Student wife completes conflicting classes; grading questions remain

By Paul Wagner

During a routine check of a student’s academic records, Dennis Stoia, chairman of NIU’s technology department, found something that caught the university’s attention.

The student, Fayza Ghoneim, shared the same last name as her teacher, Salah Ghoneim. Mrs. Ghoneim had enrolled in 30 hours of credit with her husband as the teacher.

One of Mrs. Ghoneim’s classes met at the same time as another class she had enrolled in. Further investigation revealed she had never attended any meeting of the two classes, according to memoranda sent by Stoia to Technology faculty members and NIU officials.

There is no NIU policy forbidding students from taking classes taught by family members. But whether Mrs. Ghoneim receives credit for the two courses that met at conflicting times has not been decided.

The teachers of the two classes in question attempted to enter grades for the conflicting courses by submitting directly to Registration and Records, bypassing the department, a memo stated.

Stoia said the grades were changed to “Not Reported” after technology department staff members discovered that grades had been submitted. Under NIU policy, the grades will become “F’s” unless they are changed during the spring semester.

At one time, Stoia had planned to have faculty members vote on whether to change the grades or leave them “NR’s,” but abandoned the proposal last week.

Stoia said it is up to the student and the faculty members to initiate a change. He did not know when action might be taken to change the grade or how it would be handled.

“We’re not saying anything was done wrong. It’s just a matter of clearing the record,” Stoia said. If the student can demonstrate that the work was done, the “NR” grades will be changed. He said he wants faculty members to be involved in the decision

George Shur, legal council for NIU, said meetings have been held on the subject, but Mr. Ghoneim resigned from NIU and he and his wife have left the country. They now live in Saudi Arabia. Shur said Mr. Ghoneim’s resignation was not connected with the incident.