This question stems from a personal situation however I will attempt to make it generalizable if I make a post. Let me make it clear that I am not the one tasked with making this decision, I am seeking a consensus for what could be reasonably expected in a situation like this.

In short, I have a generalizable situation in which one is considering retroactively dropping a student's grade(s) because new information has been made available.

The reason I am hesitant to post this question is because it may be opinion based or broad/open-ended since every institution has a different, albeit similar in many cases, policies regarding situations like these. Usually the policies are intentionally vague and leave a lot up to interpretation in order to give the person tasked with this decision flexibility. However, in spite of this large and open ended grey area, there are some situations that would in general clearly necessitate a dropped grade (or something similar), e.g. a student becomes comatose in the middle of a semester. I believe this situation falls into that category. Furthermore, I would argue it is a question regarding "requirements and expectations of students" albeit on a more administrative level.

Should I just ask it here in the meta with the discussion tag or can I post it in the regular exchange?

  • Is it similar to this question?: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/65664/…
    – user111388
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:39
  • No. This has to deal with non-academic medically verifiable circumstances directly impacting performance/completion of work in one or multiple classes within a semester and whether that type of situation rises to the level of retroactively allowing a "drop" notation (or something similar) on the transcript for that class.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:45
  • Okay, but whatever you do, please include your country and also explanation of things like grades in the question. (Many people odten assume in answers and questions that every university is in the US.)
    – user111388
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:48
  • Thank you for the reminder of that, that is important to note. I would have been guilty of making that assumption if you had not said anything. To note, it is a large state university in the U.S.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:52
  • Note that your question also seems to be of the "a student does not agree with a request from a professor where it is not totally clear that the professor is wrong"-type. Those questions tend to be downvoted (most users here are profs/instructors) and be prepared to be bombarded with a lot of comments that, given some circumstances, the professor is very, very obviously doing the right thing.
    – user111388
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 16:12
  • I see your point but I'm not dealing with the professors anymore as the semester is over. This is an administrative question now. Contrarily, I think many of the professors who taught the classes would likely side with me if they were informed of all the details. In fact, one of the professors even did and was incredibly helpful and allowed work to be completed after the semester. Another professor could not physically do that because they left the university after that semester so the dean maintained that the grade stood, however I never got to hear the professor's opinion on the matter.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 18:20
  • This is turning into a discussion on the actual matter now and I'm unsure if a discussion about it in the meta is inappropriate. However, to be less vague and give a clear picture of what is going on. I personally believe the dean is dealing with my situation in a prejudiced and biased manner. The health issue is one of mental health. I have given incontrovertible and explicit evidence from health care providers that this seriously impacted my decision making and ability to function. The dean maintains that I "had a choice" and "must live with the consequences of my decisions".
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 18:33
  • I may be rambling, but I want to post here explicitly because there are many profs/instructors. I'm trying to get unbiased thoughts to see if I'm being treated unreasonably. I'm very open to the possibility it may be perfectly reasonable but I'm really really struggling to see how.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


I'm going to suggest that this question is unfortunately not a good fit here. No matter how general, this is still going to rely pretty heavily on details specific to the situation, making it unlikely that you could even get a useful answer here, much less one that would be helpful to others as well. I recommend working with peers, advisors, and administrative guidance rather than general help from us strangers.

  • The reason I'm turning here is because all I got from advisors/other admins is essentially "talk to the dean". I did and I strongly disagree with the dean's decision. I recognize that this is my opinion and still respect the dean's opinion. However, I feel I have such a strong case and that is why I desired to do a temperature check here to see if either party is being unreasonable. I'm open to the fact that it may be me. From what you said, I realize that this is too personal for this forum. I still seek an unbiased third party though, is there any resource at all where I could find that?
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:32
  • I understand your goal. Still, it's unlikely that you'll find a good answer here. No one here is familiar with your situation. Your best bet for unbiased third party views is colleagues in your university who are untouched by your specific problem but who are aware of university policy and other relevant details.
    – eykanal
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:59
  • Thank you. That actually sparked an idea, I will likely reach out to a member of the student board to see if they have any insight to offer or could point me to someone who could help.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 19:10

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