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Academic Senate Update on Fall 2022 Grading and Final Examinations
December 02, 2022

As finals week is set to begin and there is no resolution to the UAW strike with Academic Student Employees (teaching assistants/readers/tutors) and Graduate Student Researchers, we write to provide updated guidance and information on grading and final examinations. This follows the San Diego Divisional Senate’s November 22, 2022 communication and the November 23, 2022 guidance from the UC Systemwide Academic Senate leadership.

You may be receiving a myriad of communications that are often conflicting and potentially difficult to reconcile from administration, students, faculty colleagues, and the Faculty Associations. We remind you that the Academic Senate is not involved in the negotiations between the University of California administration and the union. The Senate, as the body charged by the Board of Regents with representing the faculty in the system of shared governance of the University of California, works hard to protect the interests of all faculty. The Senate must remain neutral because we represent all Senate faculty, regardless of their position on the strike. We work to protect faculty prerogative and to provide faculty with information on Senate policies that may be helpful for making informed decisions. We offer options with the intent of helping instructors make decisions in ways that serve our undergraduate and graduate students. We here announce two initiatives we believe will help faculty manage the end of the quarter.

       1. Grade Submission Deadline Extended to December 20th

We have worked with the Office of the Registrar to extend the official deadline for submitting grades for Fall quarter, moving the deadline from December 13th at 11:59 pm to December 20th at 11:59 pm. Once the official grading deadline has passed on the 20th, Instructors have the ability to initiate grade changes beginning December 22nd. While a blank grade, if not changed, will lapse to an F at the end of Winter 2023, Instructors have up to a year to change the grade. You will receive a separate announcement from the Registrar on Monday, December 5th, with additional details about the eGrades submission process.

The Academic Senate consulted with the Office of the Registrar and supported extending the deadline to provide Instructors with more time to work out their approach to grading during this complex situation. The period in which an Instructor of Record can designate another person to help them enter grades into eGrades (called an Authorized Grader) will remain open until December 20th. Ultimately, the Instructor of Record is the person responsible for submitting grades.

2. Information to Help Faculty Mitigate the Impact of Missing Grades

If an Instructor does not enter a final grade, there will be a blank grade on the student’s transcript. Blank grades on transcripts have negative impacts on many students, including but not limited to those receiving financial aid, student-athletes, and veterans. We have encouraged Instructors who have decided not to submit grades to consider the impact on the most vulnerable students. To assist Instructors in doing this, the Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Registrar will be working to identify these vulnerable students. Instructors and departments will be notified of the vulnerable students enrolled in their classes. No private information will be disclosed regarding individual student situations. Such notification is important because we know that it is often difficult for students to ask their Instructors for special attention. Let us be clear: we are not telling faculty what to do or ask them to take on extra labor. We are here providing information you can use to decide how to negotiate this difficult time. We urge you to read these emails and consider the ways you can protect vulnerable students. 

Finally, we offer the following information on final examinations and grading:

Final Examinations
Final exams in undergraduate classes are required according to Senate policy. 

  • If a course has a scheduled final exam, Instructors must provide a final assessment in keeping with this requirement. 
  • Instructors have significant flexibility regarding finals, as long as changes are applied consistently and are communicated clearly to students. Additional guidance on possible exam modifications is available on the Senate website
  • For courses with a final exam, Instructors are required to make the exam available during the date and hour scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. 
  • Exams and assignments may not be due or scheduled after the quarter ends on December 10th. 


  • If you are planning not to submit grades, it is important to preserve course materials for future evaluation of student performance. 
  • Unless you have agreed with the student in advance, assigning an Incomplete grade is not appropriate. Incompletes are only intended for students who have passing performance in the majority of coursework but are not able to complete the course for good cause.

Grading Graduate Coursework
We are aware that many Instructors have questions about the distinction between academic work for which a graduate student is seeking credit and work for which the student is being paid and might be striking. Graduate students withholding their labor during the strike are still expected to complete academic work. The UAW considers withholding participation from research courses (e.g. 299s) for Graduate Student Researchers and apprentice teaching courses (e.g. 500s) for Teaching Assistants a protected activity. The UC Administration has stated that if a student is taking a course for academic credit, it is not considered an employment activity. Issuance of unsatisfactory grades in the context of a strike could result in UAW claims of unfair labor practices. This information is provided as background as Instructors think about how to approach grading for graduate courses. We offer the following for consideration:

  • Instructors have flexibility and may be generous when considering the totality of the work completed over the course of the quarter.
  • For courses that are not related to employment (like didactic graduate seminars), graduate students will continue to be graded based on their academic work.
  • For individual research courses (e.g. 299s) and teaching apprentice courses (e.g. 500s), Instructors may wish to consider student performance up to the point of the strike and assign a grade based on that work. That is, if the enrolled student was fulfilling their duties satisfactorily up to this point, then issuing a satisfactory grade could be seen as appropriate.

In closing, we acknowledge that Instructors find themselves holding conflicting values and that there are difficult decisions to make. Regardless of your plans, we recommend clear communication with students as the quarter draws to an end. We will continue to work for the interests of all faculty on campus, and we welcome your feedback. 

Nancy Postero
Academic Senate, San Diego Division

John Hildebrand
Vice Chair
Academic Senate, San Diego Division

Geoffrey Cook
Educational Policy Committee

Tim Gentner
Graduate Council

Bonnie Kaiser
Undergraduate Council