Editor’s Note: This article is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.
UC San Diego’s Academic Senate announced this morning that it will be moving the deadline to select the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grade option from the end of Week 10 to the end of Finals Week.
The deadline change follows calls from students urging the University to accommodate the Black community in light of the recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minnesota police officers. Specifically, members of the Black community at UCSD wanted increased flexibility and accommodations for upcoming final exams. The P/NP deadline was first changed to Week 10 following the campus-wide move to online learning in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the announcement, faculty are still not obligated to provide a final grade for a class until the week after finals. However, the Academic Senate hopes that the additional week will allow students to make adjustments as needed. In a list of recommendations to faculty, the Senate encouraged professors to provide final grades to students during the week, even if they are unofficial, to allow students the opportunity to make a decision about their grading option by the end of Finals Week.
Included in the list of recommendations to professors were options to make their final exams more accommodating for students, such as adjusting the format and implementing a no-fault exam in which students cannot be penalized for poor scores. Many professors have taken the lead and modified their grading scheme in response to numerous student email campaigns calling on faculty to make adjustments.
However, some professors have only told their students to take an “Incomplete” for their course if they are unable to finish the class at this time. An “Incomplete” grade option must be approved by the professor, and it means that students must complete their work by a certain agreed-upon day. The absolute last day that student and professor can agree to count work is the last day of Finals Week in the following quarter.
The Educational Policy Committee (EPC) reviews changes to class policies and makes recommendations to the Academic Senate on how they should proceed. According to Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Adarsh Parthasarathy, who has been working with the committee this week to implement adjustments, the committee had two main proposals: extend the P/NP deadline to Finals Week or allow students to choose P/NP retroactively after seeing their grades.
“What happened here was a result of the Black community and it would not have been possible for me to do my job if they didn’t reach out to me and bravely share their stories,” explained Parthasarathy. “However, this is only one aspect of what Black students demand of their student government and the institution they call home. The work isn’t done, and I encourage everyone to consider the change that can still be made on this campus for them.”
Other individuals involved in formulating these changes include Dean of Undergraduate Education John C. Moore, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (VCEDI) Becky Petitt, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA) Alysson Satterlund, Graduate Student Association (GSA), and AS President Kimberly Giangtran.
Samir Nomani is the News Editor for The Triton. Ella Chen is the Editor-in-Chief for The Triton. Assistance in research and writing for this article was provided by Orianna Borrelli, Administrative Director.
Correction June 3 2020, 8:28 pm: The article initially stated that if a student opts for an “Incomplete” grade for a course, the coursework must be finished by their graduation date. We also initially referenced current AS President Kimberly Giangtran as President-elect. GSA was also involved in the meetings held between UC San Diego administration and student leaders. We have since fixed these errors and apologize for our mistake.