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The Closure: What’s Up With Academics?

By Julia Ann Easley on November 20, 2018 in University News

The loss of seven instructional days from the closure of campus and cancellation of classes has put UC Davis in uncharted territory and raised questions about not only current access to some services, but also the resumption and scheduling of academic activities. Here, Dateline offers a summary of what has been announced thus far.

Help and services now

AFFECTED STUDENTS — First and foremost, the campus offers help for students whose families have been directly impacted by the California wildfires. They are invited to contact the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA). Case managers there can connect students with resources on and off campus to help with a range of things including special course arrangements, academic advising and housing. Email aggiecare@ucdavis.edu or complete the form for student assistance and support on the OSSJA website.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS — The office of Services for International Students and Scholars within Global Affairs, located at the International Center, is open to help international students and scholars who need special paperwork completed for travel over the Thanksgiving break. The office is providing signatures for I-20 and DS-2019 travel forms for international students and scholars. It opened yesterday and is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and Wednesday (Nov. 20-21). Staff are also monitoring siss@ucdavis.edu for questions. More detailed information is available on the SISS website.

REQUESTS FOR TRANSCRIPTS — Transcripts are important and should be available in a timely way for employment and internship applications as well as graduate school admission. A small team in the Office of the Registrar continues to process requests for transcripts so they can be mailed before the Thanksgiving break.

UC DAVIS LIBRARY — The Blaisdell Medical Library in Sacramento and the 24-Hour Study Room at Shields Library are open with access only by UC Davis Health campus badge or student ID, respectively, while other UC Davis Library buildings are closed. As of Saturday, Nov. 24, all library buildings will reopen and resume normal hours.

Online coursework, midterms and finals

The Academic Senate has published guidelines to help faculty members and other instructors make decisions about coursework, midterms and final exams. 

ONLINE MATERIALS — If faculty members and other instructors determine that the use of online materials is essential for optimizing student comprehension of course material missed when classes were canceled, they can make those materials available while campus is closed. But senate leadership urges that this material be considered supplemental. Students can be encouraged to access it but cannot be held responsible for accessing or interacting with it, including through examinations, until the time when normal class scheduling resumes.

MIDTERMS AND FINAL EXAMS — Instructors have the authority to change the type and number of assignments and midterm exams for courses in progress. These changes need to be applied equitably for all students in the course. If a midterm exam is rescheduled, it must be given during a regularly scheduled class period, given during an out-of-class time agreed to by students, or switched to a take-home exam due during a regularly scheduled class time.

Looking forward

END OF THE ACADEMIC QUARTER — Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter and the Academic Senate and Academic Federation are working on how the remaining days of the quarter will be handled. Information about that will be communicated as soon as it becomes available. However, the academic quarter will not be extended. Doing so, the university said, would impact existing plans of faculty and students and would require prior consultation with the American Federation of Teachers, which represents some instructors.

COMMENCEMENT — Fall commencement for the undergraduate colleges will be held as scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Sources of information

About the author(s)

Julia Ann Easley Julia Ann Easley of News and Media Relations writes and supports communications about student life, graduate and undergraduate education, international activities, emergency preparedness and more.

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