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College of Arts & Sciences

Final Examination Policy Statement

The College of Arts & Sciences adheres to the Faculty Senate Handbook with regard to the scheduling of final examinations. The language in the Faculty Senate Handbook (Section IV.C) states:

Final Examinations: The schedule of final examinations is prepared by the Scheduling Office and each faculty member receives a copy through the campus mail or by electronic mail. Deviations from this schedule can be made only with prior approval of the dean of the college and must be cleared with the Scheduling Office.

A formal final examination, written in class, will be required in all courses where a letter grade is given unless the instructor, at his/her discretion, substitutes some other method for bringing the course into focus and for evaluating the students. In either case the instructor will continue to meet his/her class at the time the final examination is scheduled either to give the test or to receive the work which takes its place; exceptions will be made only with prior approval of the department chair person or other appropriate academic officer.

If an instructor feels that the course objectives can be better met by some method other than the final examination, he/she will announce this plan to the class at the beginning of the semester, and, along with his/her statement of attendance policy, inform the department chair person in writing of his/her intentions.

Final examinations may not be given, nor final projects in lieu of an examination be required, at any time prior to the regular examination period. Students are entitled to this period for examinations and project purposes, and should be so informed. If a student is made to take an examination or submit a final project prior to the stated final examination period, he/she should appeal to the dean of his/her college.

Policy Interpretation: All courses where a grade is given require some final evaluative method scheduled during the final examination week which brings the course into focus. Although most commonly this method is a written final exam, other means such as take-home finals, final presentations and written projects may be substituted, provided that students are informed of this information in the syllabus on the first day of class and that the chairperson also approves of these practices. Any change in date for the final exam (or in the date of the chair-approved substituted method of evaluation) must be approved first by the chairperson and then by the dean of the college, prior to approval by the Scheduling Office. A&S interprets the spirit of this policy as requiring faculty to permit students eleven weeks to complete a course.

Common Requests and Practices: The most common requests to change the date of a final examination (or the date of the final assessment method) involve legitimate professional reasons to be absent during the final examination week (e.g., scheduled presentations at conferences, trips abroad to collect data for research, etc.). Since students have the right to eleven weeks to complete their course experience, A&S does not recognize these requests. Rather CAS asks that other avenues be explored that allow both teaching and research responsibilities to be addressed. These include getting a substitute instructor to distribute and collect student exams or postponing research trips until the final assessment method is collected and graded.

This policy does not pertain to individual student requests to change the date of an individual's final. Faculty may decide on an ad hominem basis that a student be given a final examination on a date other than that scheduled.

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