The Council of Academic Administrators and Chancellor Boyce approved changes on Saturday to the university’s grading policy for the Spring 2020 semester to give students some accommodations in light of the suspension of in-person instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The changes will allow undergraduate students to choose to change a grade of C or better to a Z grade, and to change a C- or D to a P, or Passing, grade. The proposal adopted by the council included an amendment to allow the School of Pharmacy to opt-out of these changes.
At this time, no changes have been made to the grading policy for graduate students. Prior to Saturday’s CAA meeting, the Graduate Council deferred action in hopes of gaining more information to understand the implications of these changes for graduate students. The CAA referred the COVID-19 grading options back to the Graduate Council for further consideration.
The Council also passed a resolution requesting Deans’ offices to exercise greater flexibility in allowing late withdrawal requests in light of the COVID-19 emergency.
Additional details about these changes will be posted on the Keep Teaching and Keep Learning websites.
Stay connected with your classmates by tapping into a few engagement resources provided by the staff of the Ole Miss Student Union:
- Netflix Party – a Google Chrome plug-in that allows you to host watch parties and chat with those invited/in attendance.
- Create a shareable playlist! For an example, check out Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson’s recent quarantine playlist.
- Coordinate workouts from home via Planet Fitness on their Facebook page where they’re offering free at-home workouts live-streamed daily.
Faculty and Staff
Activate UM Google Account
As many faculty (not only at UM, but across the country) plan to lead classes on the Zoom video conferencing platform beginning Monday, the UM Office of Information Technology encourages faculty to prepare to fall back to one or more alternative instructional delivery techniques in the event that the university experiences issues with Zoom.
- Google Meet video conferencing is available to all UM faculty as part of UM’s Google Suite for Education.
- Faculty who have not already done so can go to the MyOleMiss portal (Web ID authentication is required) and activate their UM Gmail accounts. A UM Gmail account is required to access this service. It can take up to half an hour to process this request.
- Faculty may wish to log-in to their UM Google accounts and perform some brief experiments, learning the controls of the system and setting up any system permissions that may be needed on their computers.
- To get to Google Meet, log in to your go.olemiss.edu account and then go to https://meet.google.com. A Quick Start Guide is available here.
Other Things to Know
The entire state of Mississippi has been declared a disaster for COVID-19 by SBA Administrator Carranza, which opens disaster loan assistance for small businesses and eligible non-profits for economic injury relief.
UM’s Clinical-Disaster Research Center (UM-CDRC) has established pages with COVID-19 resources on coping while social distancing.
UM’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement shared an updated list of resources for those affected by COVID-19 in the LOU community. https://twitter.com/McLeanUM/status/1241108054562799618
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) now recommends that all restaurant and bars suspend dine-in service in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, effective immediately. Restaurants may still offer carryout or delivery orders to their customers. Additionally, the MSDH is recommending that Mississippi residents not attend funerals, weddings, church services or other community or social events with expected attendance of more than 10 people. Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
On the lighter side: Two Broadway composers have created a new hand-washing song called “Twenty Seconds” to give people an alternative to singing “Happy Birthday.”