Updates from the Provost
- Tuesday, February 9th, 2021
As we move through the early part of the spring semester, I have been reflecting on how long we have been navigating these most unusual times. Many of us have changed our behaviors and changed our expectations. I even find myself noticing on television who is/is not wearing masks and in what situations. Mask wearing and physical distancing have become a norm for us at WKU, and I do believe they have had a huge influence on our relatively low incidences of COVID-19. As of this morning, we currently have eight students in quarantine, four who are contacts and four who have tested positive.
According to state guidance, campus employees are considered essential employees in institutions such as WKU and are categorized in vaccine group 1c. We continue discussions with our healthcare partners, and as soon as we have news about available vaccines we will communicate broadly about how to access them.
As we navigate this semester and plan for the fall 2021 semester, we look forward to moving to more normalcy. Here are two updates:
- The final grading scale for the spring 2021 semester will be the normal letter grading scale with no Pass Option or PDF allowed. While we allowed the flexibility of the Pass Option in fall 2020, only 808 out of 72,907 (1.1%) total grade request changes were made. We believe that it is now time to return to the normal grading options.
- Fall 2021 course schedules should look very much like fall 2019 in terms of the distribution of modalities. We must do our best to engage students in their educations through our traditional laboratory, studio, classroom, and field experiences. I understand that we don’t know exactly what the COVID situation will look like. However, by following Healthy on the Hill guidelines, we have shown that we can function safely at a high level. If necessary, we will certainly make adjustments as we get closer to the summer in order to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff.
Finally, please save these dates for spring graduation ceremonies:
- April 30-May 1, 2021 for fall 2020 and spring 2021 graduates
- May 7-8, 2021 for spring 2020 graduates
We are committed to providing a safe and fitting recognition of our graduates’ tremendous accomplishments. Details are still being discussed and should be available in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for all you do to help our students succeed. Stay healthy and warm.
Cheryl L. Stevens, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs