UCF is considering allowing students to opt into a pass or fail grading system, but public records from a Friday teleconference indicate the university is concerned and there is a chance it will not act on the pandemic grading system.
Knight News obtained a Board of Governors document outlining each university’s stance on the pass or fail grading system. Universities weighed in on creating a special pandemic grading system in light of coronavirus.
Board of Governors spokeswoman Renee Fargason said the provost from each of the 12 schools in the State University System was sent the list in advance of a conference call to discuss the issue.
Knight News obtained the public record of the email communication between Board of Governors Chancellor Marshall M. Criser III and the provosts on the Friday call, although the exact provosts are not known at this time.
Criser thanked the provosts in the Friday email for an informative discussion before asking them not to relay information to their respective schools until Wednesday. The Board of Governors is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on Wednesday via teleconference.
“It is clear that each university is engaged in developing strategies to assist our students in managing their academic load during a time of extraordinary transition,” Criser said in the email obtained by Knight News. “With that said, I recognize that communication with students and other stakeholders is something where coordination facilitates answers rather than questions…”
The Florida Board of Governors meets Wednesday where the topic is likely to be further discussed. In the conclusion of his email to the provosts, Criser asked the provosts to hold their “university’s individual strategies” until Wednesday.
“By that time, each university should be ready to articulate its plan,” Criser said in the conclusion of his Friday email. “In addition, our office will prepare a general statement that recognizes the importance of student engagement in the process.”
It is not clear what student engagement the chancellor of the Board of Governors is referring to.
In the Chancellor’s Report to the Board of Governors for Wednesday’s meeting, Criser lists the proposed board action as “for information.”
In the section used to describe the authority for the action, Criser lists Article IX, Section 7 — the entire section of Florida’s Constitution on the State University System. This is noted throughout other agendas for Wednesday’s meeting.
“The Board of Governors is committed to promoting transparency and public input regarding the governance of the State University System,” the website states.
According to the Operating Procedures, the chancellor “shall keep the Board informed of all issues affecting or that may affect the System and make such recommendations to the Board for the development of any new regulations, policies or guidelines and any amendments to existing regulations, policies or guidelines.”
He is also responsible for the prompt and effective execution of all Board of Governors’ regulations, policies, guidelines and resolutions, the Operating Procedures reads.
UCF’s President-elect Alexander Cartwright’s appointment as the sixth president of UCF is up for confirmation during Wednesday’s meeting.
Cartwright’s $600,000 contract was unanimously approved by the UCF Board of Trustees on Tuesday.