Petitioning the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC)

NB: There is no guarantee that your petition will be approved.  Wait for notification of the final status of your petition (approved or denied) prior to stopping any work in a class, or missing class requirements.

When is a petition to FEC necessary?

The FEC receives student petitions requesting exceptions mostly related to waivers of undergraduate administrative deadlines (late drop/add, late major declaration, etc.). PLEASE NOTE: For registration-related matters, no change in registration is official until the proper form, bearing the required signatures, and any required petitions have been received, approved, and recorded by the University Registrar's office. Until that time, students are advised to attend all class meetings and complete all work for the classes they seek to drop or add.

Examples of FEC responsibilities include:

  • late registration activities - drops and adds (see the timeline for normal changes at either Drop/Add Policies for Fall Term, Drop/Add Policies for Winter Term, or Drop/Add Policies for Spring Term),
  • late Spring Option declarations,
  • overloads in fall or winter terms more than 17 credits or more than 5 credits in spring term (see the online 'Overload Approval' link at,
  • underloads in any term (fewer than 12 credits for fall or winter term or 3 credits in spring term),
  • to take a final examination prior to the official exam period,
  • to request waiver of late fee,
  • a late declaration or removal of a degree, major, minor, or program (only after January deadline in the senior year),
  • late declaration to graduate (only after the end of the 2nd week of winter term in the senior year)
  • to be excused from commencement exercises,
  • and, other administrative policy exceptions.

How often does the committee meet?

The FEC meets each Wednesday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. during the term, except during breaks and exam periods. Actions by the FEC require approval of the faculty at their regularly scheduled faculty meetings (generally, the first Monday of each month). Please note that petitions may not be considered immediately. You should continue going to the courses for which you are currently registered and allow up to two weeks to receive notification of the committee's action. Do not assume that they will approve your petition.

To whom would you submit the petition?

Students should submit their email or written petition, and any supporting documentation (for example, support from adviser or course instructor) to by Friday at 12:00 noon for consideration the coming week.

What should you include in your petition?

The Faculty Executive Committee is charged with ruling on student petitions on many things, including extreme overloads, late changes to course schedules (add/drops, pass/fail declarations), late changes to majors and minors, and more.

Students submitting petitions are well-served to write petitions that include the following:

  • Provide a clear statement of the request
    (e.g., "I would like to drop <name the course>," or "I am petitioning for a waiver of the fee for my late major declaration change...")
  • Provide your detailed rationale for the request and any extenuating circumstances beyond your control
  • In the case of late add/drops, clearly state …
    -  your total credits before and after the requested adjustment to your schedule.
    (e.g., "I currently have 15 credits and will have 12 if allowed to drop the class.")
    -  your status on any graded work completed to-date. NOTE: This is kept confidential within the committee.
    (e.g., "We have had one test accounting for 15% of the total grade. I received an 82. We have a series of homework assignments accounting for 6% of the grade, and I have made A's and B's on each of them.")
    -  the reason that the request is coming beyond the deadline
  • In the case of an online overload request of more than 17 credits, please clearly state one of the following:
    -  how your situation relates to the specific circumstances noted in the Overload Approval website, or
    -  what other reasons justify the overload.
  • For ALL petitions that request a fee waiver, please note any extenuating circumstances that would justify the fee waiver.

How will you hear of the status of your petition?

Students receive official notification indicating if the petition has been approved or denied  to the student's W&L email account usually no later than Friday afternoon after the FEC meeting. Students are responsible to watch for this email notification and act on any approvals accordingly (see below). If your petition is denied, and you believe it still has merit, you may appeal by meeting first in person with Dean Rob Straughan, chair of the Faculty EC.

What should you do if the petition is approved?

Upon approval of a petition, the student must submit all appropriate paperwork with necessary signatures to the appropriate office. For example, if a petition for a late add has been approved, the student must obtain an drop/add form, get the appropriate adviser and instructor signatures, and turn it into the University Registrar's office during normal business hours and in advance of the deadline. The notification that your petition has been approved (to your W&L email address) usually includes a 10-day deadline for processing a request, so students are encouraged to check their email and take care of the necessary paperwork in a timely manner. If the deadline is missed, then a student must re-petition the FEC.

Are there any fees associated with late approvals?

Effective fall 2022, fees for late add/drop changes were eliminated per a policy change approved by the faculty.

Last update: February 7, 2023