Topic: Professions and InstitutionsSociety

Edward R. Jackson
(April 2004)

He did not hide, he did not cover it up. When Edward R. Jackson discovered that his school, Southern University, had a grading scandal covering nine years and 541 students, all of whom apparently paid a registrar worker to alter their grades, the Chancellor announced the disgrace to the public and press, and declared his determination to rectify it, even if it meant revoking the degrees of hundreds of former students and expelling current students.

Jackson did not talk about the pressures on the students to succeed, or how some of the students who falsified grades had made contributions to society after graduating. He didn’t put the blame on the registrar worker to the exclusion of the students. He said, "We will not tolerate any unethical or illegal activities at Southern University. If we find it, we will stop it."

Thus did the Chancellor of the nation’s largest historically black university prove himself a role model for parents, educators, coaches, corporate leaders, mayors, governors and presidents.

Let’s hope they were all listening. 

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