Memo to LSA Faculty and Instructional Staff (March 5, 2009)

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March 5, 2009

TO:         LSA Faculty and Instructional Staff

FROM:    Esrold A. Nurse, Assistant Dean         

I am writing to provide you with important information and to remind you of the upcoming late-drop deadline.

The late-drop deadline is Friday, March 20. Within a few days, all undergraduate LSA students will receive a reminder of this deadline. We hope you will use this time to assess the progress of your students and inform those who may be at academic risk. You may complete an online progress report for those students.  On the Student Academic Affairs website, www.lsa.umich.edu/facstaff/saa, click LSA Undergraduate Student Progress Report (the third link), and follow the directions. 

After the late-drop deadline, permission to drop individual courses is granted only for students with extenuating circumstances.  Danger of failing the course is not considered a sufficient reason for withdrawal after March 20.  A student may decide to petition to drop a class after this deadline, and you may be asked to provide information concerning the student's performance in your course.  This information could help determine whether an incomplete grade might be a reasonable option or whether an exception to the deadline should be granted. 

Early registration for LSA undergraduates for Spring, Summer, Spring/Summer, and Fall Terms begins on April 6.  Student Pre-Registration Backpacking begins on March 25. The Online Schedule of Classes is posted at http://ro.umich.edu/schedule.  The LSA Course Guides will be available on March 20 at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/cg/ [Course description updates should be submitted by March 16 to ensure their availability at go-live]. You can seize this opportunity to inform students of your department’s offerings for spring, summer, and fall.  Identifying follow-up courses to the one you are currently teaching is especially useful.  This is also a time when students, particularly sophomores, are making major decisions.  Being ready to engage your students in conversations about your specialty will assist them with their decisions. You might also urge students to attend the LSA Major Fair on Tuesday, March 24, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, in the Michigan Union Ballroom.

Final exams, which begin on April 23 and end April 30, should be given at the scheduled time as listed by the Registrar (http://ro.umich.edu/exams/). The LSA Faculty Code (B4.01) does not permit changing the date of an officially scheduled final exam by class vote or any other means. For students with a religious-academic conflict, please see:
http://www.provost.umich.edu/calendar/religious_holidays.html

I want to make a special plea to encourage all instructors to submit their grades to the Registrar's Office within the 72-hour timeframe following the final exam.  Prompt submission of your grades will enable us to finalize students' degrees in a timely fashion for graduation and identify those students whose records need to be reviewed for academic discipline.  Finally, an Incomplete should only be granted if the student makes the request and the instructor agrees to it.  Students receiving Incompletes should have a majority of the coursework completed; it is also assumed that the student was earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete was arranged.  If a student stops attending class but does not officially withdraw and does not request an Incomplete, the appropriate grade to post is NR [No Report].

The Office of Student Academic Affairs and the LSA Advising Center (764-0332) can provide assistance to your teaching effort. We welcome your questions about academic policy and procedures and are happy to assist you when student issues arise.  Please do not hesitate to contact us.


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