LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – There will be no on-campus, in-person finals this fall, in an update from UNLV president Dr. Keith E. Whitfield.

Whitfield started his update by honoring the men and women on the University Police force who stepped up to track down and engage the suspect.

“Thank you to the University Police Services for their remarkably swift and heroic action in the face of harrowing circumstances. While we continue to grieve for the heartbreaking loss of three of our faculty members, I will be forever indebted to all of the officers – and to first responders throughout our community. You have our back in ways we always knew, but at the same time never could have imagined. You continue to give our campus a sense of safety when we need it most,” Whitfield’s statement reads.

Alternative Plan for Finals Week

To end the semester on a positive note, Whitfield announced the university would be providing flexibility for students and staff.

“Given the physical and emotional trauma that the university community has endured, and because of the impact to campus facilities, we have decided that faculty and staff should continue to work remotely through the end of the calendar year,” said the UNLV president.

  • Students will end the semester with the grade they have earned based on work completed before Dec. 6.
  • Some faculty may opt to offer an optional online final exam or take-home project before Dec. 18, allowing students an opportunity to improve their grades. If an instructor offers an optional online exam or project, students who do not opt-in would earn their grade based on work completed before Dec. 6, without any penalty for not opting for the online exam or project.

“After final fall grades are posted, we will give students the opportunity to opt-in to S/U grading between Dec. 22 and Jan. 5. Undergraduate grades of C or better will be an ‘S’ and grades C- or below will earn students a ‘U’ grade. We will utilize the same simple online form and review process that we used during the pandemic. Some classes in professional programs may be excluded from this option,” he added.

Professional schools, like the Boyd School of Law, Kerkorian School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and others will be exempt from this plan for final exams and will each determine how best to finalize their semesters.

Winter Commencement

Many students and parents have expressed their feelings about the Winter Commencement expressing a desire to come together, according to Whitfield.

UNLV decided to continue with the planned commencement at the Thomas & Mack Center.

  • Dec. 19 | 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. for undergraduates
  • Dec. 20 | 4 p.m. for master’s and doctoral degree recipients

“We know that the trauma of this week’s tragedy impacts each one of us in different ways. For those eligible to participate in this winter’s commencement who choose not to attend at this time, you will have the option to walk and participate fully during the May 2024 commencement ceremonies,” Dr. Whitfield stated.

“We believe these decisions regarding finals and commencement provide flexibility for both students and faculty, and offer the best path forward for our university,” he added.

Status of UNLV campus

Beam Hall, the building where the shooting took place, remains inaccessible. All other buildings can be accessed to gather belongings with the assistance of University Police Services. The staging area for those coming to campus is the UNLV Transit Center. Any vehicle that was left on the main campus can be picked up.


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