University suspends relationship after system upgrade 'dismisses' students

Eastern Michigan University has suspended its relationship with GradesFirst, the company responsible for the mistaken dismissal emails sent to 7,787 students earlier this month.

In an email sent to university faculty and staff, Provost and Vice President Kim Schatzel apologized for the mistake, which was caused by a “flawed system upgrade completed by GradesFirst early on May 4.” According to Schatzel, the company realized the error and stopped the emails after sending them to students with the last names A-Gr.

Following the recent situation, the Academic Affairs department will no longer be using GradesFirst to monitor and communicate the academic status of students. Those notifications will now come from the Office of the Registrar, who “will review/revise the process of academic notification to support … students.”

Schatzel closed by saying, “IT and Academic Affairs will inventory and review all third-party software agreements/licenses to ensure full compliance with all university policies/procedures. This review will also assess if these third-party arrangements provide the best solutions in support of our students and our university.”

The conclusion that the emails were indeed a technological mistake will not come as a surprise to some students, including Elizabeth Foreman, who knew the emails were an error immediately. “I’m probably one of the few that actually didn’t freak out,” she said. “I knew I didn’t do anything to be dismissed and my GPA is high enough to still be enrolled. So I assumed it was mistaken, and I carried on with life as normal.”

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