DePaul Faculty Council votes to offer ‘pass/fail’ grading option for students


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

DePaul faculty council voted unanimously to allow all undergraduate students to opt into a pass/fail grading system for any and all of their classes this spring quarter. To get a “pass” grade, students must receive a grade of C- or higher. 

Grades of D+, D and F will still be reflected under this policy.

Students will have until the day before classes end, not including final exams, to decide whether they want their grades to be reflected as a pass or fail. 

Graduate programs will decide individually  whether or not to offer this to their students because external accrediting institutions are a factor for many graduate degrees. 

Associate Provost Caryn Chaden said the decision was unexpected, but came after the University of Chicago announced it would be offering the option to its students. She said the logistics surrounding the decision have only been sorted out in the last twelve hours. 

“Frankly, we don’t want to be the only school that’s not doing this,” Chaden said. “What happens to the perception of our Vincentian personalism, in a moment where every student enrollment matters.”

The decision came during a faculty council meeting where CFO Jeff Bethke said the University could see a budget deficit of anywhere from 52 to 105 million dollars for fiscal year 2021. 

A widget will be available on each course’s D2l for students to indicate to their instructor that they are opting into the special grading system. 

The council voted on Wednesday at a virtual faculty council meeting, held via Zoom. They had to cast a vote on the item twice because more people voted than hold seats on the council.