View the latest updates and emergency notifications on the COVID-19 News & Information website.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Faculty Message from Vice Provost Grassian

Emailed on November 12, 2018

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The following are additional questions and answers (beyond the ones sent to you on November 11) we hope will be helpful to you as we continue to work toward a successful end of the semester.  These will be incorporated into the set of FAQs posted on the Wildcats Rise website. 

1.  Question: What if a student has lost all their course materials?

Answer: Faculty looking to make materials more available to students can contact the library, as library staff can place instructional materials on reserve so that all students have access.

2.  Question: When is an Incomplete appropriate?

Answer:  As our catalog states, “Incompletes (I) will be assigned only in cases where instructors conclude that a clearly identifiable pattern of course requirements cannot be met for unforeseen reasons. An Incomplete shall not be assigned when it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered.”  You should not grant Incompletes to your entire class for work missed during the campus closure (Friday, November 9 – Friday, November 16).  However, you can use the above to determine whether an Incomplete is appropriate for individual students, given their individual circumstances.

3.  Question: What is the process for a student to withdraw from an individual class in fall 2018?

Answer: Students may petition to withdraw from one or more classes for “serious and compelling” reasons.  Please use your best judgement in determining whether recent events constitute such reasons.  For fall 2018, the university is waiving the fee for late withdrawals.

4.  Question: What constitute “serious and compelling” reasons for withdrawing from a class or from the university?

Answer: As our catalog details, the following situations are typical of those for which "serious and compelling" is appropriate justification for approving withdrawals:

  1. An extended absence due to a verifiable accident, illness, or personal problem serious enough to cause withdrawal from the University. For example, a one- to two-week absence with a doctor's written excuse.
  2. An extended absence due to a death in the immediate family. This applies to absences exceeding a week due to family affairs that must be attended to by the student.
  3. A necessary change in employment status which interferes with the student's ability to attend class. This change in employment status must be verified in writing by the student's employer.
  4. Other unusual or very special cases, considered on their own merit.

The following situations would not fall under the intent of "serious and compelling":

  1. Grade anticipated in class is not sufficiently high, or student is doing failing work.
  2. Failure to attend class, complete assignments, or take a test.
  3. Dissatisfaction with course material, instructional method, or instructor.
  4. Class is harder than expected.
  5. Pressure of other classes, participation in social activities, or simple lack of motivation.
  6. A change of major.

5. Question: What should I tell students who have questions about possible refunds and financial aid?

Answer: Students who have questions about possible refunds should be forwarded to Student Financial Services, SSC 230, (530) 898-5936, 

Students who have questions about financial aid should be forwarded to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office, SSC 250, (530) 898-6451,

Should you have questions about specific situations, please contact your college dean.  Thank you for your continued care for our students during this difficult time.

With deep appreciation and care,

Debra Larson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Daniel Grassian, Vice Provost for Academic Programs
Kate McCarthy, Interim Dean of Undergraduate Education