March 9, 2021
A Review of Baruch’s Grading Policy and Extended “W” Deadline
Dear Baruch Students:
I write today to provide clarity on a complicated issue: Grading policy for Spring 2021 and beyond.
In December 2020, CUNY leadership gave colleges the ability to implement a flexible grading policy for the Fall 2020 semester only. In keeping with CUNY’s direction, Baruch enacted a policy that allowed undergraduate students to choose a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) designation for courses, with exceptions.
Fast forward to Spring 2021, our current semester: CUNY is encouraging each college to adopt a campus-specific policy.
Baruch’s Decision for Spring 2021: Not to Extend the CR/NC Option
Baruch’s Academic Council debated the pros and cons and decided not to extend the policy for the current semester. The critical considerations have been and will continue to be:
- The integrity of Baruch degree programs
- Students’ preparation for upper-level courses
- Competitiveness of Baruch graduates entering the job market
- Competitiveness of Baruch students when applying for scholarships, graduate schools, and internships
- Competitiveness of Baruch students when applying for clinical and professional opportunities in graduate-degree programs
- Academic standards as the cornerstone of student success and the recognition our College earns in the national and regional rankings
“W” Deadline Permanently Extended
Please also be aware that CUNY has also adopted a policy to extend the deadline to withdraw (“W”) from a course until the last day of class in a given semester. That flexibility is available to Baruch students for the Spring 2021 semester and beyond.
I know some of you will be disappointed with the decision not to enact a more flexible grading policy for Spring 2021. While understandable, I assure you that the issue was examined with great care and compassion—and with our students’ future success in mind.
Next Steps: Grading Policy Review
Under the direction of the Academic Council– a body that comprises myself, the two associate provosts, Baruch’s deans, and the vice presidents for student affairs and enrollment management and strategic academic initiatives—Baruch has launched a review of the College’s grading policy in order to develop a permanent Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option for undergraduates.
In consultation with faculty, staff, and student representatives, Marxe, Weissman, and Zicklin will begin the process of designing and establishing an undergraduate P/NC policy. The process will be guided by the schools’ curriculum committees that include faculty members and student representatives who have voting privileges. The P/NC policy in each school will undergo review through the appropriate governance approval processes and be permanently added to the school’s grading policies in the future.
Our Commitment to Your Success
Our students’ academic, personal, and professional success is our top priority. The College currently offers extensive services for academic support, professional advancement, emergency funding, and counseling. As part of the grading policy review process this spring, the Academic Council charged the schools and student services areas to develop accommodations and support services that offer additional relief from recognized hardships due to the pandemic. We will communicate these offerings as they are developed but in the meanwhile, I ask that you reach out to the office of the Dean of Students for any assistance you need.
I wish you all the best for the Spring term and will continue to communicate transparently regarding grading policy at Baruch.
Interim Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs