EMU suspends use of GradesFirst after inaccurate dismissal emails

 

Eastern Michigan University has suspended its relationship with GradesFirst, the company responsible for the mistaken dismissal emails sent to some students earlier this month. The university will also be reassessing their contract with the company as well as reviewing other third-party agreements to see which, if any, services will be retained.

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 4th.”

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 our students as well as fully integrate with Banner.”

Schatzel closed by stating “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” Foreman 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.”