Faculty & Academic Staff Briefing #9

Dear Faculty and Academic Staff:

Now that classes have resumed, the pace of information flow can take on a slower rhythm. Starting today, you can expect a briefing email from the Provost’s Office with faculty updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. To stay on top of timely and emerging information pertinent to you and your students, please review each of our briefing emails as they are distributed.

This daily briefing includes:

  • Grading Policy Updates For Spring 2020
  • IDEA Student Ratings To Use Short Form
  • CLT Faculty Learning Communities


After further reviewing the recent grading practices in higher education for during the Spring 2020 semester, the Registrar’s Office will extend to students the choice of either receiving final letter grades or requesting S/U/F grades as final grades.  The S/U/F grade scheme is one that is incorporated in our College Catalog and primarily used during mid-semester grading. Both NECHE and the Office of Financial Aid provided guidance during the review process to ensure that we could make this an option for our students.  

Here are some important pieces of information:

  • At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, faculty will report letter grades for all students as usual. 
  • Students will have until May 1, 2020, to request S/U/F grades.
  • If a student requests S/U/F, the grades will be converted by the Registrar’s Office after final grades are submitted (see chart below).
  • Students may elect to have all or some of their courses converted.
  • Students will be notified through a message from their Dean, today and a View FAQ will also be posted.

GradeAchievementGrade Equivalent Standard
S (Satisfactory)C or betterA, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C
U (Unsatisfactory)PassingC-, D+, D, D-
F (Fail)Not Passing (F)F

This new policy for Spring 2020 will be added to the College Catalog with additional details.  Once the catalog updates are published we will notify faculty and link directly to the amendments.


In place of the Diagnostic form (40 IDEA items plus 16 institutional items) of the IDEA student ratings of instruction, we will use the Learning Essentials form (18 IDEA items plus 1 institutional item) for all on-campus undergraduate classes this semester (Spring 2020 only), a decision made in consultation with the Faculty Senate Evaluation Committee. The short form is appropriate for courses in which there is less direct instruction and where the focus is on learning outcomes. We regularly use the short form for hybrid, internship and practicum courses. Using a shorter version of the IDEA form gives students the opportunity to provide feedback in a familiar format, while at the same time simplifying the process for both students and faculty. Contact Ellen Zeman if you have questions.


The Spring 2020 Faculty Learning Communities resume next week.  Please see your calendar for more details.


Ongoing communication and resources for Faculty and Staff will be posted on The View. It’s a good idea to check the site daily as new communications and FAQs are posted regularly. Finally, all Faculty Daily Briefing emails are stored here and also hosted on The View.