To: Faculty & Staff
From: Provost Sue Ott Rowlands
Date: March 31, 2020
Subject: Policy Updates
As COVID-19 has dramatically impacted this semester, we are adjusting a number of our policies to account for these changes. We recognize that many of our faculty and staff have put in a large amount of work to transition to online teaching, and that faculty are working to help students adjust to a new way of learning. To that end, we will adjust NKU’s pass/fail policy for spring 2020 as follows.
Pass/Fail Policy Proposal for Spring 2020
In order to help students as they adjust to online learning, all undergraduate and graduate students will have the option during the Spring 2020 semester to request a change from a letter grade to pass/fail for any or all full-semester, second 7-week, or third five-week classes.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is the main accrediting body for NKU, has extended temporary flexibility to universities to institute distance learning solutions across the campus as well as conferring “pass/fail” grades as a reasonable exception. Colleges and programs at NKU are consulting with individual accrediting agencies to ascertain their acceptance of pass/fail grades, and the deans or chairs/directors will notify students in these cases if P/F is not an option.
Student Evaluations of Faculty for Spring 2020
Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the move to alternative instruction, NKU has decided to modify the policy for student evaluations of faculty. It is important that evaluations continue this semester as scheduled, so students can assess faculty instruction. This is especially important because many of you are investing a good deal of time and effort to be sure the students receive an exceptional learning experience despite the circumstances, and these efforts should be recognized. However, we hope this policy will offer some relief, acknowledging that the online transition has not been an easy one. The following policies will be modified for spring 2020 evaluations only.
Pausing the Tenure Clock
Because of the disruption caused by COVID-19 to faculty teaching, research and creative activity, and service, NKU is offering the option for pre-tenure faculty to request an extension on the tenure clock. This opportunity must be requested by faculty through the regular process outlined in the 2019 Faculty Handbook (Section 6.7). Faculty should send their request outlining reasons for requesting an extension of the tenure clock to their respective chair/director, who will then forward the request to the dean and the provost for approval no later than August 1st.
Thank you for all you are doing during this challenging time to ensure our students are successful.