Withdrawls, Free Week, Final Exams, Grading Policies
Students may request an automatic withdrawal from undergraduate courses taken for undergraduate credit as late as the second class day following the published date for submission of mid-term grade reports. Please check the published date for the fall semester. The information about the last day for students to drop a course or to withdraw from all courses with an automatic grade of “W” for semester sections can also be acquired from the same page.
After the automatic withdrawal period, a student may withdraw only with the permission of his or her instructor and dean. This approval is given only for urgent reasons relating to extended illness or equivalent distress. To qualify for the grade of “W,” a student must be passing the course on the date of withdrawal. If the student is failing, the grade recorded on the date of withdrawal will be “F” (Academic Handbook, June 1997, pp. 121-122).
This policy requires that no major or final examination, except for practical tests at the end of laboratory periods, may be given during the last week of classes. Papers or projects may be required for submission during Free Week only if students have been given ample opportunity to complete the assignment before the beginning of Free Week. The Saturday and Sunday before Final Examination Week are reading days; they are not available for final examinations. For fall semester Free Week is Monday, December 3, 2012 through Sunday, December 9th.
In instituting a Final Examination Week and in making provisions for Free Week, the Bloomington Faculty Council took the position that (a) final exams are an important, indeed essential, part of the pedagogical process, and (b) a particular time during the semester should be allocated to final examinations. Hence, every course should contain a final exercise of some kind, and in order to avoid conflicts, that exercise must be given at the time specified in the Schedule of Classes. If an instructor decides to make arrangements for an alternate time, the alternate time must fall within the five-day Final Examination Week. But provision must be made for any student who wishes to take the examination at the officially scheduled time. In this context, it is irrelevant whether the alternate time was listed on the syllabus since the beginning of the semester, whether a majority of the class voted in favor of a change in time, or any other consideration: the time and date listed in the Schedule of Classes for any course must remain available.
There is a small statistical probability that some students may have conflicts in officially scheduled examination times. Please take a moment in class to ask students to check their examination schedules and to let you know immediately if they anticipate conflicts of this sort. If you prefer to have the Office of Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs solve the problem, please refer it or any other question to 855-9973.
In the event a student is scheduled to take more than three final examinations on the same day, the student may exercise the following options:
- Take all final examinations as they are scheduled.
- Consult with the instructors or departments giving the final examination to determine if any makeup examination(s) is or can be scheduled. If no makeup examination is available, the student must notify the instructor or department of the course scheduled for the fourth (and additional) final examination of the day. That instructor of that department will then be obligated to adjust the student’s final examination schedule provided the student has notified the instructor of department before the halfway point of the semester (BFC 10/7/80).
The Bloomington Faculty Council has charged the College of Arts and Sciences and each school of the Bloomington campus to create an Academic Fairness Committee empowered to consider procedural errors in assigning grades, and, if necessary, to direct the Dean of the College or School to change grades on the basis of its findings.
Experience has shown that the best way to avoid misunderstandings and possible grievances concerning grades is for the instructor to (a) explain the grading policy at the beginning of the semester, preferably both orally and in a written syllabus, and, once the rules have been announced, (b) adhere to the stated policy throughout the course.
These practices are consistent with the responsibilities of faculty members as stated in the Code of Academic Ethics.