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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Requirement for professors to give end-of-quarter exams waived again for Spring Quarter 2021

Students will also have up until the last day of instruction to take a class pass/no pass

The requirement for professors to give end-of-quarter exams has been waived again for Spring Quarter 2021, according to Dr. Richard Tucker, the chair of the UC Davis division of the Academic Senate. 

Professors must notify students about whether they plan to give a final exam by the end of the first week of their respective courses. 

When contacted by The Aggie, Chancellor Gary May referred inquiries about the university’s current exam policies to Tucker.

“Exam policy is really the purview of the Academic Senate rather than the administration,” May said via email. 

Tucker said that the Academic Senate hadn’t yet determined whether the same policy will be applicable for instruction in Fall Quarter 2021, although in-person classes have been tentatively scheduled for that time due to the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines. 

“We will determine these [policies] once we’re closer to fall and have more confirmed details about campus operating status,” he said, referring to the UC Davis Academic Senate’s website for further details. 

Exam policies have been frequently adjusted throughout the previous year due to pandemic regulations and changing social conditions in the U.S..

In-person final exams for Winter Quarter 2020 were previously canceled last March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as universities nationwide prepared to go online and the UC Davis campus was eventually closed for in-person instruction.

In June 2020, following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, the Academic Senate at UC Davis allowed faculty to determine students’ grades based on their work up to the last day of instruction in Spring Quarter, instead of relying on their exams for final grades. 

Professors were also encouraged to be more lenient with pass/no pass grading and incompletes, a policy which has carried into Spring Quarter 2021

Accordingly, students have up until the last day of instruction to decide whether they want to take a class pass/no pass instead of for a letter grade. No more than one-third of courses may be taken as such, however. The decision to require or cancel exams also remains at the discretion of professors, according to current exam policy guidelines. 

Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — campus@theaggie.org 

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