Fall 2015 End-of-the-Semester Academic Procedures

November 9, 2015

To: UT Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Robert Hinde, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Subject: End of the Semester Academic Procedures

It is hard to believe it is mid-November and the end of the semester is upon us. Before we begin to think about Thanksgiving and winter break, I write to remind you of the following policies, drawn from the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Undergraduate Catalog, http://catalog.utk.edu/content.php?catoid=18&navoid=1966. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and please contact me at vpaa@utk.edu should you have any questions.

Final Examinations

“Final exams must be given during the final exam period at the scheduled time and in the scheduled place, although alternative uses of the scheduled exam period may be designated by the instructor.” Instructors assigning take-home final examinations and/or papers should make them due in class during the scheduled final exam period. Instructors assigning take-home examinations and/or papers should read the FERPA note below as well.

The Office of the University Registrar maintains a calendar of final exam periods. It can be found on the Registrar’s website, http://registrar.tennessee.edu, by selecting the “Calendars” menu item.

“Students are not required to take more than two exams on any day. The instructor(s) of the last non-departmental exam(s) on that day must reschedule the student’s exam during the final exam period.” Please note the following: “It is the obligation of students with such conflicts to make appropriate arrangements with the instructor at least two weeks prior to the end of classes” (emphasis added). This means that November 17, 2015, is the last day for students to make such arrangements.

Some units offer departmental exams in which a single exam period is assigned to all sections of a particular course, regardless of when a particular section meets. These departmental exams should not be rescheduled.

The study period, designated as “Study Day” on the Academic Calendar, is set aside for final examination study. There should be no assignments or projects due during this time, and no exams may be scheduled on Study Day. No regular exams may be scheduled during the “Make-Up Exam” times listed on the Registrar’s final exam calendar.

End-of-semester In-class Tests

“In-class, written quizzes or tests counting more than 10 percent of the semester grade may not be given the last five calendar days before the study period.” This means that November 25, 2015, is the last day to give in-class written quizzes or tests counting more than 10 percent of the semester grade.

The Grade of Incomplete

“Under extraordinary circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor, the grade of I (Incomplete) may be awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course but cannot complete the course for reasons beyond their control” (emphasis added). Also, please note that “the I grade is not issued in lieu of the grade F,” and that “students may not remove an I grade by re-enrolling in the course”, whether by formally re-taking the course or sitting in on the course in a future semester.

Academic Standards of Conduct

Students must keep the university’s honor statement (found in Hilltopics) in mind as they prepare for final examinations and papers. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, “copying without proper documentation written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source, collaborating on a graded assignment without instructor’s approval, and submitting work, either in whole or part, created by a professional service.” Contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at http://studentconduct.utk.edu or 865-974-3171 for more information and links to campus resources.

A Note Concerning the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) In light of the provisions of this act, please do not ask students to submit assignments in open mailboxes or in any other unattended public venues (boxes in the hallway, envelopes taped to doors, and the like). For the same reason, graded assignments should not be left in such public venues for students to retrieve. Grades should not be posted publicly using student ID numbers or Social Security Numbers, nor should students’ names be linked with their IDs in any public manner. More information on FERPA can be found at http://ferpa.utk.edu.

A Final Note about Textbooks

If you are an instructor, please place your textbook orders for next semester if you have not already done so. As detailed in an earlier memo, the VolShop has an Online Faculty Adoption feature on its website. Faculty and department coordinators can submit book requests electronically, saving time and paper. Please visit http://shop.utk.edu. Once you are in the site, look for the “Textbook” tab and “Faculty Adoptions” from the drop down menu. There is also a tutorial video available on this site.

Thank you, and have a great end of the semester!