March 30, 2020 One-time Accommodations for Spring '20 Semester

From the Provost’s Office  

I would like to acknowledge once again the incredible efforts by faculty, staff, and students during these unprecedented times. What you all have accomplished, the attitude you have maintained, and the respect, collaboration, and professionalism that you have shown each other while doing so is exemplary.

Coach Tia Brandel shared with me comments made by the volleyball players about how faculty have adjusted to these circumstances and maintained commitment to students. I share those comments:

I just wanted to share some thank you responses from the volleyball student athletes. We had a video call and when I asked them about their classes, these are some of the things I heard…

“All of my professors have been so flexible and helpful.”

“The professors are fast in responding to any questions or emails.”

“We are getting so many notices through email, blackboard and stuff and some of my professors send me to-do lists which I really appreciate so I don’t miss anything.”

“I can’t believe how fast the professors have made this change.”

“I know someone is helping my professor because he doesn’t do technology (laugh) and I respect how much they help each other.”

I was really touched by these reactions from our volleyball players and I just wanted to share them with you. And I am really, really grateful to have professors that band together, find resources and just keep putting the students first.

In further response to the circumstances and in an attempt to alleviate time constraints, technical problems, hardware problems, accessibility problems, the following adjustments are being made in acknowledgement of, and accommodation for, these circumstances.

One-time Accommodations to Spring ’20 Semester:

  • Student /Faculty Evaluations
    • Spring 20 semester student evaluations for all full-time and adjunct faculty, whether onsite or off-site are neither required nor expected.
    • The University will administer a student evaluation only upon faculty request. A request must be made by Monday, April 6.  The request procedure will be made available this week through individual colleges.
    • Promotion, Merit, and Tenure applications for Fall ’20 and beyond will not require student evaluations of courses from Spring 20.
    • *KCAD administration will provide KCAD faculty with details regarding the KCAD plan for Spring 2020 course evaluations.
  • Withdrawal Date
    • The Course Withdrawal date for Spring 20 Semester has been extended through Friday, May 1. Students are responsible for being aware of the consequences of the effects of a “W” on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by consulting with their academic advisor and a financial aid representative.  Financial Aid advisors can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at 231.598.8210.
  • Incompletes
    • Given the abnormal circumstances of this semester and the burdens that have been placed on both faculty and students to transition to remote delivery formats, faculty are encouraged to consider a flexible use of the “I” grade, if warranted.
    • The normal threshold for an “I” grade is completion of 75% of the course work.  Faculty will have the flexibility to lower that threshold to 50%, if helpful to promote student success.
    • Students who receive a grade of “I” in a Spring 20 semester course have until the end of the Fall 20 semester to complete the work.
    • If further State, Federal, or University mandates are imposed in the next months, considerations for extending the date could be possible.
  • Summer Registration Date Extension
    • The registration date is extended until May 22 , the Friday of the first week of summer classes and the end of the normal Drop / Add period.
  •  Grading
    • Faculty will be expected to submit letter grades as in the past.
    • Through the end of Fall 20 semester, students will have the option to submit a request to have a letter grade for a Spring 20 semester course changed to a Credit / No Credit (CR / NC) grade.
    • The request will be submitted to the course instructor, and the normal Grade Change process will apply.
    • Instructor approval of the grade change may be dependent upon accreditation, prerequisite, and/or program standards. A CR/NC grade will not affect GPA.
    • Please be aware that a CR/NC grade may not be in a student’s best interest as graduate school admissions and academic content major admissions often require specific and comprehensive grades and GPAs.
    • Students submitting grade change requests will be responsible for consulting their academic advisor to determine if the change is allowed by external accreditation and academic program completion plans. Students receiving financial aid are also responsible for consulting with a financial aid advisor before submitting the request.
  • End of Semester
    • The exam week schedule is suspended for Spring ’20. The regular course schedule will extend through Friday, May 8, 2020. Faculty may choose how to provide the most appropriate educational activities / engagements for students (i.e. extend class time through the week, provide asynchronous activities, work, and/or assessment, etc.) 
  • Final Grade Submission
    • Because of the circumstances under which faculty and students are functioning and specifically because they are, in some cases , working with serious technological constraints, the due date for submission of grades will be extended to 2 PM Monday, May 18.
  • Summer Course Guidelines
    • All summer courses that begin the summer in a remote delivery format will continue in a remote format for the entire summer.
    • Exceptions, after June 1, may be laboratory sections, internships, clinics and clerkships. They may have an option for face-to-face transition if the ban against face-to-face is lifted.  However, all such coursework must first have a plan for remote/virtual delivery in case that ban is not lifted.
  • No Spring 20 Academic Dismissals
    It is imperative, however, that the University community continues to recognize its commitment to SAP, advising, and student success as it would normally with students who may be in academic peril.

Paul Blake
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs