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Temporary Changes to Grading, Q-Drop, and Withdrawal Guidelines

Published on Sat 03/21/20

Sent on behalf of President Michael K. Young and Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke


Upon a recommendation from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and approved by President Young, students will have the opportunity to choose Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading for any course in which they are enrolled in the spring semester 2020. Students have until 5pm on Tuesday, April 28th to make changes to their grading options. Details of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee’s proposal are outlined below. Additional guidance to students on how to opt-in to S/U grading will be provided next week. This may not be applicable to students in first professional degree programs who should contact their program for grading information. 

In addition to the S/U grading, the Q-drop and Withdrawal deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 24th. Q-drops after Spring Break will not count toward the institutional limit of 4 nor the state limit on drops. 

Any student considering the change from graded to S/U grading may need to consult with an academic advisor, professional school advisor, athletics advisor, or financial aid advisor to understand the implications of the change on one’s future plans including progress toward a degree or financial aid.

Finally, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee is asking faculty to ensure that students have ample opportunity to engage with them during this shift to online instruction.

We would like to thank the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for their work and deliberation on these important matters.


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee met on March 18, 2020 to discuss options surrounding issues of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading this semester. The recommendations of the Faculty Senate on this issue are:

  1. Retain the course’s current grading scheme as the default (e.g., Letter grade: A, B, C, D, or F).

  2. Students may choose an S/U grading scheme on a course-by-course basis for the spring 2020 semester.

  3. All programs that normally require a course for a letter grade must accept S/U grades for all courses this semester.

  4. Students will be allowed to switch to S/U Grading until the last day of classes by 5 p.m. on April 28th.

  5. Students are strongly advised to talk with their academic advisor before switching any course to S/U grading. If a student is currently not making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid and is on an academic plan, those students should consult with a financial aid advisor prior to switching any course to S/U grading.

  6.  The S/U grading will adhere to its current Definition in Student Rule 10 (Student Rule 10; “S: Satisfactory (C or above, hours not included in GPA, U: Unsatisfactory (D or F), no grade points, hours included in GPA), except as noted in number 7 below.

  7. Any U or F grade received this semester will be removed from GPA computations.

  8. S/U grading applies to both Undergraduates and Graduate Students.

Similarly, the Executive Committee also recommends the University consider:

  1. Extending the Q-drop deadline until April 24th. Q-drops requested after Spring Break will not be added to the student’s cumulative Q-Drop total

  2. Extending the withdrawal deadline to 5 p.m. on April 24th.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee also makes the following recommendation regarding Instructional office hours this semester:

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee believes it is the responsibility of all Faculty and Instructors of Record to ensure that all students have adequate access to their instructors during this unique semester. Therefore, we implore every Instructor of Record to ensure that they are holding frequent, potentially extended, and published office hours.

This published information, disseminated to their students, should include specific details on the instructor’s preferred method of communication, and how, where, and when that instructor can be contacted