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Governance matters

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SenEx's charges to this year's Academic Policies and Procedures Committee, chaired by Geraldo de Sousa, associate professor of English, included a call to examine the impact of recent changes to the course withdrawal policy, 2sect2. Among other things, SenEx asked the comittee to consider whether the option of withdrawal with a "W" should be restored for students who withdraw during the second withdrawal period.

After much review and deliberation, the committee found that the withdrawal policy, which had been substantially modified by action of the University Senate in 2005-06, was working as intended, with beneficial results. However, the committee identified two problems.

First, with strict withdrawal deadlines and sometimes complex and varied procedures for withdrawal during the second withdrawal period, some students encounter difficulties. Second, the committee found that the grades "WP" and "WF" are not being applied consistently because of varying understandings of what is required for a WP or the circumstances that might warrant a WF.

To address these problems, the committee unanimously recommended that a student should have to comply with a single set of withdrawal procedures - those adopted by the school in which he or she is enrolled (which may or may not be the unit offering the course). The university requirement for an instructor's signature and further notification to the dean or obtaining a "dean's stamp" would be eliminated as university requirements. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or individual schools could decide to include such requirements or require that the student contact an adviser in advance to ensure that the student has full information about the consequences of a withdrawal. The College and each school's requirements would be documented through the Office of the University Registrar.

In addition, the committee proposed the elimination of the WP and WF options so that only "W" would appear on the transcript.

SenEx approved the committee's proposal for consideration by the University Senate, and the proposal was recently sent to the university community for comment (See previous URL). Members of the university are encouraged to submit comments, which will be discussed at the University Senate meetings set for April 10 and 24. Comments may be sent to A vote is possible no earlier than the second meeting.

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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).