March 27, 2020
Dear University of Oregon faculty,
I wanted to update you with the very latest information about some changes to the grading options for undergraduate courses for spring term 2020, given that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our university to a system of remote learning.
These are unprecedented times for our faculty, given the myriad issues caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). As many of you know, our students are experiencing a level of social and economic instability because the university has shifted to remote learning. This modality is also new for many faculty members.
Based on the principle that the change in course modality due to exogenous challenges should not harm students’ progress toward an undergraduate degree, the Academic Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to make the following modifications to grading options for undergraduate courses for spring 2020:
- The deadline to change grade-optional courses from graded to P/NP (pass/no pass) will be extended 30 days after the date that spring 2020 final grades are posted. That means all students will have until July 16, 2020, to decide whether to change to P/NP once they see their final grades. (REMINDER FOR WINTER TERM 2020 GRADES: We are extending the deadline to change courses from graded to P/NP until April 24, 2020.)
- The option to change from graded to P/NP will also be available for all courses that are currently designated as graded only.
- Courses that are designated as P/NP only will remain as they are. There will be no additional options for these courses.
- Any spring 2020 course grade of P will be counted as a P* grade for the purposes of the policy that states: “Students must earn 168 transfer or University of Oregon credits with grades of A, B, C, D, or P*.” This means that spring 2020 classes taken as P/NP can count toward graduation requirements. Credits earned in courses offered only as P/NP will use the P* designation.
- Instructors of record shall maintain letter grades throughout the term and record final course grades for students in all spring 2020 courses (and only assign P/NP grades for courses that are designated as P/NP only).
- If a student chooses P/NP by the new deadline of July 16, 2020, a P grade will be recorded for a C- or above, and an NP grade will be recorded for a D+ or below.
- Departments are asked to waive any requirements that (a) limit how P/NP courses count toward the major; that (b) require specific grades for courses that count toward the major; or that (c) serve as prerequisites for other courses. This is especially important for cases where the lack of such a waiver will require students to enroll in an additional term or delay graduation for students.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but our students’ continued education remains an extremely high priority for the University of Oregon community. I appreciate all the work faculty members are doing to help us move forward as the spring term starts next week. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns about the grading policy change. Take care.
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs