Skip to main content

Saint Louis University Header Logo Center

Menu Search & Directory

Academic Decisions

Updated April 23, 2020

In support of the work of our faculty and the success of our students, SLU’s deans and associate deans, as well as staff from the Provost’s Office, Information Technology Services, the Reinert Center and other areas have been meeting regularly to modify policies and practices as needed during this unprecedented time.

As part of the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following key academic decisions have been made. Please note that these decisions are in place for the spring 2020 semester only.

This page will be updated with the latest academic decisions at SLU related to COVID-19. Faculty and students are encouraged to check this page regularly for the most recent academic-related information.

Academic Support for Students

Academic support will continue for the rest of the semester. Students will be able to use EAB Navigate to schedule online or telephone appointments with Academic Advising, Career Services, Disability Services, the English Language Center, Student Success Coaching, Tutoring, and University Writing Services.

Students can also contact specific offices directly via email. All academic support offices stand ready to meet student needs and provide expertise during this time of transition. 

Asynchronous Coursework

Faculty are strongly encouraged to engage in asynchronous instruction to the extent that they find it educationally appropriate.

In courses delivered asynchronously (either fully or in part), the instructor and the students do not meet simultaneously; however, students and instructors continue to interact regularly, and students are required to complete coursework at set intervals, including participating in-class activities, online discussions/chats, group projects, quizzes, exams, etc. 

For students who struggle to connect remotely from home, or whose technology fails them intermittently, or who are now back in a time zone that makes synchronous work difficult, asynchronous work can be most effective. 

Staff in the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning are ready to assist faculty in this transition.

Synchronous Coursework

If faculty are engaging their students in synchronous work at any point in the term, they must do so during their regularly-scheduled class meeting times – in the same time periods and same days as before the break. There are no exceptions to this. Asking students to meet at any other specified time will likely result in conflicts with other courses. We must “stick to the schedule” for synchronous work.    Faculty are asked to ensure that they record all of their lectures using either Zoom or Panopto – for easy and available access by students. 

Copyright Considerations

All SLU faculty may, for the remainder of the term, interpret the ‘fair use’ and ‘single use’ provisions of federal copyright regulations such that they may provide photocopied/scanned versions of textbook portions and other materials via Blackboard, e-mail, or a similar electronic mechanism. In keeping with the spirit of those regulations, faculty should restrict their electronic distribution solely to students for course purposes, and should distribute only what is absolutely necessary at a given time.  For example, distribution of a scanned chapter or selection of pages (vs. an entire book/article) is prudent when only that portion of a full work is assigned.

Course Withdrawal Deadline

The deadline by which students may withdraw from a Spring 2020 course, in the main semester, with a “W” on their transcripts, has been extended to May 15. Note:  This does not apply to the School of Medicine, School of Law, School for Professional Studies, or any other SLU courses originally established as fully online.  The University will adhere to all other published policies related to withdrawal and enrollment changes listed on our website.

Exam Proctoring

We are actively exploring solutions for tools or services that enable the proctoring of exams administered in a distance format. Several of our colleges/schools already have such tools, and they are being supported in the expansion of their use, as needed. For other units, we are working on it as quickly as we can. 

However, we also know that our colleagues in the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning can help faculty modify their exams and other assessments in ways that mitigate concerns about academic honesty without software or external service agreements.

Grading Policy Changes

In select undergraduate courses, we plan to allow our students the option of choosing from either a “pass/low pass/no pass” grading policy for individual courses, or the standard grading process. See Provost Gillis' April 3 update for more information. For questions regarding Pass/No Pass options for graduate programs, please reach out to your individual school/college for additional information.

Policy: Pass/Low Pass/No Pass Option (Spring 2020)

Final Grade Submission

 The deadline for instructors to submit Final Grades, in the main semester, has been extended to May 22, 2020.

Repeating Courses

SLU’s policies governing repeating courses have not been changed. For more information on the existing policy, visit the Policies and Procedures-Repeating Courses webpage.

Specific Software Needs

Some schools/colleges have specific software needs for students, specifically software that is very processor-intensive or has specific security needs that are only available on campus. Deans and/or department chairs are encouraged to reach out to ITS to address their specific software needs.

Summer Courses

Summer 2020 courses will move to online delivery – with some exceptions. The courses available in Banner as of April 21 will be our final summer offerings. 

See Provost Gillis' April 14 update for details

University Libraries

The Pius XII Memorial Library and Medical Center Library buildings are closed, but library faculty and staff continue to provide expert help to the SLU community via the web, chat, email, Zoom, and other online tools. For more information, visit the SLU Libraries website.

Transition to Canvas

After much consultation with key stakeholders, SLU has decided to postpone the transition of the University’s learning management system (LMS) from Blackboard to Canvas.

See Provost Gillis' April 24 update for details