Ferris State University has announced multiple 2020-21 academic calendar adjustments and options. Dean of Student Life Joy Pulsifer announced the news to students in a Tuesday, Sept. 29 email. The dean’s message communicated some updates presented by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Bobby Fleischman. Changes that Fleischman has announced, including information about the elimination of spring break, help students adapt to new, safer learning ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whether a student is participating in online coursework, HyFlex instruction or face-to-face classes, they will have the option of requesting a Credit/No Credit grade, instead of a letter grade,” Fleischman said. “This will apply for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semester to ensure the safety and wellness of everyone on campus, whether they are students, professors, or on the university’s staff.”
Fleischman noted the importance of these adjustments as students progress in their academic careers.
“We strive to keep our finger on the pulse of our students, and attempt to get ahead by maintaining a constant focus on what is best for our students, faculty and the university community,” Fleischman said. “Not administering academic dismissals for grades in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semesters, offering greater flexibility for students seeking an incomplete, or ‘I’ grade, and extending the dates to withdraw from a course and receive a grade of ‘W’ are other aspects of our efforts to promote academic success and opportunity.”
Fleischman announced the elimination of spring break during the Spring 2021 semester. The semester’s 15 weeks of instruction begin on Monday, Jan. 11. Examination week, April 26-30, closes the semester.
“The decision was made as part of our ongoing effort to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 so that class sessions will end on Friday, April 23,” Fleischman said. “The accommodations put in place the previous semester will again be available to students who wish to seek a credit/no credit grade, withdraw from a class or receive an incomplete grade assignment.”
The provost noted ongoing efforts to promote campus safety and wellness result from faculty, staff and student collaboration.
“The acquisition and distribution of masks and plastic shields before the start of classes were among the many directives brought to bear by Associate Provost of Academic Operations Leonard Johnson and Dean of Student Life Joy Pulsifer,” Fleischman said. “Our Dean of Pharmacy Stephen Durst, College of Health Professions Professor Michael Klepser and College of Health Professions Dean Lincoln Gibbs, have supported the Administration and Finance division to arrange for testing of students and wastewater sampling on campus. Whether it is in our residence halls or other campus buildings, Vice President Jim Bachmeier and Gheretta Harris, in Auxiliary Enterprises, have joined in doing everything possible to promote and achieve a safe environment.”