Faculty Senate change grade labels

The Faculty Senate has changed the labels of grades submitted late by professors to eliminate consequences felt by students.

“Administrative failing,” “administrative unsatisfactory progress” and “administrative no pass” will replace “failing,” “unsatisfactory progress” and “no pass” for grades that are not submitted on time in order to distinguish them from failing grades, according to the presentation at the last Faculty Senate meeting.

In the past, a grade that was submitted late would appear as an F, but it would be difficult to tell whether it was an F for performance or an F for an administrative reason, said Brian Reed, associate provost for curricular affairs.

One thousand students received administrative Fs at the end of the fall 2016 semester because professors did not submit grades before the deadline. This was a significant increase from about 700 last year, Reed said.

“What we’ve been trying to do is raise awareness through the Faculty Senate,” Reed said. “It seems that many faculty not aware of the extent of this problem or its ramifications.”     

These failing grades carry the same consequences as a traditional F, such as ineligibility for financial aid and trial status, as well as still affecting a GPA until a grade is submitted by a professor.    

“The students are being unjustly penalized and this, understandably, is a source of great stress to them,” a  release from the provost’s office stated.   

The new grades will help department chairs and deans determine which professors fail to report their grades on time, and will hold them accountable should the issue occur repeatedly.   

“If you have a faculty member who, let’s say, is doing this on a regular basis, that’s something that can come up in an annular performance review,” Reed said. “That’s the other form of accountability.”   

Professor of plant biology and chair of the curricular affairs committee Laura Almstead presented the motion at the February 27th Faculty Senate meeting.

On the point of accountability she said in an email “it’s hard to say whether the policy itself will promote more faculty to submit their grades on time. However, initiation of the policy will certainly raise awareness of what happens if faculty do not submit grades on time.”