Finals to either be administered as alternative assignments, online examinations or eliminated altogether
UC Davis announced on Tuesday, March 10 that all in-person finals at UC Davis will be canceled due to concerns around the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Professors and instructors are being instructed to either create an alternative assignment or examination method, or they can cancel the final examination altogether and calculate a student’s grade based on already completed coursework.
“Alternatives that we described in our March 7 letter are all still viable options (e.g., substituting a take-home exam or other assignment for the announced final examination, or dropping the final exam altogether and grading students based on already completed work),” states the guidance published by UC Davis News and Media Relations. “For courses whose instructors decide not to avail themselves of one of these opportunities, the final examination must be conducted online.”
Also included in the university’s announcement that in-person final examinations will be canceled was other guidance surrounding the novel coronavirus.
While UC Davis continues to allow instructors, at their discretion, to hold classes through the end of this week, other California higher-education institutions have canceled in-person instruction. At UC Berkeley, in-person classes are canceled for five weeks; at UC Santa Cruz, in-person classes are canceled effective March 11 and, at UC San Diego, all Spring Quarter 2020 courses will be online.
Under the new guidance, the UC Davis is “strongly encouraging faculty to go online with their teaching,” for the remainder of this quarter.
Additionally, the ASUCD Executive Office — in a joint statement from President Justin Hurst, Vice President Shreya Deshpande, External Affairs Vice President Adam Hatefi, President-elect Kyle Krueger and Vice President-elect Akhila Kandaswamy — urged the UC Davis administration to “transition all lectures and discussions to an online platform.” The officers also asked “that the university cancel all in-person finals and […] transition to take-home final projects, online examinations, or an equivalent assignment.”
Staff and faculty are now encouraged to use existing paid leave time if they are unable to work due to their own illness, a family member’s illness with the novel coronavirus or if their child’s school or daycare is closed because of the virus. Those without paid time available will be given up to 14-days worth of paid administrative time off. Those who are normally unable to accrue time off will still be eligible for the 14 days of paid administrative leave.
UC Davis had reaffirmed its commitment to letting staff and faculty work remotely, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
All nonessential travel — either domestic or international and either personal or on university business — is now strongly discouraged. Existing prohibitions on international travel to countries heavily affected by the novel coronavirus — China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea — remain in effect.
Finally, the university issued guidance on public gatherings, asking that all events with over 150 planned attendees, organized by either academic or administrative units and taking place between March 12 and 31 be canceled or postponed. Exemptions to this requirement include intercollegiate athletic events, which follow NCAA rules, and events at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Events at the Mondavi will go on as planned, and those who do not attend events due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus will receive refunds.
Written by: Kenton Goldsby — firstname.lastname@example.org