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Email to faculty: Update on grading

The following email was sent to faculty on May 17, 2023. It is published here for your convenience.

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I’m reaching out this evening to share an update on the university’s ongoing efforts to ensure our students receive grades for their winter term courses. As of this afternoon, 95.4% of all grades have been submitted. The large majority of classes that are still missing grades are independent study or study abroad classes that, while still vital to record, customarily arrive later than usual.

While this progress is encouraging, I want to also acknowledge the inherent discomfort created when a faculty member or department chair must enter a final grade in lieu of an instructor of record who is not available to do so. It is not the situation any of us would like to be in, and I know that many in our academic community have especially strong feelings about this.

I understand those valid concerns, and this is not easy for any of us. However, leaving students without grades indefinitely for a course they have completed is unconscionable. It affects their financial aid, applications for work and graduate school, enrollment in spring and summer classes, and other career plans. The University of Michigan has a duty to help those students by finalizing their grades.

Concerns have been raised in recent days about the methods some departments are using to resolve missing grades. We are looking into those concerns and asking leaders across our units to do all they can to ensure that grades are as accurate as possible and meet our standard of academic integrity.  I want to be clear that there has been no blanket mandate regarding how schools, colleges, or departments resolve this issue. On the contrary, I have asked deans to work with department chairs and faculty to ensure all students receive grades as soon as possible. Schools and colleges are also taking steps in individual cases, whenever possible, to ensure our students’ future education and plans are not compromised.

Thank you all again for your thoughtfulness and hard work in support of our students and our academic community. I wish you well, whether you’re here in Ann Arbor or afar.

Kind regards,

Laurie K. McCauley
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor