Provost's Messages

November 12, 2020  | Student Communication Re: Pass/Fail

This message is being sent by the Office of University Relations on behalf of Provost James J. Winebrake.

Dear Students, 
As you may be aware, the Faculty Senate has decided NOT to grant students a pass/fail option for this Fall semester. This was a faculty decision, and substantial adjustments to grading policies are a last resort for understandable reasons. The decision was made after thoughtful discussion in the Academic Standards Committee of Faculty Senate. Faculty had concerns about licensure and accreditation issues, progression course performance, and the challenges the lack of grades introduces into support structures and academic policies designed for students who may be struggling. Most importantly, faculty worried about another semester with pass/fail grading affecting the integrity of transcripts and reported grades for all students. Throughout the semester, I have reminded the faculty of the need for flexibility, grace, and understanding for students as we make the adjustments COVID-19 has forced on all of us at a course level. The faculty have been and will continue to be very supportive of students. Please reach out to your faculty, your department chair, or your dean’s office  for specific grading concerns.  
I understand this decision will be frustrating for many of you, but I wanted you to know the options you have in these circumstances. As my note of last week indicated, we have implemented a very flexible course withdrawal process in cases where academic struggles are COVID-related. We encourage you to seek withdrawals for “extenuating circumstances” where necessary, and we stand ready to support you in making those requests.

Finally, know that we support you as students and as fellow Seahawks as you continue to make academic progress. The adversity of the Fall and Spring has challenged all of us to be flexible, creative, resilient, and determined in new ways. As always, I continue to be open to your ideas about how to keep students moving forward. 

Sincerely yours,

James J. Winebrake, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his