Students on the political science department mailing list were hit with an email from Gerald Gamm, the associate chair of the department, on Jan. 11 with a pressing subject line: “Urgent—letter errors.”

Earlier that day, 266 students were sent false academic probation warning letters by CCAS.

“The University of Rochester, with the support of the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) has recently completed a review of your academic record for the previous semester,” the letters read. “After considering your grades and your overall academic performance, we are writing to inform you that you that you will be on academic probation for the coming semester.”

Becky Fletcher Roberts, the executive director of CCAS, told the Campus Times that the error occurred when CCAS was uploading a data file containing academic progress records into their system. Those files are used to generate probation letters, and some kind of problem occurred this time around. Students’ academic records were never impacted by the problem, she also said.

Gamm’s email notifying political science students of the problem was sent at 11:42 a.m. Roberts sent the affected students a notification of the error at 12:35 p.m. She then sent an additional email apology the next day.

“We regret the error and the confusion the communication has caused,” the email sent on Jan. 12 read. “Please remember that you can always verify your academic standing by logging into your UR student account.”

CCAS is implementing new procedures to ensure the mistake does not happen again, Roberts said, “including implementing a more robust spot-checking system prior to communications going out.”

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