school would retaliate against them.

“All the faculty, white and black are very fearful to speak,” said one of the professors. “The department is run by fear and through retaliation. If you speak out you will be retaliated against.”

Hedgepeth was terminated by WSSU in 2011. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has since ruled she was a victim of racial discrimination when she was terminated. She now has two pending lawsuits filed against the school.


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  • WSSU is an HBCU, so almost all of its students are black.

    • • 5,692 enrolled (30% male / 70% female) – An oil-driller’s heaven.

  • bubo

    “The department is run by fear and through retaliation. If you speak out you will be retaliated against.”

    Run by blacks in other words. Blacks pettiness is only eclipsed by their arrogance.

    • Mark Hillyard

      “their arrogance”
      I think you have to know something (anything) in order to be arrogant. Just thinking!

      • Arrogance is built on a massive inferiority complex. My ex-father was arrogant; everyone hated him, and one of his co-workers at the CU Boulder physics department got a Nobel Prize. I hope that really gripes him.

        Confidence is based on ability and experience and the confident man does not usually belittle others. I merely dislike John Engelman because he is a (recovering?) liberal. I suspect going to prison for three years has wrung all the conceit out of me.

        • stewball

          Wss he also a bully?

  • OhWow

    Whenever blacks try to compete with whites they need a stepstool. Without the stepstool known as affirmative action or corruption, they sink right back to the bottom every time.

    • The__Bobster

      Sort of like tossing them into a swimming pool.

    • Romulus

      They also have the judicial system backing them up and of course we know who the majority of all lawyers in the country are. We also know who the most powerful lobbys are as well.
      NRA= 1 for us.
      Govt piggy bank=democrat controlled redistribution of YT’s money
      ADL= needs no introduction

  • I have to imagine that going to a HBCU would be like re-attending junior high school.

    How poor are the students if they can’t cut it in their own environment?

    The four-year graduation rate reached a low of 13.1 percent for the class that started in 2004. It has hovered at less than 20 percent for most of the classes that enrolled since 2000. Even over 10 years, only about half of a freshman class makes it to a four-year degree. …. One of the targets for WSSU is a six-year graduation rate of 43.5 percent by 2015. The most recent six-year graduation for WSSU is 41 percent.

    Address: 601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive . Winston-Salem, NC 27110

    • borogirl54

      There are several reasons for students at HBCU’s drop out. They are not sufficiently prepared for college so they drop out. Also, many of them run out money so they have to drop out for a semester or so to work to save money to return to school. Some just get caught up with life, have kids and working so they never return to school.

      • The__Bobster

        If they had to pay anything, they didn’t use their own money.

        • borogirl54

          Most of them probably qualified for Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid. HBCU’s are notorious for delaying student’s financial aid because the necessary paperwork is not completed and sent in on time. Because of this, many students struggle to have to pay out of pocket until their financial aid comes through.

  • bigone4u

    At my former employer the administration pressured faculty to lower standards so that grades did not have to be faked. One untenured black prof was fired because his grading standards were too strict, which sent a message to everyone to get with the program. As businesses increasingly understand how worthless degrees have become, the bubble will burst.

  • JackKrak

    For years, I’ve been convinced that this is one of those tip-of-the-iceberg issues where for every case we hear about, there’s a hundred that will never be discovered.

    How many schools out there that were threatened with state takeovers and defunding last year now show all of their students scoring 368% correct answers this year?

  • haroldcrews

    A good friend of mine was an adjunct history professor at WSSU. The horror stories he would tell on the quality of the students never failed to astound and amuse.

  • The__Bobster

    “None of the Caucasian or non-African American students… none of their grades were changed,” she added. “The way the grades fell out, there was no other reason for changing.”

    So the non-Bantus busted their butts to get the same grades as the NAPA’s who didn’t have to do squat? Sounds about right. That’s how it works in the real world.

  • If dem Oogabooga-American’ts don’t be gettin dat hep for dem grades and “stuff”, how be does dey get dem good house-jobs? Dey gots ta be haben spensive “stuff” like wheel rims and “stuff”.

    As you can see, I am “bilingual”. Yes, that gives even me a serious headache.

    • Erasmus

      Ms. Jeantel thinks being bi-lingual means liking plain and extra-crispy equally as well.

      • Jefferson

        Rachael Jeantel speaks Spanish, Haitian Creole, and 3rd world ghetto English.

        • Erasmus

          And here I would have wagered that her native language was Huttese.

        • Creepy as a cracker!

          And I am sure that she is illiterate in all three!

          • BonusGift

            Best answer; and best name.

      • Tri-lingual …. but I doubt she likes the grilled skinless variety.

      • Rusty Shackelford

        She ate the bones.

        • We’re stupid rednecks and “Japs” here, so we boil the bones for 72 hours to make soup stock.

  • libertarian1234

    “….administrators at the historically black college routinely increase the final grades of African-American students in order to raise the school’s standing.”

    And it’s probably safe to say not many of them can actually read everything on their certification.

    Look at the Zimmerman witness Rachel Jeantel. She’s 19, claims she attends Miami university, and she can’t read beyond a third grade level and can’t read cursive writing at all.

    • Jefferson

      Miami University must set the bar extremely low. Rachel Jeantel is not even qualified to work at Jack In The Box, let alone qualified to attend a University. She is definitely a product of affirmative action.

      • Erasmus

        Are you sure it’s Miami University? Miami University is in Ohio.

        The University of Miami, maybe? Or maybe Ms. Jeantel is now too brain-addled by chronic use of cold medicine recreationally to know where she really goes to skoo’.

        • dukem1

          Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!!!

          I’m from Ohio, and a proud MAC graduate.
          She is not one of us.

      • borogirl54

        I read where the University of Miami admitted only 38.3% of applicants. I do not understand how she could get in if she was not an athlete. She certainly did not appear to be a very intelligent person. I mean, she could even read cursive, which is really not hard to do.

        • dukem1

          Didn’t appear to be very athletic, either.

        • Ngati Pakeha

          That would be 38.3% of general students. The Africans get in regardless of their ability to read or compose a basic sentence. Just a thought worth considering.

    • robinbishop34

      I heard her referred to as a 19 y/o high school junior a few days ago.

      • Jefferson

        A 19 year old 11th grade junior. So that means she will be either 20 or 21 by the time she graduates from high school.

    • cablegirls

      At the trial, Jeantel said she will be a senior in high school this coming school year.

      For the record, it’s doubtful she knows more than a couple of words of her mother’s native language (Haitian French) or her father’s (Spanish). She didn’t say she knew either language, and said she was born and raised in the U.S. (Miami).

      Funny, when asked where her father is from, she stumbled a moment and said “Dominican.” The questioning attorney had to ask, “Dominican Republic?”

      Several times, when referring to Martin’s wake, she called it “the awakening.”

      • borogirl54

        That is sad. I was a month shy of my 18th birthday when I received my diploma. The only thing that I can figure is that she did not pass enough classes or dropped out then returned to school. I always thought that they would kick them out at 18 and they would be forced to get a GED.

  • Jefferson

    [QUOTE]“All the faculty, white and black are very fearful to speak,” said one
    of the professors. “The department is run by fear and through
    retaliation. If you speak out you will be retaliated against.”[/QUOTE]

    This is a perfect example of how diversity is our strength.

    • A Freespeechzone

      Diversity = excuses for failure & lack of success, while making some people feel good about themselves.

      Not good for America…

  • Erasmus

    Anyone still not get why everyone with more than half a brain takes the abilities of even a black who graduated with honors with a big grain of salt?

    College transcripts now have to be race normed:
    African-American A = Caucasian/Asian C
    African-American B = Caucasian/Asian D
    African-American C = Caucasian/Asian F

    • Jefferson

      In the average African American family, a C average student would be considered the rocket scientist of the family.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Well, what else are HBCU’s, those pillars, those bulwarks of American and Western Civilization supposed to do?

  • MekongDelta69

    Some students had their final grades changed based on their race…

    Heh – Try all.

    Besides, it’s pretty pathetic when you can only get a “D” in some gobbledy-gook ‘course’ like, “Post-structural Interpretations of Afro-American, Feminazi-Gay-Marxist Hip-Hop Literature”.

    All subsidized directly or indirectly by all our tax dollars – just like the 7 Billion Dollars of OUR money, NoBama’s giving to Africa to ‘upgrade’ their electricity, (which will bring them forward to the 19th Century), while destroying OUR economy.

    • Meanwhile in America:

      Power plants are closing.
      Refineries are shutting down and no new ones are being constructed.
      There is no pipeline being built.
      Offshore drilling permits aren’t being issued.
      Mining permits aren’t being issued.

      Give the man 12 more years in office and The US will Northwestern Africa.

  • None Ya Biz

    There IS a reason white exceptionalism exists…and it’s called “The Bell Curve”. Get the book and read it. It will open your eyes.

  • Spartacus

    I don’t understand. Why would the blacks need to have their grades artificially raised ? Aren’t we all the same ?


  • Tinfoil A22hat

    Tribal “politics”. What no necklacing or cannibalism? Yet.

    • dukem1


  • Romulus

    The cheating debacles from chibongo, killadelphia, Atlanta,Birmingham,,LA, should helped remember that we really shouldn’t be surprised. There was a Long Island kid at SUNY
    That helped his peers cheat on the SAT.

  • Ella

    Professors probably feared a lawsuit if they failed their Black students or were threatened by administration for not nurturing their minority students. I think State colleges receive federal monies for preventing high-risk, minority-students from dropping-out. They have some type of tutoring programs at tax payer expense. So cheating will continue due to economic pressures.

  • Snow

    Well nowadays, many job postings blatantly state that if you are a black person it will be easier for you to get this job. I am not joking and I am sure you see it in your area as well. Isn’t that racism?

    • Sick of it

      It’s also the terribly depressing job market, brought to you by the United States government – Working hard to destroy America!

  • APaige

    Affirmative grading?
    Teachers cheating on tests for students…teachers cheating on tests for themselves…its just easier to change the grade.

    • dukem1


  • BonusGift

    On a related slight digression, I vaguely remember a study that was done where there were two sets of teachers that were asked to grade a essay type test, one group was informed the race of the test taker and the other was not. If I remember correctly there was at least a full grade difference (e.g., a C would be upgraded to at least a B, on average) if the student was identified as black and this was even more pronounced among white teachers. In short, if brainwashed teachers know the race they significantly and strongly bias in favor of little Moochelle or Tavyvon but will penalize little Johnny or Jane. Thus, while the AmRen referenced report is disturbing, it is already implicitly happening based on brainwashing done through the MSM over the last few decades. That is, U.S. teachers (black and white) already bias in favor of blacks and against whites.

  • I graduated from an HBCU law school. I probably would have been first in my class the first year of law school, but some of the professors raised the grades of the black students.

  • Luca

    I experienced much the same in government employment. Liberal colleges graduate unqualified students and liberal-run governments hire them in prestigious high-paying positions. Incompetence, waste, fraud, abuse, nepotism and corruption are the usual job skills they bring to the table.

    It’s quite demeaning to be interviewed by a phony CEO who knows less than you do, hasn’t mastered grammar and has an IQ of 85 and watch him go on to hire a fellow incompetent black or a boot-licking white Liberal.

    Case in point: Obama.

    • Creepy as a cracker

      I share the same experiences and observations as you. This is one reason why I will avoid black professionals, they were handed their degrees for being black and not for what they achieved in the classroom. I have met government employees who are black that are in very high appointed positions. Many of them have a command of English about as well as Rachel Jeantel.

      • BonusGift

        I would have given you an up arrow just for your name; but you earned it anyway. This contrasts with most black students that do not earn it.

      • Luca

        And an attitude to match.

  • MawellAxel

    This happens at EVERY University and college. One conversation with ANY black student or college grad will prove this. I sometimes work at universities for short stints. I have seen blatant illiteracy. I have seen a senior write the word “handkerscrief”

    • Creepy as a cracker!

      And our SCOTUS sanctions this!

      • BonusGift

        Darn, I find that I must up arrow your comment because I just love that name.

  • watling

    No, it’s all down to discwiminashun. You see, the reason black African countries have poor infrastructures, lousy public services, high crime, famine, drought, dysentry, civil wars, AIDS epidemics, leaky plumbing and hopeless leaders is because of white people in Europe and the USA discriminating against them.

  • Ngati Pakeha

    Thanks for that link it was well worth a read. The guy needs a medal for putting in two years of relentless grind. As they say it always sounds better coming from the horse’s mouth.

  • BonusGift

    I currently teach as well and generally agree with your general assessment of American black vs. African students; and overall assessment of black students. In addition I have witnessed on several occasions where an American black will signal some racial solidarity with a Caribbean or African black that is not mutual whereupon the American black at least acts as if it doesn’t mean a thing to them. The combination of the grievance chip and being born in the U.S. seems to overwhelm any sense of reality or perspective. Finally, I would also say that the average African black university student is not very typical of your average black in general (i.e., I have also visited Africa and have seen this first hand). People often forget that the average overseas student (not just black) may be very unrepresentative of the country from which they come and others may be relatively representative of the country from which they come.

  • BonusGift

    If you hooked Barry Soetoro, or Moochelle for that matter, up to a lie detector and asked him/her if his/her positions and entrance to university/college were the result of his/her intelligence and hard work I bet he/she would say yes and pass the lie detector test. He/she and his/her kind really must think that way in order to display the degree of arrogance they display.

  • stewball

    A chip on their shoulder is quite understandable I am sure you agree. You obviously never taught blacks who went on to become doctors. Lawyer. Writers. Professors. Etc. Paul Robson was, I think a lawyer? With a wonderful voice and unfortunately was a communist. So there are many many many Intelligent blacks who probably pass you in the brain game. No disrespect intended.


    “I have tried reaching out to our accrediting body but they would not take complaints such as these,…”

    Accrediting bodies are more concerned with “inputs” and “processes” that do not bear directly on learning. These might include, “Does it have a mission statement? Faculty senate? Program review procedures? Sufficient library? Professors with ‘proper’ credentials? Adequate financing?”* rather than such things as graduation and drop-out rates.

    *American Council of Trustees and Alumni report on accreditation.