Undergraduate Winter and Spring Academic Calendar: March 18, 2020

To: Undergraduate Faculty and Students
From: Marc Conner, Provost
Date: March 18, 2020

Dear Faculty and Students,

I write to give final guidance on the Winter and Spring academic calendar. I have benefited greatly from the consultation with the Faculty Executive Committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the President's Advisory Committee, as well as a robust discussion forum with over 40 faculty on these questions. Two major concerns arose in those discussions: 1) the need for both faculty and students to have at least some transition period between the end of Winter Term and the start of Spring Term; and 2) a strong desire to have a range of grading options available to students. Regarding the first concern, we have determined the following calendar:

  • Winter Term classes will end by midnight (US Eastern Time) on Wednesday, April 22.
  • Students may choose to take Winter Term exams on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 23-25. Final exams may also be embedded into the class sessions, at the faculty's discretion.
  • Winter Term grades for seniors will be due by 12 noon on Tuesday, April 28 (in case seniors need to make adjustments for Spring) and the remainder of Winter grades are due by 12 noon on Monday, May 4.
  • Spring Term classes will begin on Wednesday, April 29, and Spring Term will conclude on Friday, May 22. The standard drop/add period of just two days will remain in force, with waiting list offers ending on the first day of class, and drop/add ending Thursday, April 30.
  • Spring Term grades will be due for seniors by 12 noon on Monday, May 25, and for all other students by 12 noon on Friday, May 29.
  • This builds in a six-day transition period between the end of Winter classes and the start of Spring classes, it gets senior grades to students in a timely manner, and extends other grading as possible. It also concludes both Winter and Spring Terms within the already-scheduled academic calendar.

Regarding grades for both Winter and Spring Terms, we will make a range of grade options available for students to select, including a new credit/no-credit option as well as conventional letter grades. I will be sharing a proposal with faculty this afternoon and inviting their feedback on this approach. We will share our determination with all students no later than Monday, March 23.

I greatly benefited from the significant feedback and commentary from our faculty on these matters. I appreciate how much thought and time people gave to this during an already hectic time. Thank you also for your patience as we work out these academic questions.

Marc Conner, Provost