Dear Graduate Faculty,

I hope that you are doing well, staying healthy, and transitioning smoothly to remote teaching and online university operations. It is a truly unusual and disruptive time, and I want you to know that my team and I are here if we can help support you or your students in any way. Our goal is to help keep your students progressing (with emergency funds, various accommodations, etc.), to support those who intended to graduate this semester to still do so, and to support you. Please let us know how we’re doing by answering a three-question, one-minute flash survey.

Given that the coronavirus situation, and our campus response to it, are fluid and changing quickly, you will be hearing from us more than usual. My goal is to err on the side of over-communicating in order to keep you as in-the-loop as possible during these unprecedented times. I think it’s important to be as transparent as possible about issues that arise, our response to them, and decisions we make regarding adapting procedures and practices to our new online and remote reality.

Please be aware of the following recent developments impacting students. More information about each, as well as additional accommodations, info, and resources can be found on our COVID-19 webpage:
  • In an effort to provide students with greater flexibility, UNLV has extended the last day to drop or withdraw from classes (without a refund) or change from credit to audit to April 10, 2020 (originally April 3, 2020).
  • To encourage students to proceed with spring graduation, the Graduate College has extended spring 2020 deadlines and you can see them all on our COVID-19 webpage.
  • One free roll-back for summer graduates who would now like to graduate in spring 2020 using extended graduation deadlines is allowed. A rollover for spring graduates to complete their degree in summer or fall, if it is impossible for them to graduate in spring 2020, is also allowed.
  • All thesis and dissertation defenses must be held online and must remain public. See the COVID-19 webpage for additional guidelines and support.
  • The Nevada System of Higher Education and UNLV have extended the "S/U" grading option to students for the Spring 2020 semester. See the COVID-19 webpage for details.
  • We have received approval from Provost Heavey, President Meana, and Chancellor Reilly for an exemption to the statewide hiring freeze to hire all AY20-21 graduate assistants as per usual. We began sending and processing GA offer letters and appointments again yesterday morning.
  • The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents voted to temporarily suspend provisions related to delinquent accounts for students facing financial hardships. Students who are on tuition payment plans will not incur any late payment fees and their payments may be delayed up to Sept. 30, 2020.
  • The Office of Information Technology expects to receive additional loaner laptops. If any of your students need a loaner laptop, please ask them to email, with a CC: to their advisor or graduate coordinator, to get on the loaner list.
  • Graduate students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for an Emergency COVID-19 Retention Award through the Graduate College.
  • The Graduate College is looking for individuals to help fill the gap of a postponed Commencement by recording quick, congratulatory videos for Spring 2020 grads.
  • Feel free to drop-in to my new Friday lunchtime chats via Webex --- it’s just open, drop-in time to answer questions and speak with faculty and students about anything that’s on your mind.
At the request of graduate coordinators, the Graduate College created a new form, the Department Milestone Results Tracking form, in the Grad Rebel Gateway to assist departments with digitizing some of their paper forms, like qualifying and comprehensive exams. Please review the Department Milestone Results Tracking guide for more information. This is an optional form provided for graduate program use as you see fit for your own departmental exams. This does not replace the existing Graduate College forms for thesis/dissertation defenses, etc.

Finally, please know that the Graduate College is fully functioning via remote work and online operations. Our team is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. via email, phone, and Webex chat/call/video conferencing. You can find contact information for the Graduate College and each of our teams here or you can refer to our staff listing for phone and email contact information. If you’d like a face-to-face videoconference or a Webex call or chat, please reach out and we would be happy to schedule it with you.

Thank you for your flexibility and for supporting students during these challenging times. I greatly appreciate it!

Best wishes,
Kate & the Graduate College team
UNLV is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504 institution. All qualified applicants to the Graduate College, and admitted students, will receive equal consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or covered US veteran status.

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