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End-of-Semester Policies and Procedures

Dear colleagues,

I want to thank you again for the sacrifices and adjustments you have made this semester to ensure that we continue to give our students the best experience possible under extraordinary circumstances.

For many of you, our move to remote instruction has meant adapting your plans for final exams, and we appreciate the additional time and work that these changes have required. As you know better than anyone, students are also having to make adjustments during this time with technology challenges, differences in time zones, and the additional responsibilities that many are juggling. It is important that we remain flexible as we continue to support our students through final exams. Teaching and Learning Innovation has resources available for instructors who would like to adapt their end-of-semester assessments in light of our shift to remote instruction.

As the end of spring 2020 approaches, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs RJ Hinde has outlined a number of policies to keep in mind. The detailed information below is drawn from the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Undergraduate Catalog and has been adapted for these unusual circumstances.

Please also ensure that your online grade books are up to date by Monday, April 20. This will help students know how they are doing in your class and help them make an informed decision whether to drop a class or select a new grading method.

If you have any questions about the policies below, please email

David Manderscheid
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Final Examinations

In order to accommodate students who are juggling multiple exams, final exams that are administered synchronously must be administered during the final exam period at the scheduled time, unless extraordinary circumstances justify a change in time. If extraordinary circumstances justify a change in time, particularly if it is in the best interest of the student, a change can be made with advance approval by the appropriate department head after consultation with the Office of the University Registrar. Alternative (non-exam) uses of the scheduled exam period may be designated by the instructor. Examples would include group presentations, presentations of final projects, or general discussions regarding course content.

Instructors assigning papers, projects, or asynchronous final examinations should allow students to submit these assessments at any time up through the end of the scheduled final exam period for the class. Asynchronous assignments other than exams must be distributed no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 24.

The Office of the University Registrar maintains a calendar of final exam periods.

Please note that students are not required to take more than two exams on any day. Students who have three or more exams scheduled for a single day should contact their instructors by Monday, April 20, to make arrangements to have the last exam of the day rescheduled. The instructor(s) of the last nondepartmental exam(s) on that day must reschedule the student’s exam during the final exam period.

Some units offer departmental exams in which a single exam period is assigned to all sections of a particular course, regardless of when a particular section meets. These departmental exams ordinarily should not be rescheduled. However, if a student has three departmental exams on one day, the third departmental exam must be rescheduled for that student.

Please be mindful of the designated study day set aside for students on April 27. There should be no assignments or projects due during this time, and no exams may be scheduled on a study day. No regular exams may be scheduled during the makeup exam times listed on the registrar’s final exam calendar.

End-of-Semester In-Class Tests

Quizzes or tests that are administered synchronously or with time limitations, and that count for more than 10 percent of the semester grade, may not be given the last five calendar days before study day. This means that Tuesday, April 21, is the last day in the current semester to give quizzes or tests of this type.

Grade of Incomplete

We are experiencing extraordinary circumstances. Instructors have discretion to award the grade of I (Incomplete) to students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course but cannot complete the course for reasons beyond their control. Please note that the I grade is not issued in lieu of the grade F, and that students may not remove an I grade by re-enrolling in the course, whether by formally retaking the course or sitting in on the course in a future semester.

Academic Standards of Conduct

Students must keep the university’s honor statement (found in Hilltopics) in mind as they prepare for final examinations and papers. The honor statement’s examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, “providing or receiving unauthorized information during an examination or academic assignment, or the possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during an examination or academic assignment; serving as, or enlisting the assistance of, a substitute for a student in the taking of an examination or the performance of an academic assignment; gaining an objectively unfair academic advantage by failing to observe the expressed procedures or instructions relating to an exam or academic assignment; using without proper documentation written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source; collaborating on a graded assignment without the instructor’s approval; and submitting work, either in whole or part, created by a professional service.”

Students should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at or 865-974-3171 for more information and links to campus resources.