Provost approves S/NC grade option; shortens term to 14 weeks

In a letter sent out today, Provost Ann Cudd spelled out some new guidance for Pitt faculty.

She also reported that faculty have accessed the Center for Teaching and Learning’s web pages designed to help with new teaching models more than 8,000 times, and more than 1,300 faculty have attended the center’s virtual workshops since March 11.

Access to offices

In accordance with the measures announced Wednesday by Chancellor Gallagher and with the Governor’s Order of March 19, faculty members may not use their offices, classrooms or teaching labs for instructional purposes. If you have a critical need to access your office or lab to retrieve items necessary for continuing your remote teaching, you may call Pitt Police at 412-624-2121 to gain access to your office. Should you experience a technology disruption at home, you may temporarily use your office to teach remotely until a solution is provided by Pitt IT.


After the conclusion of this term, all undergraduate and graduate students will be permitted to convert any of their courses during this spring term from a letter grade basis to a satisfactory (S) or no credit (NC). All courses that are awarded S grades will count toward graduation or degree requirements and satisfy future course prerequisites, while those courses awarded NC grades will not negatively impact a student's GPA.

Thesis defenses

All requirements for in-person participation in thesis committees and other milestones are suspended. Where possible these milestones should not be delayed solely due to the switch to online or to limitations of technology. Students are not required to provide hard copies of theses or other documents, since access to University and other printing services will not be available. 

Academic term dates

At this time, there are no plans to modify the end date of the spring semester or change the start date of any of the summer sessions. As needed, flexibility will be granted to faculty members in conveying final term grades, as well as to departments with respect to certification of graduation requirements. Due to the week that has been devoted to transitioning to remote learning, the academic term — typically 15 weeks — has been shortened to 14 weeks

Summer term planning

Planning for the summer sessions should continue with the expectation that courses will be delivered remotely.

Extending the tenure clock

Cudd said the current policy on tenure clock extensions is sufficiently broad to accommodate needs of faculty in the tenure stream to extend the probationary period due to impacts of COVID-19. Faculty may request a Type A temporary extension of the tenure clock upon recommendation of their dean or campus president.