Striking U-M grad student instructors claim school is falsifying grades

Graduate student instructors at the University of Michigan continue their months-long fight for a better quality of life.

But while they’re on strike, they say the university — one of the most prestigious in the country — is bullying staff members to "commit academic fraud" as a way to end the strike.

In the shadow of an inflatable fat cat - used as a symbol of the administration’s greed - a striking group of grad students protested outside a board of regents meeting on Thursday.

"We want to send a message that grad workers are not backing down. and what they’re doing is unacceptable and dangerous," said Amir Fleischmann.

Now the graduate employees' organization says U-M is falsifying grades for undergrads while the grad-student instructors are on strike.

"The provost and dean have pressured department chairs and non-instructional staff to put in fabricated grades," said Fleischmann. "So in many cases this means straight As for students, and in other cases, students are actually getting grades that are lower than they deserve."

FOX 2: "What are your thoughts about this?"

"I think here the university is sinking to a new low," said Fleischmann, the chair of the Graduate Employee's Union.

A spokesperson for the University of Michigan says the grade-changing accusations are false.

The university said in a statement: "The truth is that deans at each of our schools and colleges have been tasked with working with department chairs and faculty to ensure any missing grades are entered as soon as possible. The methods for resolving grades depend on individual circumstances of each class."

The claims are the latest development in a contentious back-and-forth between striking grad-student instructors and the administration.

Nearly two months ago, the instructors walked off the job — after demands for a living wage and fairer work conditions weren’t met.

FOX 2: "How long do you hope to continue this fight?"

"That’s entirely up to management," said Fleischmann. "They can end this with the stroke of a pen. They have the money and resources to give us a fair contract."

A U-M spokesperson says the university is working to ensure students’ futures and education plans aren’t compromised, and that undergrads won’t be penalized for the grad workers on strike.