RECAST | Temporary policy adjustments in the time of COVID

From: Gaul, Karen <>
Date: Jun 4, 2020, 9:35 AM -0700

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

As we wind down spring quarter, we want to note some temporary adjustments to a couple of policies that were recommended by the Deans’ Area and approved by the Agenda Committee. These policies have to do with adjusting expectations for student performance given the COVID-19 pandemic, and now also in terms of the more recent situation around nationwide protests against police brutality. 

The first policy addresses offering asynchronous routes to academic success for students who may not have the technological, economic or emotional means to meet in synchronous Zoom meetings at all the right times.  It reflects at the level of policy the message the deans and Provost have shared with faculty repeatedly throughout spring quarter, stating that students will be given access to alternative routes to earning comparable if not identical credit when circumstances make it impossible for them to participate in synchronous work.

The second is, most simply put, a one-quarter suspension of our usual Required Leave of Absence policy. 

In both cases, we are following the lead of many campuses across the country. 

All quarter, faculty have been generating creative ways to accommodate students differentially impacted by these crises, and we encourage continued collaboration and conversation about best practices and possibilities as this very difficult quarter comes to an end. 

Process statement: utilizing the experimental structure of the Agenda Committee making some decisions on behalf of the faculty, the Agenda Committee has approved these adjustments to the faculty handbook. The end date for these temporary adjustments is unknown but will coincide with campus readiness to move into Phase 4 of the governor’s Safe Start plan. The Agenda Committee will discuss at its next retreat in late August the procedure for determining precisely when and how the temporary handbook adjustments will be lifted.

Signed jointly by members of the Agenda Committee and members of the Student and Academic Life Leadership Team.

 Karen K Gaul


Academic Dean

The Evergreen State College

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