The Administration Committee hears requests from students and faculty for exceptions to certain academic policies.
Please Note: Change in Requests
The following requests should now be addressed to these offices:
To the Office of the Registrar:
- Course additions after the deadline (signed add card required)
- Applying AP credits after the deadline (official score report required)
- Approval of minors after the deadline (signed minor declaration form required)
- Acceleration of graduation date (signed degree audit and approval from ISSS for F-1/J-1 visa holders required)
- Requests for Special Student status for the final semester (signed special student application form and approval from ISSS for F-1/J-1 visa holders required)
To the Disability Resource Center, when based on a documented/diagnosed disability:
- Course drops after the deadline
- Approval for reduced course load (2 or fewer)
- Late invocation of Pass/D/Fail
- Special student status for chronic illness
Submitting a Petition
The meeting schedule has not been set for the Administration Committee for Fall 2021. All complete Administration Committee petitions should be accompanied by an Administration Committee Petition Cover Sheet and submitted to Assistant to Student Life Deans, MariAnn Osborne via email before Wednesdays at 12 p.m.
When preparing your petition, please be specific in outlining the details of the request, including signing and dating the petition using the following format:
Paragraph 1: Clearly state your request.
Paragraph 2: Give a brief explanation as to why request is being made.
Paragraph 3: Reference any accompanying documents. To see which documents are required for your petition, please see the Petition Cover Form and the information below.
The 2021-2022 Administration Committee is co-chaired by Professor Vickie Backus and Professor Timothy Billings. Additional members, both voting and non-voting, include the following:
- Professor Marta Manrique-Gomez
- Professor Jonathan Miller-Lane
- Student Life Dean Matt Longman
- Registrar Jennifer Thompson
- Associate Registrar Claire Wilkinson
- Assistant to Student Life Deans MariAnn Osborne
Late Course Drop
This could be due to administrative error, exceptional personal circumstances, and/or significant injuries and non-chronic illness.
The deadline for dropping a class in the fall and spring semester is 5:00 p.m. on the final day of the fifth week of classes, and by 5:00 p.m. on the third day of winter term. After that, late course drops are only approved when truly exceptional personal circumstances are present; when temporary but exceptional medical circumstances are present (e.g. other than those that may be considered a documented disability, such as a significant injury or an extreme non-chronic illness); or when due to administrative error, the student is still technically enrolled in a class they have not attended past the first week. Students who wish to pursue a late course drop based on a documented disability (which may include conditions for which the student has received professional care but is not yet registered with the Disability Resource Center) should contact the Disability Resource Center. All students pursuing late drops should continue to attend their class until they receive an outcome from the Administration Committee.
Approvals for late drop request petitions are intended to provide relief from one academic course per semester, and are ordinarily only considered when a term is in progress. Requests for late course drops as a way to remove an undesirable grade from the transcript will not be considered.
If you are considering pursuing a late drop, we encourage you to talk with your Commons dean and with your professor prior to submitting your petition if at all possible. Both can help you to determine if there are any other options that exist for you other than dropping the course. Your Commons dean can also give you some sense of the likelihood that your petition will be granted, and can help you plan accordingly. International students please consult with ISSS before submitting your petition.
If you do decide to petition for a late drop, your petition should be accompanied by the Administration Committee Petition Cover Sheet, and should include a thorough explanation of your situation, which will be treated with care and with respect for your privacy. The petition must also be accompanied by materials from the appropriate professionals with whom you have been working who can confirm your circumstances, such as your Commons dean, counselor, or medical caregiver. It is not possible to approve late drops for exceptional personal or exceptional temporary medical circumstances without this verification. It is not necessary to complete a Late Drop card when applying for a late drop under these circumstances, and there is no fee charged for late drops under these circumstances.
Students who are petitioning for late drops of classes which they never actually attended (generally defined as having not attended after the first week) must submit a Late Drop card signed by the professor and advisor, and just the professor for seniors. They should also request the submission of a brief note from the professor to Assistant MariAnn Osborne confirming the last day of attendance in the class. There will be a $50 charge for this late drop.
Reduced Course Load for Exceptional Personal Circumstances
Students who have exceptional non-medical/non-disability related circumstances who wish to petition to take two or fewer courses in a fall or spring semester do not need a drop card, but need to submit the Administration Committee Petition Cover Sheet, a petition clearly stating the request, a brief explanation as to why the request is being made, and reference to any accompanying documents. Depending on the circumstances, the petition should be accompanied by additional brief letter(s) confirming your circumstances from the appropriate professional(s), such as your student life dean or counselor. Students who wish to pursue two or fewer courses for disability-related reasons should contact the Disability Resource Center. International students who wish to take two or fewer courses in a fall or spring semester must also submit approval from International Student and Scholar Services.
Students who wish to pursue grade changes must meet with their professor. It is the professor who submits a grade change request, not the student. Grade change forms to be filled out by the professor and department head/chair can be found on the Registrar’s web site under Forms for Faculty. It is important to note that grade changes are not always granted by the Administration Committee, even with support from the professor. More information about the grade change process can be found in the Handbook under Academics: Grades and Transcripts.
Waiver of Senior Year in Residence Requirement
An Administration Committee Petition Cover Sheet and petition are needed with a brief explanation of the request, statement of support from the adviser, approval from the Commons Dean and a degree audit (found on the Registrar’s Web site under Forms for Students).
Key Deadlines to Remember
- Students may drop a course without penalty for any reason up until the end of the fifth week of classes in the fall or spring semester, and the end of the third day of winter term. Course drops for any reason after that date must submit their request to the proper office.
- Requests for readmission after academic failure or suspension must be received by June 15 for fall term and by November 1 for winter or spring term. This earlier deadline provides the needed time to process the request so that approved students can meet the November 15 registration deadline. Students found to be in academic failure in the spring semester and who request immediate readmission for the following fall must apply by July 1. Normally readmission is for fall or spring semester only.
When students have been withdrawn from the College for academic reasons, or have been suspended for conduct violations, they must petition for readmission to the Administration Committee (not the admissions office). The petition should clearly describe the circumstances that led to your withdrawal, what you have done since leaving Middlebury to address these issues, why you feel you’re ready to return now, and what you will do if similar issues arise again.
When petitioning for readmission after academic failure, you should also include an official transcript from an accredited 4-year college showing that you have been enrolled in a full course load of liberal arts courses (generally four) and have earned grades of B- or better in each course.
When a student has been suspended for non-academic infractions, in some cases we only need a petition; in other cases, counseling or alcohol assessments may be required, and we’ll need to review this information with the counseling center and Commons dean to ensure readiness to return, and to develop plans to provide whatever additional support is recommended.
Request for readmission after academic failure or suspension must be received by June 15 for fall term and November 1 for spring term. This earlier deadline provides the needed time to process the request so that approved students can meet the November 15 registration for spring term. It is important to note that these deadlines are extremely firm. As in many cases, a student’s difficulty at Middlebury is not based on academic ability but on ability to behave responsibly, communicate about challenges proactively, and meet deadlines, meeting the readmission deadline is generally seen as an important indicator of readiness to return. In cases where a student applying for fall readmission is planning to take summer classes, and therefore does not have a transcript to submit by the June 15 deadline, the petition should still be submitted by June 15; the decision will be tabled until the transcript is received later in the summer.
Students who are withdrawn from Middlebury and want to transfer in their remaining credits in order to graduate must apply for reinstatement (not readmission), as well as for a waiver of the Senior Year in Residence requirement. Required materials include a petition stating the request and a brief explanation of circumstances, and official transcripts for all remaining credits.
There are several possible outcomes of Administration Committee petitions.
- Requests may be approved.
- Requests may be conditionally approved; for example, Special Student status may only be approved on the condition that outstanding transfer credits must be submitted and finalized.
- Requests may also be tabled. This means that the Committee is postponing a decision until they have more information about the request. They may require the student to provide additional information, or the Committee may seek it themselves.
- Requests can be denied.
There is no external appeals process for Administration Committee decisions, but students whose petitions have been denied may revise and resubmit them to provide new information for the Committee to consider for subsequent review. Once the Administration Committee has reviewed the petitions, the secretary of the committee will notify each student of the outcome by letter, usually within a week. If time permits, the secretary will contact the students with especially time-sensitive requests by email immediately after the meeting to share the outcome. Students who wish to know their outcome before they have received their letter may contact Professor Timothy Billings at email@example.com or student life coordinator MariAnn Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org.