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UNLV President Addresses Final Exams and Commencement Plans Following Tragedy

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, December 8, 2023 5:05 pm

LAS VEGAS – In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at UNLV that claimed three lives, students and faculty have been grappling with concerns about final exams and winter commencement. UNLV President Keith Whitfield addressed these pressing issues in a letter to the university community on Friday morning.

Acknowledging the importance of concluding the semester for various reasons, including students’ pursuit of career goals and the collective effort put into the semester, Whitfield outlined new options for students regarding final exams. Notably, final exams will no longer take place on campus or in person.

Students now have the choice to either conclude the semester with the grade they have based on work completed before December 6. Alternatively, some faculty may offer optional online final exams or take-home projects before December 18, providing opportunities for grade improvement. Students who opt out of these assignments will be graded on work completed before December 6 without penalty.

In response to students expressing the desire to come together after the tragedy, Whitfield announced that Winter Commencement will proceed as scheduled on December 19 and 20, 2023. The ceremonies will include undergraduate commencements on December 19 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., and master’s and doctoral degree ceremonies on December 20 at 4 p.m.

Emphasizing the significance of commencement as a milestone moment, Whitfield assured graduates who may be uncertain about returning to campus that they will have the opportunity to fully participate in the May 2024 commencement ceremonies.

“We know that the trauma of this week’s tragedy impacts each one of us in different ways,” Whitfield expressed. “We believe these decisions regarding finals and commencement provide flexibility for both students and faculty and offer the best path forward for our university.”

Closing his letter with optimism, Whitfield stated, “From the moment I arrived at UNLV, I saw in our people grit and determination. I have no doubt that, together, we will emerge from this tragedy stronger.”

Credits: KTNV

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