Message from the Senior Vice President

Message from the Senior Vice President

Message from the Senior Vice President


To Our University of Guam Community:

There has been a great deal of uncertainty and disruption in the past month. Our faculty have transformed the entire teaching enterprise of the University into online delivery over the course of Spring Break with little time to prepare. Students were likewise caught unaware, as course requirements have shifted and extra levels of internet connectivity in the home are required even as quarantine restrictions have become stricter.

Maintaining quality instruction and preserving learning outcomes have been our most important campus goals, short of preserving the health and safety of our community.

Recognizing that our lives have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, the university has developed a plan that provides options to students regarding how their coursework will be graded this semester. This plan was developed with input from the Faculty Senate, Faculty Union, Student Government Association, Deans’ Council, and a survey distributed to all faculty. Models from the University of Hawai’i system, the Pennsylvania State University system, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison were also consulted.

The plan reflects the possibility that some students, through no fault of their own, may not achieve the grades they could have if they had attended on-campus classes for the entire semester. The plan also is designed to minimize impacts to GPAs and academic transcripts.

Students have three options available to them this semester and should contact their academic advisors for guidance before proceeding.

  1. Extension of Voluntary Withdrawal
    The Voluntary Withdrawal deadline has been extended to Friday, April 24, 2020. Students should be encouraged to seek advisement prior to officially withdrawing from courses. Students have the option to withdraw from any course for reasons related to COVID-19 and/or to address special accommodations that cannot be addressed using online learning. Students will receive a pro-rated tuition credit of 40% to be applied to the 2020-2021 academic year, for the purpose of registering in the next available section of the withdrawn course(s).

  2. Extension of Incomplete Grade Timeline
    Issuing incomplete (I) grades should be used as a last option for students who are unable to access courses and course content due to connectivity or other technical issues. The time for completion of incomplete grades for undergraduate students may be extended from one semester to one year. The existing timeline for graduate students remains the same.

  3. Alternative Grading Option
    For each undergraduate course completed during the Fañomnåkan 2020 semester, students will have the option of replacing the letter grade earned with an alternative grade that will not affect GPA calculations. This approach is similar to those taken by several of our peer institutions.

The alternate grades available to undergraduates are as follows:

  • Pass (P). Grades of C or better will be converted to a P, allowing the course to count as a prerequisite, any program requirement, or any other university requirement, and will allow progression to higher courses.

  • Credit (CR). Grades of D will be converted to a CR, allowing the course to count for certain general education courses or as pre-requisites in certain (but not many) majors.

  • No Credit (NC). Grades of F will be converted to NC, which means the student must retake the course for credit, but the GPA will not be negatively impacted.

By Graduate Studies policy, a grade of C or better is required for students to receive credit, so these alternative grades are not appropriate for graduate coursework.

For courses in which students earn a P (Pass) or CR (Credit) grade, the credits will count toward total credits earned and completed courses for financial aid purposes. Students will be “held harmless” by the choice to select P/CR/NC in Fañomnåkan 2020. Choosing the alternate grading option will not negatively impact their academic journey at UOG, nor will it be a barrier to entry into subsequent courses.

Faculty will enter letter grades as per their syllabus grading policies at the end of the Fañomnåkan 2020 semester. Students will then have until June 1, 2020 to review their grades and seek advisement to exercise the alternate grading option.

While we would want this opportunity to apply to undergraduate courses, there will be exceptions, such as when strict program degree requirements or accreditor rules prohibit it. We are in contact with specific accreditation bodies to understand how these exceptions apply to UOG students. Further, students intending to attend graduate, medical, or law school also may want or need to keep letter grades.

To ensure that students have considered their alternatives and the potential impacts carefully, advisement Is required to exercise any of these options. Many students will want to keep earned letter grades to reflect their accomplishments, and it will be their decision whether to keep the letter grade for a course or to have it converted to the corresponding alternative grade as noted above.

Additional information regarding the implications of this emergency policy is available in the amended EMSS Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) located at

The President, the Deans, and I have been impressed at the agility of our faculty to convert the entire curriculum, the resiliency demonstrated by our students in responding to these changes, and the Triton Spirit exhibited by all as we work together to contain and survive the coronavirus.

Biba UOG!


Anita Borja Enriquez, DBA
Senior Vice President and Provost