Letter to Faculty and Instructional Staff: March 11, 2005





LSA Faculty and Instructional Staff

Esrold A. Nurse, Assistant Dean

March 11, 2005


Welcome back from a mid-winter break which I hope was pleasant and relaxing. I am writing to provide you with information about the current semester and to remind you of an upcoming deadline.

The late-drop deadline is Friday, March 18. 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. Faculty members are often the first to notice a student in difficulty. In these instances, referring the student to our LS&A Academic Advising Center (1255 Angell Hall) is especially helpful. You can send us an Interim Grade Progress Report (IGPR), available electronically: click on  https://webapps.lsa.umich.edu/SAA/UGStuAdv/App/Instr/ClassProgRpts.aspx.  Sending us the IGPR will alert both the student and our advising staff to potential problems. If possible, we would like to hear from you before the late-drop deadline on March 18.

After the late-drop deadline, permission to drop individual courses is granted only in cases where there are extenuating circumstances. Danger of failing the course is not considered a sufficient reason for withdrawal after March 18. If a student decides to petition for a drop after the deadline, the instructor may be asked to provide information concerning the student’s performance in the course. This information could help determine whether an incomplete grade might be a reasonable option or determine whether an exception to the deadline should be granted.

Early registration for undergraduates begins on April 4. 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 March 23, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, in the Michigan Union Ballroom.

Final exams, which begin on April 21 and end April 28, should be given at the scheduled time in the Timetable. The LSA Faculty Code does not permit changing the date of a final exam by class vote or any means other than those spelled out in the Faculty Handbook. Because Passover coincides with Final Exams this term, it may present scheduling conflicts for some students. Every effort should be made to find alternative ways for students to complete their course requirements. Finally, I want to make a special plea to encourage all instructors to get their grades in to the Registrar’s office within the 72 hour time frame following the final exam.

The Office of Student Academic Affairs and the LSA Advising Center 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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