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PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY School of Law MEMORANDUM, TO: 2L and 3L Students FROM: Deanell Tach: DATE: February 5, 2016 SUBJECT: Message to 2L and 31 Students ‘You are all aware that there was an unfortunate and inappropriate publication of grades in ‘one section of Criminal Procedure. I cannot begin to express to you how profoundly sorry we all are about this critical failure of law school procedures and the resulting impact on the students involved, and, subsequently, on every student in the second and third year classes. Deans Saxer, Sturgeon, Phillips, and I have been working around the clock to find appropriate and acceptable remedies that will account for the harm to those whose grades were published and not ‘compromise in any way the academic records and benefits of all students. I thank all of the deans and others for their tireless student-centered approach to this difficult situation. On behalf of all involved, I apologize to all of you who have experienced both the actual harm and the significant anxiety that has attended our efforts to minimize the harm for all. Unfortunately, the harm of the disclosure cannot ever be fully remedied. For that, 1 am deeply sorry. The initial proposed response to the inadvertent disclosure of the grades—allowing students to choose to take a pass rather than the grade that had been assigned—was a good faith attempt to deal appropriately with the problems created by the disclosure. The expressed intent ‘was to provide a remedy to students who believed that they were harmed, without disadvantaging any students or distorting class standings. ‘After listening to ongoing concerns, I decided to refer the matter to the Academic Standards Committee as the committee that deals with grading and similar academic matters, for a recommendation to be made to me regarding the action to be taken. That Committee gathered information, considered the degree to which the initially stated remedy was aligned with the problems caused by the inadvertent disclosure, and addressed how that remedy might be implemented. The Academic Standards Committee concluded that the remedy could not be implemented in an appropriate way without disadvantaging some students and without changing the rankings of some students in the 2L and 3L classes. The Committee also noted that the disclosure of the grades raised no question as to the faimess of the grades that were given. The grades were assigned completely in accordance with regular law school policies and procedures, The Committee recommended that the grades for the Criminal Procedure course be retained and reinstated without students having the option to take a pass for the course. I appreciate the careful work done by all the faculty, staff, and administrators on this matter. 1 adopt the recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee and will instruct the registrar to reinstate the grades originally awarded and withdraw the pass option. | grieve that it is impossible to remedy effectively the effect of the disclosure of the grades for those students whose grades were published inappropriately. I have searched my mind and my conscience about how best to express our regrets about this incident and to provide at least a symbolic remedy. Honestly, nothing suffices to satisfy me or those affected. Nonetheless, I will meet individually with every student in the class who wishes to meet with me to discuss anything related to this incident. In this difficult period of anxiety regarding the disclosure of the grades, references have been made that may imply that there has been some lack of good will on the part of the school or certain administrators. Nothing could be less true. Every response and action that has been considered has been grounded in trying to do what is right for all of our students. I particularly wish to commend Deans Saxer and Sturgeon who have spent untold hours with students and agonized personally about the just and right thing to do. I feel so fortunate to have the privilege of working with these fine administrators and servants of the school. I am assuming good will ‘on the part of all of you. I trust that you will do the same. assure you that the law school will take all appropriate actions to prevent this or other inappropriate disclosures or publications from happening again. Regrettably, it is inevitable in any human endeavor that mistakes will be made. ‘Throughout your careers you will encounter unintentional but damaging disclosures, and you will receive confidential information that is inadvertently disclosed to you, with a resulting ethical obligation to delete the communication rather than passing it on or using it. One of the marks of a true professional is his or her ability to respond with civility, constructive poise, and humane understanding and to treat others the way you would like to be treated. I hope we can all move forward in this spirit. Deanell Reece Tacha Duane & Kelly Roberts Dean Pepperdine University School of Law