General Advisory

The information in this segment pertains across the board to all of my courses. Every course, however, has its own peculiarities, and students who want to show me their “A game” would do well to digest both these policies and those of their specific course syllabus. In this manner, you will be free to ask interesting questions about the course’s content and issues, rather than bogging down in procedures.

Grading   Attendance   Make-Up Policy   Honor Code   Plagiarism   Disruptions   Late Work


I grade all work on the standard 100 percentile scale with the letter grades breaking down as follows:

In accordance with Longwood's new +/- calculations of student GPAs, my conversion of numerical grades to letters will proceed thus:

Quizzes are often graded on a ten-point scale which easily converts to the above systems.

I do not curve grades. Nor do I accept extra credit work.


Ah, college, this weird environment where students are treated sometimes as adults, other times as infants who don’t understand why people keep putting them in diapers. Attendance is one of those parts of college that show both sides of this phenomenon. You will find that I generally do not take roll after the first few weeks (when I’m endeavoring to learn your names). This reflects my philosophy that students will act like adults if given the chance. You are expected to attend every meeting of our class because we cover valuable material in every session. This includes the days immediately before our various Breaks; travel plans bend around classes, not vice-versa.

Of course, some students defy my expectations. I am telling you up front, however, that if you choose to skip class regularly, it will catch up with you. Firstly, in my assessment of your participation grade (in classes where this applies). Secondly, and usually with more severe consequences, it will affect your performance on quizzes, exams, even your written assignments—and not because I will arbitrarily subtract points from your score. You quite simply will not have the necessary means to show mastery of our material.

All in all, students reap the consequences of their own choices in this area.

Make-up Policy

In general, I only allow make-up exams for medical reasons or for university-sanctioned absences (e.g., athletic meets). For athletes, you need to inform me well in advance of the impending schedule conflict; we can then arrange an alternate exam and time. If your circumstances are medical in nature, you will need to provide evidence (severed limbs aren’t quite necessary!) of a visit to a physician’s office. I occasionally will accept post-exam requests, but you are better off to inform me of the problem before the actual exam. No one may miss the final; to miss it is to fail the course.

While I applaud the concern that many students show for their roommates, their crises do not qualify as your excuse.

Last, but far from least in this category: some students assume that their travel plans are more important than our scheduled exams and quizzes. They aren’t. Your syllabus tells you when these events will take place, and you should plan to be present for them. Don’t waste my time asking to reschedule because you want to leave early. As a deluded fool who thinks education is actually the primary mission of college, I am inflexible on this point.

Honor Code

I do not make a big production of the Longwood Honor Code during class time. Do not, however, interpret this as a lack of concern for the Honor Code. All provisions of the Honor Code apply to each of my classes. If you’re a little hazy on the provisions of the Honor Code, refresh yourself below.

Twelve Points of the Honor Code


Honesty is the fiber from which any relationship is formed and is crucial to establishing personal competency and leadership. True honesty is practiced at all times, not just when convenient.


Scholarship is the essence of learning and growing, inside and outside the classroom. A commitment to academics is a valuable investment that, like an Honor System, pays dividends to both the individual and the community.


Vigilance is a state of mind whereby we commit ourselves to maintaining our integrity and ensuring that others do likewise. As Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Honor has not to be won, it must only not be lost.” Our honor is tarnished by moments of indiscretion that cannot be reversed. Regard your actions with care.


Care is vital to any thriving collegiate community. Without care the masses succumb to apathy and progress stops. Without care, harmful actions are not confronted, discretion is not exercised, and the community suffers immensely.


Like care, pride is significant to fighting the effects of apathy. Pride is a personal commitment to excellence and taking joy in one’s actions. Everything we do is a reflection of ourselves, and it is essential to make decisions that we can be proud about.


The Honor Code has been a tradition of Longwood University for more than nine decades. Today this tradition is as vibrant as when it was first ratified by the student body.


As the youth of our communities, we hold great potential. We are obligated to embrace that potential and to avoid decisions that diminish our promise. There is nothing more damaging than a dishonorable reputation.


Purity is an impeccable reputation and self-image that can only be gained by identifying and implementing personal values. Dishonest actions corrode purity and lead to internal struggle.


Each individual has the undeniable right to establish their own character based on personality and life experience. Our combined personalities constitute the character of an honorable community.


In a climate of honor, modesty is important because of the role it plays in grounding ourselves so that we do not believe that we are invincible and unaccountable to each other. Humility with self-confidence is hard to achieve, but ultimately desirable.


The next point of Longwood’s Honor System is Virtue. Though similar to purity, virtue has it’s own place in our Honor System. Virtue is the essence of all that is good in humanity, and is indispensable to a noble life and community.


The final, and most encompassing point of our Honor System is Integrity. Integrity is the glue that holds our values of trust and respect together. Personal integrity involves staying vigilant, maintaining purity, and establishing a trustworthy persona. Community integrity is the pinnacle of any society, and it is what we strive for at Longwood. For honor is not merely just a personal journey, but a community expectation.

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The crime of plagiarism is covered by the Honor Code, of course, but my students should know that anyone whose work is determined to be the product of plagiarism will not simply receive a grade of ‘0” on the offending assignment, they will automatically fail the entire course. This is not a negotiable policy. Worried about plagiarism? Follow the link to learn more.


A college classroom can be more an event than a place, given the interaction that hopefully takes place between students, professor, and the material under study. Students should respect that atmosphere by not disrupting it. In a nutshell, there is no room for:

Incidents involving the first item will be referred to the appropriate university bodies. Each cell phone that I hear will result in 1 point being deducted from that student's final grade. Obviously, I'm serious about this. Likewise, texting in class results in deductions to the overall participation grade for the course. As to tardiness, I understand that students can’t always make it to class on time, but after ten minutes, respect the rest of us by not coming in. Students may have the finest motivation by coming, but it disrupts the class at that point. If you need to leave early, please inform the professor before class begins and have the decency to sit near the exit.

Late Work

I will accept late work, for up to 7 days (that includes Saturday and Sunday!) after it is originally due. The penalty, however, for late work is 7 points per day.