Dr. Edward C. Feldman is a senior professor at the University of California Davis. He is chairman of the medicine and epidemiology department at the school’s veterinary college. Feldman recently came under fire for his actions in the classroom.

Feldman issued a rather bizarre poll to his student, asking what grade should be given to a female student who missed class to give birth. It asked third-year students at UC-Davis whether the female student should receive an automatic letter grade, an average of her scores, or a single final exam.

It is likely that the student will miss most of the in-class work. Feldman, in the poll, also gave the option of having the student graded the same as everyone else.

An e-mail was leaked by a student on a blog called “On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess.” It described Feldman’s actions in a way that was more-or-less in his defense.

Linda P.B. Katehi, the chancellor at UC-Davis, stated that Feldman’s actions have to be taken seriously, especially since the veterinary school has 85% females.

The school already offers services to pregnant student. It also allows for extended leave for new mothers and has private rooms where these mothers can breast feed their babies.

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