The Bloomington Faculty Council voted in favor Tuesday on a proposed policy amendment to extend the auto-W deadline, the time until which a student will automatically receive a grade of “W” following a successful withdrawal request, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal relates to withdrawing from either an individual course or from all courses. The policy will extend the auto-W deadline for withdrawal up to the last day classes are taught each term, excluding final exam week, according to the official amendment document.
The policy is retroactive, meaning the extended auto-W deadline is technically effective beginning the first day of classes of the fall 2020 semester. The proposal is not a permanent policy change and will be in effect only for the duration of the pandemic. Upon the provost’s declaration the pandemic has ended, students will have until the end of the current semester to take advantage of the policy.
J Duncan, co-chair of the Educational Policies Committee, said the policy is intended as relief for students due to the substantial, unexpected difficulties presented by the pandemic. He said the Educational Policies Committee presents it as a way to ensure students have more of a safety net than they would typically have during this time.
In order to initiate a request for an auto-W, students would be strongly encouraged to meet with a student advocate, academic adviser or OIS staff member. In the case of full withdrawal from all classes, students would be required to meet with an adviser or staff member in order to ensure a student is aware of the implications that come with receiving a “W” grade — such as how scholarships, visas and athletic participation may be affected. The policy does not require students to be failing a course to facilitate a W, but they are not eligible to receive a W grade in any course in which the sanction for academic misconduct is an F.
Students will be informed of the policy electronically — most likely through email — every semester it is in place.
The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17.