Academic Information for Faculty and Students

The Division of Academic Affairs is very aware of the difficulties facing many of our students due to the recent flooding disaster. Most likely the majority of these issues will occur as the semester progresses and could even peak at the end of the semester when students realize the true impacts of the flooding.

We are asking Deans, Faculty and academic advisors to continue to work with students and be inclined to take the student at their word; do not ask for large amounts of documentation. 

These recommendations apply to all students and courses, including Continuing Education.

Academic Issues

Requests for alternatives (including extended deadlines) to exams and project deadlines

  • Faculty members should not hold a student responsible for an exam, paper, project, etc. that was due September 12 or 13, 2013.  The campus was closed for two days:  September 12 and 13 and no academic work should be expected for those two days; they are lost days of instruction for this semester.  It is not appropriate for faculty to expect students to ‘make up’ those days or that material.  Rather, faculty should adjust their work load expectations over the course of the term.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to grant special, unusual or extra efforts to students impacted by the flooding.  For the academic week of September 16 through September 20, there were a significant number of students who were not able to attend classes and accomplish ordinary academic work for physical, financial, geographical or psychological reasons. Most classes were conducted as usual during that period which means those who could not participate as they would ordinarily need to receive special, unusual, and/or extra effort accommodations that work best to their benefit so they can have a successful academic semester
    • Examples of this type of accommodation could be extra review sessions by instructors of record, extra office hours by those instructors and teaching assistants, modifications of the syllabus and required assignments, changing due dates for required work, or posting recorded lectures and other strategies which provide the seriously affected students additional opportunities by the instructors of record to be successful in each of their courses.

Incomplete Grades Assigned:

  • Faculty members are encouraged to be liberal in granting grades of Incomplete for Fall 2013. However, faculty should balance the amount of work to complete the course with the concern that a student won’t be able to complete the course and risk getting an F in the course after the “I” grade converts to an “F” at the end of one year.
  • Faculty and Dean’s offices are encouraged to use the Incomplete Grade option with significantly more flexibility than is usual so that students might reduce their course load during the rest of this semester and complete work in those courses after the semester has ended.
    • The Provost encourages Deans’ offices to be liberal in granting grade changes to students who did not finish an incomplete course, and thus received a grade of “F” in the course for fall 2013.

NOTE: The student information system automatically changes any grade of “I” to an “F” in one year.

Administrative Deadlines and Processing Issues

Course Adds:

Follow standard procedures except one:

Instructor approves all “adds” and gives the academic department the permission to add the course to the student schedule.  Academic departments must check:

  • If there is room in the classroom without violating fire codes.
  • If the student is an undergraduate resident, whether this qualifies under the State exceptions for COF funding.

EXCEPTION – Consider impacts from the flooding to be an exception where COF funding would be allowed.  Some examples:

  • Student must change a section number to come in at a later time as it may now take longer to get to campus with road closures. (NOTE: This is already an exception).
  • Student may need to drop back a course level due to the difficulty of keeping up the pace of a course. 

NOTE: Late Adds that result from flooding impacts should be coded to allow the student to be eligible to receive COF funding.  Registrar will communicate this to academic units.

Course Drops:

Requests to Expunge the W grade - Students will still be required to go to their respective Dean’s office to request an expunged course.  The Deans’ offices should make “reasonable” accommodations in cases where the student was impacted by the flooding.  There may be a “delay phenomena” as a result of the flooding, where students ask for expunged courses throughout the entire semester.  Again, the Deans’ offices should make “reasonable accommodations” in cases where the student was impacted by the flooding throughout the semester.  An expunge results in the student automatically receiving a tuition adjustment and not paying for the course.   

NOTE: A reduction in the number of hours a student is taking may not have a tuition adjustment.  For example, a resident undergraduate going from 16-credit hours to 12-credit hours would not see a change in their net tuition.  And, non-resident undergraduates pay the same rate no matter what course load they are taking.

Deans will follow standard procedures for processing the expunged course.

Requests to receive a tuition refund - The Bursar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office will coordinate the coding of a drop so that tuition will be adjusted to reflect the reduced enrolled hours.  A refund will only be issued if the change in enrollment creates a refundable amount on the student’s account.  The Bursar’s Office will use the Tuition Dispute Process to document the adjustment for auditing purposes. 

NOTE:  For financial aid purposes, the expungement must be entered on the date it was received in the office, and not be pre-dated prior to census. An appeal with detailed documentation will not be required, but the student should provide the physical address that was impacted by the flooding in case of an audit.

Withdrawals:

The Deans’ offices should provide advising for any student that is considering withdrawing due to the flood.  We want students to be made aware of all of their options as well as the impact a complete withdrawal could have on their graduation date, scholarships, financial aid, etc.

Students requesting a refund of their tuition for the Fall 2013 semester due to flooding concerns can use the Tuition Dispute Process in the Bursar’s Office.  The Bursar’s Office is exercising discretion on refunds as a result of flooding.

Students requesting that the Fall 2013 term be purged as a result of withdrawing due to flooding issues – refer to Course Drops (above) and  Expunge the W grade.  Deans’ offices are encouraged to make “reasonable accommodations” in cases where the student was impacted by the flooding.

Changing Letter Grades to Pass/Fail or No Credit:

The Deans’ offices are encouraged to be liberal in making exceptions for students to change letter grades to Pass/Fail or No Credit beyond the September 13th deadline, and extending this throughout the semester.

For major required courses that cannot be taken as pass/fail, each school and college should review their policy and recommend within the school or college any changes to the policy for the Fall 2013 term.

NOTE: Financial aid needs to review the impact of No Credit on courses of students who are receiving financial aid.  The DARS (degree audit advising system) will not recognize the change to pass/fail for major requirements.

Falling Below 12 Credit Hours:

Students who drop below 12 credit hours as an undergraduate may face consequences.

  • Student Health Insurance – An undergraduate student is eligible for health insurance if they remain enrolled in 6 or more credit hours.  A graduate student is eligible if they remain enrolled in 1 or more credit hours.
  • Financial Aid – may depend upon what courses and how many credit hours the student was enrolled in, it is important for students who receive financial aid to make an appointment with a the Office of Financial Aid if they are considering falling below 12 credit hours.
  • Loan deferrals – usually don’t require going into payment until the student falls below half time, it is important for students who receive loans to make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid if they are considering falling below half time.
  • Housing –There is flexibility in allowing a student to stay in the residence halls if they fall below 12 hours, as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 hours.  Housing will be flexible with the 6 hour rule on a case-by-case basis.
  • Athletics – NCAA rules require the student be enrolled full-time to compete;  student athletes must meet with someone in Athletics to determine what would be acceptable.
  • Scholarships – Some private scholarships require full-time enrollment and may not have an exception.  The Office of Financial Aid should be contacted as they can reach out to donors to request exceptions as needed.
  • Academic Probation/Dismissal – There can be exceptions to the policies that require a student to be enrolled full-time while on academic probation/dismissal each Deans’ office will decide if they can make an exception.
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