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Magill explains rationale for CR/GC/NC grading option, confirms it will remain unchanged

Students can opt-out of the default grading system via the “Edit Enrollment” page on SIS until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.

Magill’s statement follows pushback from some students who argue the University should implement a universal CR/NC policy to account for inequity among the student body.
Magill’s statement follows pushback from some students who argue the University should implement a universal CR/NC policy to account for inequity among the student body.

University Provost Liz Magill issued a statement Saturday confirming that the University’s Credit/General Credit/No Credit default grading policy will remain unchanged despite some student pushback. According to Magill, the policy was selected after “extensive deliberation among the school deans” and feedback from students. 

“As provost, I heard from dozens of students advocating passionately for mandatory CR/NC and dozens of students advocating just as passionately for their desire to have the ability to choose a grade for a course,” Magill said. 

She also explained why students must choose by April 28 whether or not to obtain credit, stating that choosing prior to exams “allows students to say that they opted for a grade without knowing what their final grade would be.” This way, Magill says, choosing the CR option is not seen as “shorthand for receiving an undesirable grade.”

Magill’s statement comes after pushback from some students who find the opt-out policy inequitable and argue that the University should instead implement a universal CR/NC grading system to account for income disparities among the student body. 

To gather further feedback from students on the grading policy, Student Council created a survey to poll students about the University’s response to COVID-19, including the grading system. As of Thursday, the survey had received 700 responses, and the results will be released to the public Monday.

In a webinar town hall April 2, Magill said the University had no intention to change the CR/NC grading policy. 

“We deliberated as thoroughly as we could when we made the decision to go to a default credit/no credit for all classes with the option for students to choose at the end of the semester that they want to take a grade,” Magill said during the town hall. “We’re actually getting closer to the end of the semester, and change has a cost. Everyone has adjusted to this or built their expectations around it.”

Less than two weeks later, on April 15, the University announced a change to the CR/NC grading policy, adding a “General Credit” option in response to “input from faculty and students.” Students will be awarded general credit if they receive a passing grade below a C in any course, and they will still receive credit hours associated with the course and fill undergraduate requirements that can be met by a passing grade lower than C. 

Magill said that any further changes to the University’s grading system would create a “reverberating wave of stress.” As such, the grading policies will remain unchanged, and students will have the ability to opt-out of the Credit/General Credit/No Credit default grading system via the “Edit Enrollment” page on SIS until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.

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