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How Duke's schools are making up classes canceled by Florence

Students traversed the quadrangle to get to the Brodhead Center for lunch.
Students traversed the quadrangle to get to the Brodhead Center for lunch.

As Hurricane Florence charged toward the North Carolina coast, Duke braced for the impact of the then-Category 4 storm by canceling classes for several days and declaring a state of emergency.

But now that the storm has blown through, it’s time to pay up for the missed classes. How they are being made up, however, varies greatly by school.

The make-up plans ranged from Fuqua School of Business students making up missed coursework amidst homecoming festivities last weekend to Divinity School students being left to their individual professors' discretion. 

“Duke allows each of the graduate schools to make their own decisions about how to make up any missed classes,” wrote Russ Morgan, senior associate dean for full-time programs in Fuqua, in an email. “We have always worked to re-schedule any canceled classes as quickly as we can in order to allow the classes to resume their regular rhythm as soon as possible. 

Here’s what every school has said they are doing about the missed classes.

Fuqua School of Business

As homecoming festivities filled Duke, the business school did a general make-up for missed classes Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.

“We designed our curriculum to get the most out of the 6 week terms and the 12 class sessions we have for each class, and feel it is important to find time to cover all of that content,” Morgan wrote. 

Faculty have the ability to find alternative times and dates to hold the make-up classes, or to use alternate ways to engage their classes.

“While it requires some sacrifices by our faculty, staff, and students to be here over the weekend, we feel it is the best way for us to fulfill our educational commitment,” Morgan wrote. 

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, Sanford School of Public Policy and Graduate School

In a letter sent Sept. 21 to faculty in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering, administrators outlined the appropriate times for faculty to make up classes with students—if the faculty chose to do so. 

The email was signed by Gary Bennett, dean and vice provost for undergraduate education, Arlie Petters, dean of academic affairs of Trinity, and Linda Franzoni, associate dean for undergraduate education for Pratt.

Classes that were canceled for Sept. 13 can be made up on Saturday, Oct. 13, the email stated, in the same classroom and at the same time. Classes that were planned for Sept. 14 will be bumped to Saturday, Nov. 17. 

However, it’s ultimately up to the faculty to decide if they want to take advantage of those time slots. 

“The instructor should determine how best to make up missed academic work,” the email stated.

The graduate school and Sanford School of Public Policy is following suit, copying the same makeup days for classes. 

“Understanding that instructors ultimately determine how best to make up missed academic work, the instructor may determine whether a make-up session is appropriate, of if another mechanism should be used to cover the missed material,” stated an email to directors of graduate studies from the Graduate School’s administrators.

Other schools

The Law School will be making up missed classes this weekend, wrote Andrew Park, executive director of communications and events, in an email. 

In the Divinity School, each faculty member determines how to make up weather-related cancellations on their own, according to Christine Pesetski, senior director of academic programs and registrar for the Divinity School. 

The Nicholas School had two issues to consider—classes on campus and at the Marine Lab. Classes on campus will be made up at the instructor’s discretion, wrote Sherri Nevius, associate dean for student services, in an email.

“The instructor may, for example, consolidate material during the remaining periods, schedule an additional make-up period or develop content for an online make-up session,” she wrote. “For any instructor who chooses to schedule additional make-up periods, they have the option to follow the university identified make-up class dates.”

For students at the Marine Lab, the normal class schedule will resume Oct. 1.

The School of Medicine has already made up their missed days, wrote Jill Boy, associate dean and chief communications officer, in an email. Exams were rescheduled from that Friday to Monday afternoon, the start of their second course was delayed until that Tuesday and students were required to watch recorded lectures to make up for lost time. 

Students in the School of Nursing are mostly not on campus, and therefore keeping up with the pace of online coursework was not an issue. Durham-based students in certain programs would work directly with their instructors to make up the material, wrote Michael Evans, assistant dean of communications, marketing and business development in an email. 

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