Faculty Senate supports pass/fail option for Fall 2020

The Faculty Senate passed a resolution in response to a Student Senate resolution adopting a pass/fail grading system for Fall 2020.

Their resolution reads, “(A) WHEREAS The Covid-19 has prolonged the strain on Faculty, Staff, and Student performance. (B) WHEREAS, the SGA has presented a resolution requesting that the Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Grading options for Fall 2020. (C) THEREFORE be it resolved that the Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Grading Guidelines for Spring 2020 adopted by the Faculty Senate be extended and available to Fall 2020 Semester.”

Faculty and staff’s support for a pass/fail grading system has dramatically shifted since September when students were told the option is not being considered for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Below is a timeline of the progression of a pass/fail grading system for Fall 2020 discussion:

Sept. 17 A Western Carolina University student created a petition in support of a pass/fail option for the fall 2020 semester.

Sept. 29 Provost Richard Starnes released a statement that the pass/fail grading system used in spring 2020 had been temporarily adopted for that semester only. 

Nov. 5 The Student Government Association (SGA) released a survey asking students’ opinions on a pass/fail option after various other UNC schools adopted a pass/fail grading system. 

Nov. 9 The Student Senate spoke with the Faculty Senate Chair, Dr. Kadence Otto, reviewed the survey responses and petition and adopted Resolution F20-05 Pass/Fail Grading System with a vote of 25 yea and 2 nay. 

Nov. 11 Student Body President Dawson Spencer provided his monthly update to the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate discussed SGA Resolution F20-05 Pass/Fail Grading System and tabled the discussion to the next week.

Nov. 18 Faculty Senate discussed pass/fail options and adopted a resolution with a vote of 16 yea, 9 nay, and 3 abstain. 

A modified version of the spring’s pass/fail grading system was discussed by both the Student Senate and Faculty Senate. And those details will be further discussed by the Provost, Registrar, Faculty Senate Chair, and the Student Body President and announced further.

The recording and meeting minutes from the Nov. 18 Faculty Senate meeting can be viewed here once they are uploaded.