Letter from the Provost: September 24, 2020

Dear U of A Parents:

As we prepare to host our first football game of the season against the Georgia Bulldogs this weekend, I’m pleased to report that the university’s number of active cases of COVID-19 continues to decline. We now stand at 115 cases and have more than 85% of our quarantine and isolation space available if needed. But we know we must continue to be vigilant. And that includes many changes to the gameday experience such as reduced stadium capacity to 22%, face coverings will be required and there will be no tailgating.

As we move closer to midterms, I’m sharing two important updates with students regarding our guidelines for events and our grading policy for this fall.  

As you may know, last week we decided not to extend the temporary suspension of on-campus events as active cases on campus have been on the decline. However, the university's guidance regarding on-campus events included as a part of the COVID-19 information site still remains the active policy.

Also, I want everyone to understand that the university is not looking to prohibit all off-campus gatherings. However, to limit the spread of COVID and protect our campus community and learning environment, the university reserves the ability to address large gatherings – whether on or off-campus – where students fail to maintain physical distancing or wear a mask. These gatherings do not include family events, religious worship activities, or other expressive activity. We are still in a pandemic situation and do not want university-affiliated cases to spike again if we can avoid it. This will take a true team effort.

And following our preparations over the summer to enhance our classroom technology and better train faculty to ensure the best possible experience regardless of the mode of instruction, we do not anticipate moving to a pass/no credit grading policy as we did in the spring.

This fall, final grades and marks will reflect our traditional approach to courses: students will receive a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” (except for courses taken in the Fay Jones School of Architecture). You can find the complete description of grades and marks in the 2020-2021 Catalog.

We hope that you are continuing to stay safe and wish you and your families all the best as we near the midpoint of the fall semester.


Charles F. Robinson

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

Professor of History