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M  E  M  O  R  A  N  D  U  M

TO:  Dr. Grant Venerable, II
Vice President for Academic Affairs

FROM:  James W. Simington, Jr.

DATE:  May 4, 2005

RE: Final Examinations for Seniors


This memo is in response to the flurry of activities conducted in the Registrar’s Office after the last day of classes. This office has a very small window to get the final grades processed, evaluate each student for eligibility to graduate, contact students that failed classes and/or those students eligible to walk, and many other required task.

Last week the final grades were due in the Registrar’s Office on Monday, April 25, all grades were not received until late Tuesday afternoon. After all grades are entered IT is contacted to move final grades to the history file. This takes about an hour; once this process is completed each potential graduating seniors records has to be evaluated for eligibility for graduation or walking. We had only about a couple of hours after the evaluation is completed to add or remove students, making sure majors are correct, making sure the spelling of student names are correct, checking honors requirements for correctness, and making sure students with outstanding balances were remove. We are also processing a large number of grade changes for seniors and this is just the short list of activities we are responsible for completing, before, the final commencement information is submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications for delivery to the printers.

We feel that the time is not sufficient for this office to successfully complete the required responsibilities for graduation accurately (including information for the commencement program). The Registrar’s Office for countless years has been faced with constant errors in the Commencement Program booklet. I am making the following recommendations:

  • Seniors be allowed to take their final examinations the week before all other students or at least the last 2 days (Thursday and Friday) of the semester.
  • All other students would be given a Reading Day for both days. Their Final Examinations would start either the following Monday or Tuesday.

This would give the staff an opportunity to process and /or complete all of the required activities accurately and efficiently. I have contacted the Registrar’s at several institutions and they presently giving senior examinations a full week before all other students.

 The following is a sample list of those institutions that give early final examinations to seniors:

  • Savannah State University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Shaw University
  • Virginia Union University
  • Howard University
  • Hampton University
  • Morgan State University -final grades for Seniors were in 2 weeks before graduation (Graduation May 15)

Note: Many of these institutions are still adding disclaimers in their programs just in case   a name of a student not graduating is left in the program by mistake


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