In an email to Columbia College and General Studies students today, Dean Valentini announced an extension to Pass/D/Fail and class withdrawal deadlines for Fall 2021 courses. 

The deadline to declare the Pass/D/Fail option for a class will be extended to Monday, December 13, the last day of classes, from the original November 18 deadline, according to an email sent out by Dean Valentini today. The deadline to withdraw from a course will be extended to Monday, December 6—one week before the last day of classes. The usual policy for the option of uncovering a “P” grade will remain the same. Students will be able to see their grade and decide if they will uncover it or let the “P” grade remain by the second week of the Spring 2022 semester. 

Dean Valentini noted the “challenges” of the COVID-19 pandemic and the “interruptions of instruction” related to the graduate worker strike by SWC-UAW members as reasons for the extensions of these deadlines. Valentini also encouraged students to seek mental, physical, and academic resources for help if needed.

The email can be found in its entirety below. 

Email from Dean Valentini to Columbia College and General Studies students on Monday, November 29 at 6 pm:

I’m writing to update you on recent decisions made by the Columbia College – General Studies Committee on Instruction. In light of the challenges that we continue to face regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as interruptions of instruction associated with the strike by members of the SWC-UAW, the Committee on Instruction has approved the following modifications to academic deadlines:

The deadline for declaring the pass/d/fail option for a course will be extended to Monday, December 13, the last day of classes.

The deadline to withdraw from a course will be extended to Monday, December 6, one week before the end of classes.

We will continue the usual policy for lifting a “P” to uncover a grade. Students will be able to see their assigned grade for the course in SSOL, and they can decide by the end of the second week of the Spring 2022 semester (January 28) whether to uncover the grade or let the “P” remain on the transcript permanently.

Other existing policies governing the use of pass/d/fail remain in place, and the Committee on Instruction will continue monitoring the current experiences on campus; I will write to you again if they make any additional adjustments.

If you are following the continued negotiations between the University and the SWC-UAW, you’ll know that mediation sessions are underway with Kevin Flanigan, a mediator from the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. We hope that this development will mean an end to the strike very soon. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about any course that is being affected, I encourage you to connect to the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies – or, for courses in the Core Curriculum, the Center for the Core Curriculum – to find out what guidance they can offer.

I want to emphasize that if you reach out to speak with someone in an academic department or in the Center for the Core Curriculum about a course, information you share will not be used to retaliate or adversely affect your instructors. Our only goal is to help understand the strike’s specific impact on you and your academic experience, and to work with faculty to determine the best ways for you to complete the semester.

Please also take care of yourself, in both your academic and nonacademic pursuits, including in the following ways:

As much as you are able, continue to complete your coursework assignments and readings in classes that have been interrupted, both as a way to stay connected to the subject material as well as to create your own sense of meaningful progress during this time.

Connect to the people around you, whether they be your neighbors, Resident Adviser, student groups, or others. Create study groups, have meals with others, and make sure to keep active.

Have a conversation with your Academic Adviser about any anxiety or stress you may be feeling about general academic concerns.

Set up time with someone in Columbia Health to talk about any ongoing or serious feelings of anxiety – our counselors are here for all students.

I’m grateful for the conversations that I have been able to have with many of you about your experiences this semester, and I will continue to do everything I can to represent your thoughts and concerns to my colleagues throughout the University. I will be writing again soon with further updates.


Dean Valentini

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