University of Wyoming administrators are scheduled to ask the board of trustees to approve allowing students to select having their current semester’s courses graded on a “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory” basis.
Trustees are set to consider the measure during a Thursday conference call, when administrators will provide more details about their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led UW to move all coursework online for the remainder of the semester.
“The optional (satisfactory-unsatisfactory) grading strategy will ease the necessary transitions into remote course delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relieve undue stress, and promote strong engagement,” administrators wrote in their request to the trustees.
Student who select that grading option would be able to have their grades this semester not count toward their cumulative grade-point average.
Under UW’s regulations, students can typically only move that grading system during the university’s add-drop period, which ended Feb. 5 this semester. Under the administrators’ proposal, students would be able to opt-in to the GPA-less grading system through April 17.
For students that opt-in, grades of A, B and C count as “satisfactory” while Ds and Fs earn the mark of “unsatisfactory.”
In the last week, COVID-19 has continued to upend UW’s operations.
Most facilities closed to the public last week. After initially keeping Coe Library and the Wyoming Union open, UW closed both buildings Monday. Coe’s computer lab remains open to students. With Coe now closed, all rented materials aren’t due back until May 18.
The Washakie Dining Center is currently remaining open 3.5 hours each day for UW students remain on campus with meal plans.
Last Thursday, UW suspended SafeRide operations and all fixed-route transit services.
Provost Kate Miller told employees in a Tuesday email that the search for a new dean for the College of Engineering and Applied Science “has been postponed until further notice.”
She said that searches for new faculty and staff can continue through teleconference interviews when possible.
“If it is deemed critical for an on-campus interview so that the university and finalist candidates have the opportunity to visit and interact with our campus, community and state, this final phase of the search may be postponed until after the spring semester concludes,” Miller said.
Classes are scheduled to reconvene next week in an all online format.
In another email last week, Miller discouraged professors from requiring students to remotely watch lectures via teleconferencing at designated times.
“Faculty can use synchronous course sessions (via Zoom) when necessary,” Miller said. “Our recommendation is that faculty use this mode primarily for interactive discussions, during your regularly scheduled class times or office hours. Please be mindful of how teaching assistants are incorporated in the alternative delivery plan. Current guidelines and restrictions on TA time and workload should be maintained.”