Published on Thu 02/18/21
Dear Texas A&M Faculty and Staff,
This week’s cold weather and unanticipated power outages have significantly disrupted university operations as well as the safety and well-being of our Aggie community. While we are hopeful for a reprieve with warmer weather next week, in order to resume academic coursework, it is likely that some employees and students will have lingering issues with power, internet connectivity, and infrastructure.
Therefore, I strongly urge us to remain as flexible and compassionate as possible with each other and our students as we move through the coming weeks.
In light of this week’s events, I have authorized the following changes (which apply to all students except those in the School of Law):
- We have received confirmation from both the THECB and SACSCOC that the missed contact hours do not need to be made up. Therefore, no changes will be made to the end date of the semester and all planned reading days and holidays will remain as scheduled. However, instructors must ensure that learning outcomes and objectives are met. It is at the discretion of the instructor to determine what needs to be covered and how to make up for lost content. If an instructor decides to make up content, please do so over the remainder of the semester.
- No graded activities shall be due nor exams administered before 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. Later dates are acceptable. This directive applies to all graded activities or exams originally scheduled or due Monday, Feb. 15 through Wednesday, Feb. 24.
- Instructors must have revised syllabi with an updated course calendar or class schedule posted 48 hours prior to any graded activities or exams, but no later than 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Please upload the new syllabus to Howdy.
- Instructors who were scheduled to give a common exam between Monday, Feb. 15 and Wednesday, Feb. 24 should coordinate within their departments on new exam dates and secure approval from their college’s AOC Dean prior to notifying students and the registrar. Please work with those students who have conflicts as a result of the rescheduled exams.
- In order to accommodate delayed scheduled exams, the university will waive section 8.3 in Student Rule 8 to allow regular exams (not final exams) to be administered during the last week of classes.
- The deadline for instructors to submit midterm grades will be extended. Midterm grades are now due by noon on Monday, March 15. For Qatar, the midterm grade deadline remains at noon on Thursday, March 11.
- The Q-drop and withdrawal deadlines have been extended to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 30. For Qatar students, the deadline is extended to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 26.
Finally, as we make appropriate adjustments in the coming weeks, I encourage you to be mindful that we remain in a pandemic with altered methods of instruction, necessarily reduced social activities, and diminished capacity on everyone’s part to deal with yet another stressor. Things won’t return to normal as soon as the temperatures moderate; in fact, weeks may pass before infrastructure is repaired both in our homes and on our campus.
Thus, I encourage you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones after this difficult week. Similarly, if you become concerned about any of your students, encourage them to seek assistance or tell us so we can follow up with them.
While we remain committed to our academic mission, let us not forget the importance of our collective responsibility to care for one another in these challenging times, just as Aggies have done in previous generations. We are stronger together.
Mark H. Weichold
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President