Ever been on a family road trip when Dad threatens to turn the car around, but you continue making trouble because he never actually turns the car around?
The college equivalent of that is when a professor threatens to fail the whole class. Well, a professor at Texas A&M Galveston actually followed through with this promise and flunked all of his students.
When Irwin Horwitz handed out F's to his entire strategic management class, it wasn't just to demonstrate bold strategic management. Horwitz claims it was one of the worst behaved classes he'd ever taught, at one point requiring him to request police protection.
Last week, the professor sent a lengthy, impassioned email to his students notifying them of his decision. The following text from the email was posted on Inside Higher Ed (whose story was up previously but currently appears to be experiencing server overload):
"None of you, in my opinion, given the behavior in this class, deserve to pass, or graduate to become an Aggie, as you do not in any way embody the honor that the university holds graduates should have within their personal character. It is thus for these reasons why I am officially walking away from this course. I am frankly and completely disgusted. You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level ... I will no longer be teaching the course, and all are being awarded a failing grade."
In the email, Horwitz also lists the various behavioral issues he claims he's had to deal with, including cheating, insults, students spreading "hurtful and untrue rumors" about him and getting caught in the middle of fights.
"It's very rare that I fail students," Horwitz told KPRC in the interview below. "It became apparent that they couldn't do some of the most simple and basic things they should have been able to do."
A Texas A&M spokesman told Inside Higher Ed over email that the F's will be overturned and the grades for the class will be re-evaluated based on academic performance, echoing what the VP of Academic Affairs expressed to KPRC.
"All accusations made by the professor about the students' behavior in class are also being investigated and disciplinary action will be taken," the university added.
The head of the department will fill in to lead the course for the remainder of the semester.