Holloway: Professors asked to make all undergraduate final assessments optional


Brian Meng/Daily Senior Staffer

The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising at 1922 Sheridan Rd.

Isabelle Sarraf, Assistant Campus Editor

COVID-19 News

Provost Jonathan Holloway announced in a Sunday night email that Northwestern professors were asked to make all outstanding final exams and assignments for undergraduates optional.

According to Holloway’s email, all undergraduates who choose not to take their final exams for any reason will be assigned a grade based on their prior coursework to date. Holloway cited “rapidly disintegrating travel options, the confirmed appearance of COVID-19 on campus and the incredible stress that everyone is trying to manage” as reasons behind the change.

The email also stated that this policy would only be applicable to undergraduate students.

“After consulting associate deans across the quarter-based schools this evening, it became clear that the complexities and nuances that are woven into end-of-term assessments at the graduate level preclude us from offering a university-wide policy on this matter,” Holloway wrote. “Final assessment policy for graduate students will be determined at the school level.”

The announcement follows an email from McCormick dean Julio Ottino announcing that all final exams for the school would be made optional, and a Friday email from the University that encouraged — but didn’t mandate — professors to give their final exams remotely or as take-home tests.

Undergraduate students now also have the option to change their Winter Quarter grades from a letter grade to Pass/Fail. There will also be language on every student transcript that mentions the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on changes to coursework in Winter and Spring Quarters 2020, Holloway’s email said.

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