Fall 2017 Finals Postponement

Due to the extraordinary circumstances related to the Thomas Fire, Chancellor Henry T. Yang has announced that fall quarter final exams have been rescheduled for the week of January 8th. The new finals schedule will exactly mirror the previous schedule, day for day, and can be viewed at https://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/finals-fall.aspx or in GOLD. Read the full text of Chancellor Henry T. Yang’s letter to campus here.

Fall Quarter 2017-18 Extension: Frequently Asked Questions

Fall quarter 2017 has been extended, with final exams scheduled for January 8-12 unless other arrangements for non face-to-face exams have been made. Winter quarter will begin on January 16, 2018. This document outlines responses to frequently asked questions. It also includes a list of resources for questions not addressed here.

Senior campus officials have met around the clock all weekend, receiving updates from county and fire officials. There are new concerns about power outages that are disrupting campus IT, combined with confusion around Santa Barbara County’s false late-night evacuation notice. Based on these factors, continuation of scheduled exams has become untenable.

This document outlines responses to frequently asked questions.

FAQs for all students

I typically receive my financial aid disbursement at the beginning of the quarter. Will that be affected by the decision to extend fall quarter?

No. Financial aid disbursements and refunds will not be delayed for students currently enrolled in Fall and Winter quarters. Disbursements to BARC are scheduled on December 29th, and refunds through direct deposit will be available as early as January 2nd. For more information, please see visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships’ bulletin.

I’m an international student and know that my grades must be submitted to maintain visa status. What should I do?

As long as international students have attempted 12 units, they will maintain visa status; courses must be completed as soon as possible. A follow up message from Office of International Students and Scholars with specific instructions for international students will be distributed early next week.

I heard the campus is closing, but I can’t leave campus right now. Can I stay in the dorms until I’m able to leave?

Yes. Residence Halls and dining commons will remain open as scheduled through December 15. Students should be assured that they will be housed and fed. Apartments will remain open.

I’m a DSP student. How do I make arrangements to take my exams during winter quarter?

DSP students will be accommodated as they would be during any final exam periods. Students should contact instructors as they would usually.

When will I receive my fall grades?

You should expect grades by January 20, 2018. 

Winter quarter is going to start later than expected, on January 16, 2018. Will other deadlines be affected?

Yes. A revised fall and winter quarter calendar will be available on the Office of the Registrar website no later than January 3, 2018.

Will spring break be affected if winter quarter begins later?

No. Spring break will take place as scheduled.

I want to leave campus, but I don’t have a mode of transportation. What can I do?

Students should check the following options for transportation:

Undergraduate Student FAQs

I need to fulfill prerequisites to enroll in a subsequent course. What will happen if my final isn’t completed until January?

You should enroll in the subsequent course. If you are already enrolled, you will not be dropped. Because of the extraordinary situation, you will be allowed to remain in the course. However, if you have not passed or earned the required grade in the prerequisite course, you will still be required to pass that course or earn the grade by taking it again in a different quarter. This policy will apply regardless of the grade that you earn in the subsequent course. Prerequisites will not be permanently waived; however, the requirement that a minimum or passing grade for a prerequisite be entered before enrollment in a subsequent course be entered will be waived for this quarter.

I’m going to be off campus next quarter (for example, on UCEAP or UCDC). What should I do?

If you are going to be off campus, contact your instructor to let them know that you will need to take the exam remotely. Procedures will be developed to allow you to complete the course.

I was scheduled to graduate at the end of Fall quarter. Will this affect my graduation date?

Fall quarter is being extended into January 2018. Technically, you will still graduate during fall quarter. However, your degree conferral date will be in 2018, not 2017.

I was scheduled to start my job in January. What should I do?

You should start your job. If you are going to be off campus, contact your instructor to let them know that you will need to take the exam remotely. Procedures will be developed to allow you to complete the course.

My instructors have already created an alternative exam (take-home, online, or other modality that is not face-to-face) or assignment. Will my grade still count?

Yes. If your instructors have created a non face-to-face exam or assignment for your class, the grade will still count. Instructors have been asked to be flexible in light of possible internet or power outages.

I receive financial aid and know that my grades must be submitted to maintain eligibility. What should I do?

All students on Financial Aid Probation in Fall 2017 who are currently registered in Winter 2018 will have their probation term extended into Winter 2018 with no appeal required.

Once grades are made available, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will release students from Financial Aid Probation who met Satisfactory Academic Progress during fall quarter.

Students who did not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in Fall 2017 will not need to file an appeal to maintain Winter 2018 financial aid. Students in this situation will be emailed directly with further information. For more information, please see visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships’ bulletin.

Note: This type of probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic probation policies for academic standing with the University.

I am on academic probation or an academic contract in fall quarter. How will extending fall quarter affect my status?

If you are on academic probation or on an academic contract, contact your college advising office (Letters & Science, College of Engineering, or College of Creative Studies) to consult with an academic advisor. 

I work on campus. Do I have to stay?

You do not have to stay, but you should contact your supervisor as soon as possible.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Graduate Student FAQs

I am a TA and my faculty supervisor rescheduled our exam for January. Will I be required to come back for that and will I be paid?

While we assume most fall TAs will be on campus in January and available and willing to proctor and grade exams, as well as conduct other TA activities (such as office hours) as needed, we recognize that some graduate students might have alternative plans and this will not always be possible (see the next question). Students who work that week will receive additional compensation beyond the fall TA pay.

I am a TA and my faculty supervisor rescheduled our exam for January, but I am planning to be away. Am I required to come back?

No, but you should inform your department as soon as possible about your plans, so that they may find another student to step in. Be sure that the instructor of record has grades, corrected assignments, and any other relevant materials before you go.

I am a TA and my faculty supervisor has already designed an alternative take-home final due next week. Am I required to work in January as well?

No, your fall TA appointment does not end until December 15th. If you can complete the grading during this appointment period, you should do so and you will not need to work further hours in January.

I am an Associate for a course and need to reschedule my exam for January. Will I still be paid for my time and will I have TA support?

Yes, and yes. Associates who need to continue working in January will have a short one-week appointment and they will receive additional pay for this time. The same is true for TAs.

I am an Associate for a course, but can’t be there in January to give my exam. What should I do?

Get in touch with the department chair, so that they may arrange for a faculty member to proctor the exam. You will need to provide the exam and instructions on grading. Be prepared to leave all materials behind with the department chair.

I was scheduled to graduate at the end of Fall quarter. Will this affect my graduation date?

Fall quarter is being extended into January 2018. Technically, you will still graduate during fall quarter. However, your degree conferral date will be in 2018, not 2017.

Does the extension of fall quarter into January 2018 change the filing deadline for master’s theses and dissertations?

Yes, the thesis and dissertation filing deadline for fall 2017 will now be January 12th, 2018, the last day of fall quarter.

I have scheduled my dissertation defense for the coming week? Can I still have it?

If the faculty are available and willing to hold the defense this coming week, you are welcome to do so. On the other hand, if anyone is not available, the defense date could be in January, as long as you file by January 12th. Note that people can also attend doctoral defenses by Skype or conference call, if necessary.

I am a working as a GSR this quarter. Is my assignment cancelled for this week?

If you have health or other issues that require you to leave campus, please contact your supervisor.

Does the extension of fall quarter into January 2018 change the filing deadline for master’s theses and dissertations?

Yes. The thesis and dissertation filing deadline for fall 2017 will now be January 12, 2018, the last day of fall quarter. The conferral date will be January 13.

Do policies for final exams and course deadlines for undergraduates also apply to graduate courses?

Yes.

Will graduate student instructors be paid less for winter quarter because the quarter is shortened to nine weeks?

No, the pay period and amount of pay earned by TAs and Associates will be the same as if this situation had not happened.

I’m in a graduate class with an exam. Will the same circumstances apply as for undergraduate exams?

Yes.

I am a TA grading papers that are not part of the exam. Should I continue to do this work this week?

Yes. The exams are being postponed, but otherwise the work should proceed as planned.

All (or part) of my qualifying exams are scheduled for the coming week. Will they be postponed?

As with dissertation defenses, you are welcome to hold these next week, if everyone is available to attend. Some people may choose to attend over Skype or by phone. If someone cannot attend, these can be postponed until January. Our goal is to be maximally flexible.

What is the overriding principle underlying these changes?

First and foremost we want to make sure that all members of the campus community are safe and remain healthy. We also want people to complete their academic requirements. We are asking all faculty and students to be maximally flexible and work collaboratively to ensure that these two goals can be met.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Graduate Division – 805-893-2277 or http://www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/contact

Faculty FAQs

I’ve already made alternative arrangements for my final exam. Does this decision affect my alternative arrangement?

Faculty who have made alternative arrangements with their classes in lieu of the regularly scheduled final should continue with those arrangements, unless they include having supplemental exams offered on campus, face-to-face, later in the week. All face-to-face exams offered on campus, using campus classrooms, will be offered during the new exam week in January. Faculty who have not made arrangements to have exams in alternative formats (as opposed to offering face-to-face exams) may continue to make such alternative arrangements. Faculty will need to be flexible if power fluctuations, access to the internet, or travel have made it difficult to complete final assignments. Since deadlines will be extended for faculty to submit grades, there will be flexibility for faculty to accept delayed assignments. 

Can I cancel my final and have existing work comprise the entire course grade?

Faculty can consider offering students the option of getting a grade based on work completed to date, but students should have the option to take a final (or complete an alternative assignment) if they choose. In other words, both the instructor and the student must consent to having existing work comprise the totality of the course grade.  

I plan to be off campus during winter quarter and can’t be here to give an exam. What should I do? Will there be TA support for administering or grading final exams?

For courses that rely on Teaching Assistants to administer and/or grade final exams or for courses taught by Teaching Associates, we will provide funds where needed to cover any additional work by graduate students. Faculty who have made alternative arrangements with their classes in lieu of the regularly scheduled final should continue with those arrangements. 

Staff FAQs

What leave options are available to staff impacted by the Thomas fire?

Staff employees may consider using compensatory time off and vacation leave or request unpaid administrative leave due to natural or other emergencies. If applicable to their particular circumstance, policy-covered employees may utilize sick leave, family and medical leave, and unpaid personal leave consistent with PPSM 2-210 Absence from Work (http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4010406/PPSM%202.210), Section III.F.1., and local procedures.  Please refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement for represented employees. See the guidance issued to the campus from Human Resources on December 10th: https://www.hr.ucsb.edu/news/updated-hr-guidance-%E2%80%93-thomas-fire

Who has the authority to curtail operations for a department?

For those departments requesting authorization to curtail operations due to the impacts of the Thomas fire, please formulate your plans and report them to your Dean or Vice Chancellor who will consider the potential impact, if any, to critical support services for campus. Curtailment decisions will be re-evaluated daily.

What if an employee cannot come to work due to road closures or child care responsibilities related to school closures?

Vacation leave, compensatory time off, or leave without pay may be utilized upon request, in accordance with University personnel policies and existing collective bargaining agreements. Alternatively, employees may be able to work remotely if it is operationally feasible to do so and with the approval of their supervisor and department head.

Are there University resources to assist staff in coping with the aftermath of the Thomas fire?

The Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) is available to assist all UCSB employees with the impact of these circumstances.  ASAP is offering an information session on December 12th at 12:05 pm in the Multicultural Theater where Dr. Kirsten Olson, Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) Manager, will be facilitating a panel discussion for the community to gather and learn about ASAP services and ways to support each other and the community.  More information is available on their website at:  https://www.hr.ucsb.edu/asap

Emergency loans are available to UCSB employees who have an immediate need for funds as the result of an emergency and have no other source of money available within the time necessary to act, or who have a dire personal financial hardship. The University has affiliated with two credit unions to offer emergency loans. Contact information for these credit unions is available at https://www.hr.ucsb.edu/employee-services/financial

Information about emergency resources available from UC’s benefit plans is available at: http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2017/12/emergency-support-from-ucs-benefit-plans.html