May 29, 2020


SUBJECT:    Spring 2020 Final Exams

Dear Colleagues,

The Educational Policy Committee (EPC) would like to take this
opportunity to provide guidance to instructors with regard to the end of
the quarter and final exams. We recognize that the COVID-19 situation is
highly unusual, and that under the circumstances, the Senate Policy on
Examinations might be confusing. The shift to remote education in Spring
quarter necessitates flexibility. EPC’s guidance on final exams,
including existing policy and areas where there are opportunities for
flexibility have been posted on the Academic Senate’s webpage
( and can also be found below. We wish you
all a successful and stress-free end to the quarter, and we appreciate your
patience and understanding during this emergency.


Geoff Cook
Educational Policy Committee

EPC Guidance for Final Examinations during Spring 2020

The following requirements remain in effect:

*Final examinations are required in all undergraduate courses, unless
the Undergraduate Council (UGC) has approved an alternative on the
course approval form. Consequently, if a course has a scheduled final
exam, instructors must provide some type of final assessment in keeping
with this requirement; it is not permissible to cancel the exam or base
students’ grades on any alternate arrangement.

- Final examinations in undergraduate courses may not be given at any
time before examination week without explicit approval from the
Undergraduate Council (UGC).

- An instructor may administer an examination at an alternative time to
individual students if a valid reason is given by the student for not
taking the regularly scheduled examination.

- No student may be excused from assigned final examinations.

- No instructor may require a “take-home” final examination or any final
examination be turned in before the date and hour at which the
examination for the course was scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. Areas in which flexibility may be exercised:

Instructors should consider student challenges when deciding on a final
exam strategy. Examples include time zone differences (maybe vastly
different), internet issues, technical issues, and a myriad of
unforeseen circumstances that may crop up with students participating
remotely from all around the globe. Flexibility and understanding are
important. EPC has determined that the following flexibility is
allowable under the circumstances with remote instruction:

*Instructors may substitute a take-home exam or other assignment for a
final exam. This substitute may not be due before the date and hour at
which the examination for the course was scheduled by the Registrar’s

*Instructors may hold a final exam online.

- An online final exam may not exceed three hours duration and
instructors are required to make the exam available during the date and
hour at which the examination for the course was scheduled by the
Registrar’s Office. Instructors should be mindful that unforeseen
circumstances may arise and that students may have difficulty submitting
the exam in the allotted time period due to a variety of technical
issues. Reasonable accommodation for students is appreciated.

- Final exams designed as “take-home” exams may exceed three hours
duration. Instructors are reminded that students are completing exams in
multiple courses during final exam week and to please be sensitive to
the challenges that our students are facing.

- Instructors may offer asynchronous final exams and are allowed to open
a final exam earlier than the date and hour scheduled by the Registrar’s
Office, without approval from the Undergraduate Council. However, the
final may not be made available before the Monday of finals week and it
should not be made due until the end of the regularly scheduled final
exam session. It is very important to clearly communicate to all
students in a course when the final will be available.

- Instructors are not required to be physically present for the duration
of the exam. However, it is highly desirable under the circumstances
that the instructor is available (remotely) in some fashion so that
students can ask questions during the exam.

- While it is not required that all exams are offered asynchronously,
instructors are asked to please be mindful of the unique needs of
students during the crisis and to promote equity during the exam period.
In the event that a synchronous exam is scheduled, reasonable student
requests for asynchronous exams or make-up options should beaccommodated.

For more information on remote assessment and proctoring, please visit
the Teaching + Learning Commons webpage: