- Purpose and Scope
- This Policy governs University courses, including how courses shall be offered and approved, what units within the University may offer courses, who may teach University courses, when final examinations are conducted, what the standards are for course credit (i.e., credit hours), how courses are assessed and feedback is provided to instructors, what attendance requirements are, and how instructors may accommodate students' scheduling conflicts and accommodate students' objections to the substantive content of particular courses. These policies bear upon the responsibilities of individual instructors, students, course-offering units and the University administration. This Policy applies to all course-offering units [Note i]
- “Course-offering unit” -- is an academic unit authorized to offer credit-bearing courses and bearing primary responsibility for the content, instruction and evaluation of such courses.
- Credits and Admissions Committee-- is the committee established by and described in Policy 6-404-III-A.
- Academic Advising Center -- is the academic administration unit established by and with functions described in Policy 6-101-III-B.
- University Curriculum Policy Review Board-- is the board established by and with functions described in Policy 6-003-III-Sec. 2-B-3.
- The Academic Year
- The academic year shall be divided into a Fall and Spring semester of approximately fifteen weeks each and a Summer term of approximately twelve weeks. A semester may be subdivided into two sessions of approximately eight weeks each and the Summer term may be subdivided into two sessions of approximately six weeks each.
- The Credit Hour
- A University credit hour shall represent approximately three clock hours of the student's time a week for one semester.
- Standards for Undergraduate Credit-Bearing Courses [Note ii]
- Courses are developed by course-offering units and academic administration in compliance with University Regulations and any applicable regulations of the State Board of Regents. In keeping with the principles of faculty shared governance and Policy 6-001-III-A, courses shall be approved by the faculty members of course-offering units before being submitted for higher-level approval. While faculty must play a major role, comparability of credits across the University should be maintained. The methods of instruction, time taught, or sites should make no difference in the integrity of the credit hour.
- Credit should be given only to those courses which apply toward completion of requirements for a certificate or degree at the University. Consistent with Regent's Policy R470, the University does not offer credit for courses defined as remedial. No credit should be assigned to any course whose purpose is only to qualify students for financial aid.
- Courses should be appropriately rigorous, complex and numbered at comparable levels as determined by the course-offering unit, college curriculum committee, and University review processes. "Credit awarded for successful educational performance should reflect comparable quality and be uniformly defined within an institution, regardless of the methods of instruction used, the time when the course is taught" [Note iii] or the site.
- Courses may be offered only by the teaching staff and with the approval of academic administration. Courses should be taught, evaluated, or directly supervised by an instructor approved by the course-offering unit, whose teaching qualifications meet the criteria adopted by the course-offering unit in furtherance of the University's commitment to excellence in teaching. See Policy 6-303 (qualifications of regular faculty teachers) and Policy 6-310 (qualifications of auxiliary faculty and non-faculty teachers).
- Course descriptions should clearly state the learning outcomes and activities essential to credit being awarded.
- Credit hours and student workload per credit hour should be comparable across courses and course-offering units, taking into account special requirements of accrediting agencies. Catalog, curriculum guide, and syllabi should accurately reflect the work load and the work load should be commensurate with the credit hours awarded. It is generally expected throughout the University that there is at least one hour in class and two hours outside of class per week or the equivalent combination connected to every credit hour for the appropriately prepared student. In laboratories it is expected that at least 2 to 3 hours are spent in class and approximately the same amount outside for each credit hour awarded. Where these minimums are exceeded, the approximate workload should be made clear in catalog descriptions, advising materials, and course syllabi.
- Courses of one hour or less are usually graded as credit/no credit.
- The learning outcomes and requirements must be assessed appropriately.
- Credit-bearing courses must be recorded on the student's permanent academic record (transcript).
- The faculty and academic administration need to provide policies for allowing students to repeat courses. These should be clearly communicated and coordinated across course-offering units.
- Acceptance of transfer credits depends upon quality of instruction from the sending institution, comparability of the nature, content, and level of credit earned, and appropriateness and applicability of credit to the University and the student's educational goals.
- Rules regarding the acceptance of transfer credits are approved by the Academic Senate, based upon recommendations made by the Credits and Admissions Committee (See Policy 6-404-III-3)
- Class Meetings
- Classrooms and hours shall not be changed without the consent of the director of scheduling.
- Classes shall begin promptly, be dismissed promptly, and take precedence over any special examination or exercise not a part of the official University calendar unless such examination or exercise is authorized by the Academic Senate.
- Course Numbers
- Courses of instruction shall be classified and numbered in the publications and records of the University in accordance with the rules developed by the University Curriculum Policy Review Board and approved by the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. See Policy 6-003-Sec. 2-B-3.
- Final Examinations
- Final examinations shall be given under regulations as determined by the Academic Senate. When they are required, in-class final examinations must be given at times officially set. A schedule for such examinations shall be prepared by the Scheduling Office and published by the University.
- General Grading Criteria
- Student work in University courses shall generally be reported in terms of the following grades: "A," "A-," excellent performance, superior achievement; "B+," "B," "B-," good performance, substantial achievement; "C+," "C," "C-," standard performance and achievement; "D+," "D," "D-," substandard performance, marginal achievement; "E," unsatisfactory performance and achievement. Grade point averages will be computed as follows: "A" = 4.0, "A-" = 3.7, "B+" = 3.3, "B" = 3.0, "B-" = 2.7, "C+" = 2.3, "C" = 2.0, "C-" = 1.7, "D+" = 1.3, "D" = 1.0, "D-" = 0.7, "E" = 0.0.
- The criteria for grading students shall be performance in examinations, papers, or assignments, participation in class discussion and activities, and other evaluative processes necessary in determining the students' achievement levels. All of these Procedures may be part of the total evaluation, as adapted by the individual course instructor to fit the needs of the particular course and student.
- Grading of individual student performance shall be performed consistent with the University's fundamental principles prohibiting discrimination on improper grounds, and requiring that academic activities be performed without prejudice or favoritism based on family, romantic, or sexual relationships, or financial interests. See Policy 6-316-Section 4-A & B (Faculty Code---prohibitions on discrimination, prejudice, or favoritism in grading); Policy 6-400, Section II-E (Student Code- rights against discrimination and sexual harassment); Policy 5-105 (Nepotism--defining “immediate family” relationships in which favoritism is presumed to exist); Policy 5-107 (Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships--prohibiting exercising of grading authority when a romantic or sexual relationship exists); and Policy 1-006-Sec.VI (A)(3) (prohibiting evaluation of students based on participation in outside business activities in which evaluator has significant financial interest). These principles apply to any person engaged in grading activities, including course instructors and their assistants. Course instructors and course-offering units shall take appropriate steps to ensure the application of these principles, including providing for alternative grading methods or assignment of grading responsibilities to another person, as appropriate to the circumstances.
- The mark "I" (incomplete) shall be given and reported for work incomplete because of circumstances beyond the student's control. The grade of "I" should be used only for a student who is passing the course and who needs to complete 20% or less of the course. An "I" should not be used in a way that will permit a student to retake the course without paying tuition. If the student attends the course during a subsequent semester as part of the effort required to complete the course, he/she must be registered (either as a regular student or for audit) in the semester in which he/she attends.
- If a student has not finished incomplete work within one calendar year after the "I" was given, the "I" will be changed to an "E" by the Registrar's office. If the student graduates within one calendar year after receiving the "I," but before completing the work, the "I" will remain in the record, but will not contribute to credit toward graduation or the grade point average. An instructor may override the automatic change from an “I” to an “E” by submitting a grade change form (see Sec. I, “Change of Grade,” below).
- Non-Attendance and Non-Performance
- The grade of "EU"(Unofficial Withdrawal) is given when a student's name appears on the registrar's final grade report but there is no record of attendance or other evidence of participation in the course. The "EU" grade is treated as an "E" in calculating the student's GPA. When no grade is entered for any person listed in a final grade report, the Registrar shall record an "EU" for that person. The grade "EU" shall be treated as an "E" in calculating grade point averages, but it shall be disregarded in calculating "section mean grade."
- Upon the recommendation of the course instructor and the dean of the course-offering unit (or equivalent), the Registrar may withdraw a student from a course for nonattendance or nonperformance of assigned course work. The student shall then receive the grade of "E." Before this grade is recorded under these circumstances, the Registrar shall send written notification to the student and advise the student of the right to appeal to the dean.
- In-Progress Courses
- The mark "T" may be given for thesis or other independent work in progress, but not for regular courses. The mark "T" shall remain on the student record until the work is completed and a letter grade is reported to the Registrar's office. The mark "T" does not contribute credit toward graduation nor will it be used in the computation of the grade point average. There is no time limit governing the removal of the "T" grade.
- Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing From Courses
- Students may add or drop any course in a regular 15-week University semester without penalty for a period extending through the second Friday after the first day of the term. Beginning the following day and continuing through Friday of the first full week beyond the midpoint of the term (as determined by the Registrar), students may withdraw from a course or from the University without permission, but a "W" will be recorded on the academic record and applicable tuition and fees will be assessed for each course. The latter date is the final day on which a student may withdraw from a course or from the University.
- Deadline for courses less than a 15-week semester will be pro-rated based upon full-semester rules, including terms, workshops, short-sessions, inter-sessions, or non-credit courses.
- Students may withdraw from workshops, short term courses, or non-credit courses following the drop deadline for such courses only up to the midpoint in the course (as determined by the Registrar). Any withdrawal after the initial drop period will cause a "W" to be recoded on the academic record and applicable tuition and fees will be assessed for the course.
- Students taking regular term courses may appeal the deadline for withdrawal in the case of compelling, non-academic emergencies by submitting a petition and supporting documentation to the office of the dean of their major college. Undeclared, non-matriculated and premajor students apply to the Academic Advising Center. Students in workshops, short term courses, or non-credit courses shall appeal to the Academic Outreach and Continuing Education. Appeals must be submitted to the appropriate dean's office by the last day of regular course instruction preceding the final exam period. Colleges must respond to an appeal from a student within seven calendar days of receiving the petition.
- For extraordinary reasons, approved by the student's dean and the Registrar, the grade of "W" may be given after the end of the term. Such requests must be submitted within three years of the affected term(s) or prior to graduation from the University, whichever comes first.
- Repeating Courses
- Students may repeat any course they have previously taken at the University as long as it is still offered. However, students my earn credit hours for a given course for graduation only once unless the course has been designated as repeatable for credit. The last grade received is used to compute the student's grade point average (and grades from previous instances of the same course are not considered in computing the GPA, but are shown on the record for the term the course was taken). The grades of I, NC, W, V, or T may neither be removed by repeating the course, nor may they be used to replace a grade in a previous course that has been repeated. All repeated courses are identified as such on the student's academic record.
- An undergraduate student shall ordinarily be limited to three attempts at taking any
particular course (the initial taking, and subsequent retaking twice). An “attempt” for this purpose is defined as the receipt of any letter grade for the course (including A through D, or I, E, EU, NC, W, V). A student must meet with their academic advisor before attempting a course for the third time.
- An exception allowing further retaking beyond the three‐attempt limit may be granted
only as follows: The student must meet with their academic advisor, who shall make
recommendation as to whether the student should be permitted any further attempt. The dean (or equivalent) of the course‐offering unit, after considering that recommendation and other relevant facts, shall make the final decision to allow or not allow the further attempt, and shall communicate that decision to the student and the University Registrar. The dean’s decision is the final decision of the University (is not an academic action appealable under the Student Code, Policy 6‐400).
- Credit/No Credit Option
- In courses in which activity or attendance is the controlling factor in the determination of grades, the grade "CR" (credit) shall be substituted for the grades "A" through "C-" and the grade "NC" (no credit) shall be substituted for the grades "D+" through "E."
- Under Rules approved by the Academic Senate, students may elect a limited number of courses in which they will receive the grade "CR" in place of grades "A" through "C-" or the grade of "NC" in the place of "D+," "D," "D-," "E" and "EU". The "CR" grade shall carry credit toward graduation, but neither the "CR" nor "NC" grades will be included in computing grade point averages.
- A graduate student is granted the option, subject to the approval of the administrator of the course-offering unit and the cognizant dean (or equivalent)student's major department and review by the graduate dean, to enroll in some courses in which the graduate student will be graded on a CR/NC basis, rather than on a letter basis.
- Courses which produce one hour or less of academic credit should be graded exclusively on a CR/NC basis Instructors wishing to assign a letter grade to such courses, or to grade other kinds of courses, solely on a Credit/No Credit basis must obtain permission to do so from the relevant college's curriculum committee.
- Course Credit Reduction
- A reduction in course credit may be used in "studio-type" or in independent study courses only. Individual departments may determine which of their courses should use this option. No foundation courses, or courses used to satisfy either General Education or Bachelor Degree requirements, courses for which completion of the full semester's work is essential for a graduation requirement may be involved. The intent of this policy provision on course credit reduction is to let the grade reflect the quality of work--and the credit earned reflect the quantity of work completed in this type of course. If a student fails to complete the volume of work he/she contracted to do for such a course, the instructor and student may agree to reduce the credit earned and the student is graded on the quality of work completed. The deadline for making the adjustment corresponds with the last day of classes prior to final exams.
- Auditing a Course
- An audit grade can be elected in credit courses when no grade is desired. A student may audit a course if it is not available to be taken as non-credit, and/or if the student wants to attend the course for their own personal benefit. Students auditing a course are not held responsible for completing course work or taking examinations during the course. An audited course will show on a student's transcript with a 'V' grade and '0.00' as the awarded number of credit hours. Audited courses are not included in the student's GPA calculation.
- General Grading Criteria
- Report of Grades
- Instructors shall report the academic standing of each student in their courses at such times and in such form as the Registrar may direct, subject to the approval of the Academic Senate. At the end of each semester, the Registrar shall report the grades of each student to the student. Students shall not receive credit for work done in a course in which they have not been regularly registered or receive credit greater in amount than that for which they are duly registered.
- Change of Grades
- A final grade, after it has been formally reported to the Registrar's office, cannot be changed unless the instructor who awarded the grade requests a change on a form provided for this purpose by the Registrar, and unless that request is approved by the course-offering unit. A grade can be changed without the instructor's request or approval in accordance with the Procedures of [Policy 6-400, Section IV].
- Academic Evaluation and Standards Committee
- [USER NOTE: The Academic Evaluation and Standards Committee is eliminated, effective July 1, 2014, by revision 22 of Policy 6-100. The Committee's former functions have been assigned to various other committees and offices within the University. For further information, contact the office of Undergraduate Studies.]
- Academic Standards for Undergraduates
- The Undergraduate Council shall have jurisdiction over the academic standards for
undergraduates and shall delegate to Academic Advising Center the responsibility for
administering the academic standards policy.
- Dean's List Recognition for Superior Academic Performance. A student who earns a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in at least 12 graded hours during any one term shall be placed on the Dean's List.
- Minimum Required Cumulative GPA and Academic Non-Performance. In order to remain in the status of good academic standing at the University each enrolled undergraduate student is required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0. The cumulative grade point average of a student who has transferred to the University is computed on the work taken at the University of Utah only. Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below that minimum level shall be subject to the status changes as described below (academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension, or academic dismissal). These status changes governed by this Policy are based on grounds of academic non-performance, and are distinct from and administered through processes separate from the status changes of probation, suspension or dismissal based on misconduct (academic, behavioral, or professional) which are described in and governed by Policy 6-400 (Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities).
- Academic Warning and Academic Probation. A student who fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above shall be placed on academic warning and have a hold placed on his or her course registration. To clear this hold, the student must contact Academic Advising Center to determine the conditions under which the student will be allowed to register. A student already on academic warning whose cumulative grade point average and also most recent semester grade point average are below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation, will have a hold placed on course registration, and will be required to meet with and satisfy conditions determined by Academic Advising Center to be allowed to register.
- Academic Suspension: A student whose cumulative grade point average and semeter grade point average have been below a 2.0 for three consecutive semesters is subject to academic suspension. A registration hold will be placed on the student's record and will prevent the student from registering for courses at the University during the academic suspension period. The academic suspension period will be for a minimum of three (3) semesters, and after completing the suspension period, if the student wishes to return to the University, the student must apply for readmission per III-K-6 below
- Appeal of Academic Suspension(and Reinstatement to Probation Status). A student who has been suspended per III-K-4 and has not yet completed the full period of suspension may appeal the academic suspension, based on extenuating circumstances, to the Academic Standards Committee of Academic Advising Center. If the Committee finds extenuating circumstances and revokes the academic suspension, the student will be reinstated with the status of academic probation and permitted to register for courses. The student must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 during each subsequent semester until the student's cumulative grade point average reaches 2.0 and comply with such further conditions as the Committee determines necessary during probationary status, consistent with III-K-3 above. A student who does not meet these conditions will be returned to the status of suspension for the prescribed period.
- Readmission after Academic Suspension. A student who has been academically suspended per III-K-4, served the full period of suspension, and wishes to subsequently return to the University, must first obtain a favorable recommendation from the Academic Standards Committee of Academic Advising Center, and then apply for readmission to the University pursuant to Policy 6-404. The student will initiate the process by first submitting to Academic Advising Center a request for a review and recommendation by the Academic Standards Committee. The Committee will issue a recommendation in favor of readmission for the student if there seems a reasonable likelihood of academic success, and may include recommendations as to appropriate conditions for readmission. If the Committee issues a favorable recommendation, the student may then apply to the University's Office of Admissions for readmission to the University, as governed by Policy 6-404-III-F. If the student is readmitted, the student must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 each subsequent semester until the student's cumulative grade point average reaches 2.0, and comply with any other conditions imposed in the readmission process. A student who does not meet these conditions of readmission is subject to academic dismissal.
- Academic Dismissal. A student who has been academically dismissed due to the provisions described above will not be eligible to register for courses, cannot regain such eligibility except through the process of readmission to the University, and will not be so readmitted unless the student is found qualified for academic renewal (as described in Section III-M below). An academically dismissed student wishing to return to the University must first petition Academic Advising Center for a finding that the student is qualified for academic renewal and a recommendation in favor of readmission. If Academic Advising Center makes such a finding and favorable recommendation (which may include recommendations of conditions for readmission), the student may then apply to the Office of Admissions for readmission to the University, as governed by Policy 6-404-III-F.
- The Undergraduate Council shall have jurisdiction over the academic standards for undergraduates and shall delegate to Academic Advising Center the responsibility for administering the academic standards policy.
- Honors for Undergraduates
- Honors shall be awarded at graduation to those students who complete with distinction at least 90 credit hours at the University. The basis, terms, and degrees of distinction shall be determined by the Academic Senate. Names of students attaining honors shall be published in the commencement program and elsewhere as the president may direct.
- Academic Renewal
- A currently enrolled undergraduate student may petition Academic Advising Center for academic renewal. This is a Procedure which allows the student to request that his or her academic record be reviewed for the purpose of discounting, University of Utah courses with a D+ or lower grade on the student's academic record. The courses must have been taken seven or more calendar years prior to the request. If approved, the discounted courses will remain on the student's academic record (and the grades received for the courses will be shown), but the discounted courses and grades received for them will not count towards total hours, cumulative grade point computation, or graduation requirements.
- The renewal option can be used only once during a student's undergraduate career. This Procedure does not apply to graduate students or to students pursuing a second undergraduate degree.
- Responsibility for administration of this Procedure rests with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Course Assessment and Feedback (course evaluations)
- The University will assess its courses and instruction in multiple ways, including
by soliciting students' feedback. Student feedback has several uses: it provides information
of interest to students planning their programs of study, it is useful in making improvements
in instruction and curricula, and it provides a student perspective on teaching for
evaluations of course instructors. See also Policy 6-400-II-C (Student Code, students' rights regarding evaluations of faculty members).
- Senate Adviosry Committee on Student Course Feedback, structure and functions.
- The Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback (SACSCF) is a standing committee
of the Academic Senate, established by Policy 6-002-III-D, with membership and leadership as there described.
- The Committee's primary function shall be to evaluate and provide input and oversight for the development and revision (as necessary) of standardized "Student Course Feedback Instrument(s), "and standardized "Course Feedback Report(s)." The instrument(s) and report forms shall be designed to be suitable for use in all credit-bearing courses, of both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Committee shall also develop appropriate procedures for the administration of instrument(s) and report forms (and other appropriate publication of the resulting data). In evaluating, devloping, and periodically revising instrument(s) and report forms and procedures, the Commitee shall solicit and consider input from the chairpersons of all course-offering units. The Committee shall confer with the Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee and relevant administrators regarding the use of course feedback results in conjunction with reviews of teaching performance of faculty members and non-faculty instructional personnel (Policies 6-303 and 6-310). The instrument(s), report form(s) and procedures shall be presented to the Academic Senate for approval. The instrument(s), report form(s), and procedures will be continueously evaluated by the Committee. Reports on the evalution of the instrument(s), report form(s), and procedures, as well as any proposed revisions, shall be presented to the Academic Senate every four years.
- The Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback (SACSCF) is a standing committee of the Academic Senate, established by Policy 6-002-III-D, with membership and leadership as there described.
- The approved Course Feedback Instrument(s) and Report forms shall be made available for use by all course-offering academic units. All credit-bearing courses shall be assessed every term they are offered using approved Instrument(s). Chairpersons of each course-offering unit have the responsibility of seeing that assessments are conducted according to regulations, working with the Student Course Feedback Program Manager. For non-credit courses, assessments may be conducted as determined in the discretion of the course-offering unit.
- Uses of feedback.
- Course feedback for individual courses, including all collected data, shall be made available to course instructors, and appropriate administrators of the course-offering unit after grades for the course are filed.
- An appropriate set of data for a given course shall be made available to any University student, as determined appropriate in the standard Report form and Procedures approved as described above.
- The Student Advisory Committee of the course-offering unit, after meeting pertinent training requirements, shall be provided with an appropriate set of feedback data for individual courses for specified purposes of carrying out approved functions of such Advisory Committees, as determined appropriate in the Procedures approved as described above.
- Senate Adviosry Committee on Student Course Feedback, structure and functions.
- The University will assess its courses and instruction in multiple ways, including by soliciting students' feedback. Student feedback has several uses: it provides information of interest to students planning their programs of study, it is useful in making improvements in instruction and curricula, and it provides a student perspective on teaching for evaluations of course instructors. See also Policy 6-400-II-C (Student Code, students' rights regarding evaluations of faculty members).
- Attendance Requirements
- The University expects regular attendance at all class meetings. Instructors must communicate any particular attendance requirements of the course to students in writing on or before the first class meeting. Students are responsible for acquainting themselves with and satisfying the entire range of academic objectives and requirements as defined by the instructor.
- Students absent from class to participate in officially sanctioned University activities (e.g., band, debate, student government, intercollegiate athletics), or government obligations (e.g., military duty), or religious obligations, or with instructor's approval, shall be permitted to make up both assignments and examinations. The University expects its departments and programs that take students away from class meetings to schedule such events in a way that will minimize hindrance of the student's orderly completion of course requirements. Such units must provide a written statement to the students describing the activity and stating as precisely as possible the dates of the required absence. The involved students must deliver this documentation to their instructors, before the absence.
- Except in cases of sudden illness or emergency, students shall in advance of the absence arrange with the instructor to make up assignments.
- Unexpected University facility closures due to weather, emergency or disaster may occur from time to time. Students may be required to complete coursework missed due to these or other class cancellations; however, instructors requiring mandatory make-up sessions may not penalize students if they are unable to attend due to time conflicts, etc.
- Noncredit Courses
- Course development procedures for noncredit courses should be academically sound and as rigorous, though perhaps different, as those applying to credit courses.
- The national standard for Continuing Education Units (CEU) is "ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction." The CEU may be the appropriate unit of measurement for qualifying noncredit courses.
- For purposes of this subsection, a noncredit course:
- Is one for which credit is not awarded, registration is required and payment changes hands.;
- meets criteria established by the offering unit;
- incorporates content, teaching methods and attendance requirements appropriate to the students eligible to enroll;
- is taught or supervised by an instructor who has met institutional qualifications established by the offering unit; and
- recognizes participation of students appropriately.
- Units offering noncredit courses must report the nature and extent of those activities to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee) annually.
- (Section Q is in effect starting Fall semester 2005)
- The values held most strongly by the University of Utah community are those of academic freedom and integrity as they are expressed collectively by the colleges and departments as well as individually through research and teaching and as they exist within the wider context of advanced study as commonly understood by all universities. The community also values diversity and respect, without which there can be no collegiality among faculty and students. In addition, the University community values individual rights and freedoms, including the right of each community member to adhere to individual systems of conscience, religion, and ethics. Finally, the University recognizes that with all rights come responsibilities. The University works to uphold its collective values by fostering free speech, broadening fields of inquiry, and encouraging generation of new knowledge that challenges, shapes, and enriches our collective and individual understandings. This Section addresses course content accommodations. Regardless of any accommodation that may be granted, students are responsible for satisfying all academic objectives, requirements and prerequisites as defined by the instructor and by the University. Because the burdens and appropriate criteria are different for scheduling accommodations and content accommodations, granting of one type of accommodation has no bearing on the granting of the other type.
- Scheduling Accommodations permit students to be absent from class meetings or to arrange to fulfill assignments on days other than their scheduled dates. Such accommodations are addressed above in Section O.
- Content Accommodations are modifications of otherwise generally applicable reading, writing, viewing, listening, or performing requirements.
- Legislated Accommodations are modifications made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other State and Federal statutes and are not included in this policy.
- Content Accommodations
- Consistent with principles of academic freedom, the faculty, individually and collectively, has the responsibility for determining the content of the curriculum.
- Students are expected to take courses that will challenge them intellectually and personally. Students must understand and be able to articulate the ideas and theories that are important to the discourse within and among academic disciplines. Personal disagreement with these ideas and theories or their implications is not sufficient grounds for requesting an accommodation. Accommodations requested on such grounds will not be granted. The University recognizes that students' sincerely-held core beliefs may make it difficult for students to fulfill some requirements of some courses or majors. The University assumes no obligation to ensure that all students are able to complete any major.
- It is the student's obligation to determine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course requirements conflict with the student's sincerely-held core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a content accommodation from the instructor. Though the University provides, through this policy, a process by which a student may make such a request, the policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing, and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department Chair or, in the case of a single-department college, to the office of the Dean. The student's request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student's beliefs.
- The instructor must respond to any accommodation request within two school days of
receiving it. The response must be made in writing and a copy must be delivered to
the office of the department Chair or, in the case of a single-department college,
to the office of the Dean. In the event that the class does not meet on the day by
which the Instructor must respond, the student must make arrangements to receive the
response in a timely manner. Instructors are not required to grant content accommodations,
as long as the subject course requirement has a reasonable relationship to a legitimate
pedagogical goal, but they may do so, only if a reasonable alternative means of satisfying
the curricular requirement is available and only if that alternative is fully appropriate
for meeting the academic objectives of the course, after considering the following:
- the difficulty of administering an accommodation;
- the burden on the student's sincerely-held core belief;
- the importance of the particular requirement to the course.
- In considering whether or not to make an accommodation, the faculty member may evaluate the sincerity but not the validity of the student's belief. If an instructor in a course makes content accommodations for any reason other than those covered under Section 2-c (Legislated Accommodations) of this policy, the instructor must similarly consider requests made during the same semester for the same course for accommodations based on conflicts with sincerely-held core beliefs. Requests will be individually evaluated in relation to the above considerations; the granting of one such request will not guarantee that all requests will be granted. Because the criteria and requirements discussed above will apply differently to each instructor and to each course, accommodations granted by an instructor in one course will not affect decisions by the same instructor in other courses or by other instructors in the same or other courses.
- If an instructor does not grant a content accommodation request, the student may appeal that denial in writing to the Dean of the college. If the Dean is the Instructor of the course, the student may appeal the denial to the cognizant Vice President.
- The Dean (or Designee) will, in consultation with the faculty member and the department Chair (or Designee), act within two school days. The Dean (or Designee) will uphold the denial unless she or he finds that the denial was arbitrary and capricious or illegal. In the case of single-department colleges, the decision will rest with the Dean alone. The Dean's determination shall be final as it pertains to the specific accommodation request. Faculty challenges to the appropriateness of this decision should follow established channels. The student may but is not required to participate in these further reviews.
- If the instructor disagrees with the dean's decision that the instructor's denial of the student's request was arbitrary and capricious or illegal, the instructor may not be compelled against his/her professional judgment to administer the requested content accommodation for the student. If the faculty instructor disagrees with the dean's decision that the instructor's denial of the student's request was arbitrary and capricious or illegal, the faculty instructor may not be compelled against his/her professional judgment to administer the requested content accommodation for the student. If the faculty instructor declines to administer the accommodation, it will be the responsibility of the dean in consultation with the department chair to design and administer the alternative academic requirement for the student in order to satisfy the student's content accommodation request. The dean (or dean's appropriate designee) will determine the student's grade on that specific alternative assignment and will report that grade to the course instructor, who will incorporate that grade for the assignment into the total grade for the course. The final grade in the course will be determined by the faculty instructor and will be calculated in the same way as the final grade is determined for all other students in the course.
- If a student determines, after the last day to drop courses without penalty, that
course requirements may conflict with the student's sincerely-held core beliefs, and
the instructor has denied the student's written accommodation request, the student
may seek permission in writing from the Dean to withdraw without receiving a W on
his/her transcript and to receive a refund of tuition for that class. In making this
request the student must demonstrate the following:
- that the student is in good standing in the course as defined by the department.
- that he or she could not have made this determination prior to the last day to drop courses without penalty.
- The Dean's determination shall be final.
- Decisions on accommodation requests may not be considered adversely to a faculty member in faculty code, Retention, Promotion and Tenure, or other proceedings as long as those decisions are made in good faith. Faculty may not take adverse academic action against students who make accommodation requests. The Dean or Department Chair may not take any adverse action against an instructor based on his/her decision to make or not make a content accommodation for a student.
- Instructors who believe that course materials may conflict with students' deeply held core beliefs may include a statement in the syllabus for the course that advises students that some of the writings, lectures, films or presentations, or other requirements in the course include materials that may present such conflicts. However, this policy recognizes that Faculty will not always be able to predict in advance which if any materials may conflict with the beliefs of a given student or group of students.
- The Academic Senate will evaluate this policy in January 2007.
- Note: Parts IV-VII of this Regulation (and all other University Regulations) are Regulations Resource Information – the contents of which are not approved by the Academic Senate or Board of Trustees, and are to be updated from time to time as determined appropriate by the cognizant Policy Officer and the Institutional Policy Committee, as per Policy 1-001 and Rule 1-001.
- (Section Q is in effect starting Fall semester 2005)
- The Academic Year
- Rules, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and other related resources
- Policy 6-001: Faculties, Committees and Councils
- Policy 6-303, Rev. 19: Retention, Promotion, and Tenure
- Policy 6-310: Appointment, Reappointment and Evaluation of Auxiliary Faculty and Other Instructional Personnel
- Policy 6-316-Section 4-A & B Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
- Policy 6-400: Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (“Student Code”)
- Policy 6-404: Undergraduate Admission
- Policy 5-105: Employment or Supervision of Immediate Family
- Policy 5-107: Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships
- Regents Policy R470, General Education, Common Course Numbering, Lower-Division Pre-Major Requirements, Transfer of Credits, and Credit by Examination
- Regents Policy R510, Tuition and Fees
- Policy Owners (primary contact person for questions and advice): Sr. Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, 801-581-3811
- Policy Officers: Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Sr. Vice President for Health Sciences
- These officials are designated by the University President or delegee, with assistance of the Institutional Policy Committee, to have the following roles and authority, as provided in University Rule 1-001:
- "A 'Policy Officer' will be assigned by the President for each University Policy, and will typically be someone at the executive level of the University (i.e., the President and his/her Cabinet Officers). The assigned Policy Officer is authorized to allow exceptions to the Policy in appropriate cases.... "
- "The Policy Officer will identify an 'Owner' for each Policy. The Policy Owner is an expert on the Policy topic who may respond to questions about, and provide interpretation of the Policy; and will typically be someone reporting to an executive level position (as defined above), but may be any other person to whom the President or a Vice President has delegated such authority for a specified area of University operations. The Owner has primary responsibility for maintaining the relevant portions of the Regulations Library... .[and] bears the responsibility for determining which reference materials are helpful in understanding the meaning and requirements of particular Policies... ." University Rule 1-001-III-B & E
- Renumbering: Renumbered as Policy 6-100 effective 9/15/2008, formerly known as PPM 9-7, and formerly as Faculty Regulations Chapter VII.
- Revision history:
- Current version: Revision 24
- Approved by Academic Senate: March 7, 2016
- Approved by Board of Trustees: April 12, 2016
- Legislative History
- Earlier versions:
- Revision 23: effective dates December 8, 2015 - June 30, 2016
- Revision 22: effective dates July 1, 2014 - December 7, 2015
- Revision 21: effective dates February 12, 2013 - June 30, 2014
- Background Information for Revision 21
- Revision 20: effective dates July 1, 2011 to February 11, 2013
- Background information for Revision 20
- Revision 19: effective dates March 21, 2005 to June 30, 2011
- Revision 18: effective dates July 7, 2004 to March 20, 2005
- Revision 17: effective dates May 15, 2000 to July 6, 2004
- Revision 16: effective dates January 10, 2000 to May 14, 2000
- Revision 15: effective dates December 27, 1999 to January 9, 2000
- Revision 14: effective dates January 12, 1998 to December 26, 1999
i. The college of law, the school of medicine, and other academic units offering professional degrees, may be permitted to vary from the specific terms of this Policy for their professional degree curriculum when such variations are determined to be appropriate for compliance with accreditation requirements and principles applicable to such professional degree curriculum. Such variations shall be described in a supplemental rule (see Policy 1-001-II-F) adopted pursuant to this Policy, which shall be approved by the faculty (and, if applicable, chairperson) of the academic unit, the cognizant college council and dean, and the cognizant senior vice president, and shall be published in a form accessible to the affected students and course instructors.
ii.These standards are all based on a report of the American Council on Education adopted September 27, 1983 by ACE and November 1, 1983 by the Board of Directors, National University Continuing Education Association. Any changes reflect adaptation to our governance model. Some language is identical to the ACE recommendations; any additions specific to the University of Utah are the work of the Task Force. All other language is intended simply to translate the ACE and Task Force recommendations.