Message from Provost Stevens - COVID-19 Policy Updates
- Cheryl Stevens
- Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
Let me start by first thanking you for your continued commitment to the success of our students. I know that these challenges have come with an unusual set of other challenges. This work is broad and impactful – especially to our students as they prepare for productive lives and careers. This new normal has important implications for WKU and for our students. That is why flexibility, student learning/student success, and completion remain important. I appreciate all that you continue to do to help WKU students succeed. It has become very clear that it truly takes a village to provide our students with the educational experience they need and deserve.
In the spirit of flexibility, we have developed a grading policy option for this semester only. After consultation with deans, department heads, senate executive committee, chief academic officers at other universities, faculty senators, registrars, financial aid personnel, and accrediting bodies, this decision was made to help students successfully complete this semester. This policy, called Pass/D/Fail (PDF), is designed to maintain academic standards and meet accrediting requirements while at the same time providing choice and flexibility for both undergraduate and graduate students as they navigate this challenging time. The details of this new policy are attached. Please review the policy for a full understanding of how this option will work.
Further, we have reviewed the WKU policies that need to be adjusted to build in additional flexibility for students to be able to complete this semester. One example for this semester only is a postponement of the withdrawal date to May 1, 2020. If students believe at that point that they might earn a Fail in a course, after consultation with their advisor, they could choose to withdraw in order to preserve their academic standing. Other relevant policy changes can be found at https://www.wku.edu/academicaffairs/spring-2020-grading.php.
Effective March 25, 2020, WKU library services will be by appointment only. Appointments can be made by telephone or online. Most of the library resources are already available for remote access including reference, item requests, instruction, electronic books and journals, and interlibrary loan. Please consult the library web site for access details. The computer lab in Jody Richards Hall will remain open for computer use as needed.
As we transition into a ‘normal’ rhythm, I would like to begin again working on a couple of academic “projects”. To me and, I believe, many of you, student fees is an area that needs a thorough review. Beginning last summer, a fees committee evaluated all academic course and program fees over an eight month period and has submitted a report that articulates how those fees should be used along with a series of recommendations to address processes for moving forward. I would like to extend this analysis to the DELO fee, Global Learning and International Affairs fee, Honors College fee, athletics fee, and the student-based fees (application, orientation, graduation, parking, Preston, etc.), for example. I will establish a few small committees composed of both faculty and staff and divide this analysis among them. This work would be done electronically primarily through email and Zoom. If you are interested in working on this important project, please let me (and Amber at email@example.com.) know along with what area(s) in which you are particularly interested.
Thank you again. Stay healthy and safe.
Cheryl L. Stevens, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs