Message From the Provost on COVID-19 Student-Faculty Options
On Monday, March 23, the Registrar sent important updates to students about advising and registration for fall 2020. These updates included extended deadlines for withdrawing from classes and changing the grade option to credit/no credit. This communication provides you with further details on these and other accommodations. As always, I begin by expressing my appreciation to the students, faculty, and administrators who provided counsel on these guidelines and changes; it reminded me yet again of how fortunate I am to be part of a community that lives its mission and cares so deeply for each other. I also remind you to continue consulting LMU’s coronavirus website for critical information for our community.
Recognizing challenges that undergraduate and graduate students may face adjusting to new modalities of course delivery, the need to care for oneself or family members, and/or other complications resulting from the global pandemic, LMU will implement the changes below for the spring 2020 semester only:
- Academic Holds
If you have a hold on your account, you will need to resolve the hold and communicate with the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Course Withdrawal Date
The last day to withdraw from classes has been extended to May 1, 2020. To withdraw from a course, visit your registration page in PROWL through your MyLMU portal. If you choose to withdraw from a course, a grade of W will result.
- Credit/No Credit Grading
We have extended the last day to change your grade option to credit/no credit to May 1, 2020. If you would like to change your grade option, please complete the form designated for your college or school for dean’s office approval.
- Counting Courses Changed to Credit/No Credit
Graded courses taken on a credit/no credit basis will count towards fulfilling Core, major, and minor requirements during the spring 2020 semester. Some exceptions will apply where local, state or national accreditors or licensors have indicated that letter-grades will still be required for the degree or certificate program. Additionally, students in majors or programs where the minimum required grade is higher than C will still require letter-grades for courses because the minimum grade to earn credit is C. Please note the minimum required grades for Core attributes (C-) and for flags (D).
- Students considering any of these options should speak to their advisors about the ramifications of withdrawing from a course or changing the grade option to credit/no credit. For example, some graduate and professional schools, post-graduate agencies such as international fellowship programs, or certain employers may expect letter grades for all required courses on transcripts and these bodies may not be as accommodating of the current circumstances.
- International students need to check with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before choosing credit/no credit because some governments may not allow it.
- Veterans need to check with the Veteran Programs office before choosing credit/no credit.
- Students who are currently on academic probation should consult with the advisors in their college/school if they are considering taking one or more classes for credit/no credit.
Recognizing that the aforementioned challenges also apply to faculty, and to acknowledge the tremendous lift that faculty are bearing in their teaching duties this semester, LMU will implement the following changes:
Faculty will be afforded the opportunity to delay their tenure clock or their promotion in rank for one year without prejudice due to the many complications the global pandemic has created. Faculty should consult with their dean, who can provide guidance on whether or not such a delay would be prudent. Ultimately, however, the decision rests with the faculty member and must be submitted in writing to me by May 15, 2021, regardless of where the faculty member is in the timeline and prior to the submission of a promotion or tenure application.
Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET)
Student evaluations of teaching will still be administered this semester through the usual anonymous online survey for each course (some departments will be using the online SETs for the first time). While faculty are always expected to document their excellence in teaching, especially those completing faculty service reports or going up for review, faculty can request that spring 2020 SETs not be used or referenced in their FSR or R&T reviews and may choose not to submit them with tenure/promotion materials.
St. Ignatius of Loyola once said, “It is dangerous to make everybody go forward by the same road.” It is in that spirit that these options are offered, so that students and faculty may make the best of these challenging circumstances and find their own best way forward.
Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost