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My #BlackintheIvory story, although I have literally 100's. I took my comp exams in poli-sci at @UNC to move forward for my dissertation. I was told that I failed the exam, and the requirement was you review your exam and discuss the notes left by the faculty that graded it
Here's the catch though: @UNCPoliSci didn't have a copy of my exam. No one could find a copy of my exam. No one could find any notes or grades from faculty. No one could provide any evidence that anyone had graded my exam. Yet they still told me that I failed. Isn't that curious?
I spoke to the faculty that supposedly graded my exam (two of whom are still at UNC). That included Jim Stimpson and Michael MacKuen. Stimpson couldn't remember my specific answers but told me that there were questions about how I discussed 'black voting' behavior in an answer
Which was amazing to me because I didn't answer a question about black voting behavior in my comprehensive exam. Clearly, Jim Stimpson hadn't actually read my exam but still told me that the @UNCpolisci committee agreed that I had failed my comprehensive exam. #BlackintheIvory
It took me weeks to finally track down Michael MacKuen, I emailed him, called him and he never responded. This is important because you cannot move forward to re-take your comprehensive exams if you don't speak to committee members that graded the one you 'failed'
When I finally got Michael MacKuen on the phone & asked about my political science comprehensive exam he said:
"I don't think you'll be a good political scientist and I don't want to talk about your exam." Then hung up on me.
I re-took comps that fall ( a whole other story) and passed. To this day @UNCPoliSci has never been able to provide any documentation that anyone even looked at my 1st exam, let alone failed it. 2 of my graders are still tenured faculty in the department #BlackintheIvory
I point this out because academia is still ridiculously segregated, the % of black PHds in this country remains embarrassingly low and that is mostly because of the kind of quiet discrimination that students, usually with no recourse, have to face on a yearly basis
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