The resources of the university are provided for the intellectual growth and development of its students. The university expects each student to take full responsibility for his or her academic work and academic progress. Students are expected to attend classes in order to gain command of the concepts and materials of their courses of study. As such, the university does not mandate the number or percentage of absences that are acceptable but suggests a guideline of 15% for determining an excessive level of absence. The specific class attendance policies for each class are at the discretion of the instructor, in accordance with the policies of the department and college.
All matters related to student absences, including making up work missed, are to be arranged between the student and the instructor before the semester begins or on the first week of classes. All instructors will, at the beginning of each semester, make a clear statement in the course syllabus for each of their classes, describing their policies for handling absences. Students are obligated to adhere to the requirements of each course and of each instructor. Instructors are encouraged to provide avenues for students to make up examinations and other work missed due to an excused absence.
Excused absences are recognized in the following cases:
1. University-Sponsored Events
Absences due to activities approved by the office of the Provost, in which a student is an official representative of the university will be recognized as excused when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first week of the semester of his or her participation in an activity that may generate excused absences and the dates of planned absences for the semester. If requested, the appropriate university official will provide a memo stating the official nature of the university business in advance of the activity. Absences due to similar events, which could not have been anticipated earlier in the semester, will be recognized as excused absences upon advance notification of the instructor by an appropriate faculty advisor or administrator.
2. Legal Obligations
Absences due to legal obligations (for example, jury duty, military orders) will be recognized as excused absences. The student must provide the instructor with written documentation of such absences at the earliest possible date.
3. Religious Observances
Students wishing to have an excused absence due to the observation of a religious holiday of special importance must provide advance written request to each instructor by the end of the first week of classes.
Class Attendance by Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs requires that institutions of higher learning immediately report to them when a student discontinues attendance for any reason. Instructors must report to the Registrar’s office the absence of a veteran student as soon as it is known that the veteran student will not be returning to class. Generally, this should be reported after one week of absences and no later than two weeks of nonattendance by a veteran student.
In addition, it is suggested that the faculty give due consideration to absences relating to the following events:
- Death or major illness in student’s immediate family;
- Illness of a dependent family member; and
- Illness that is too severe or contagious for students to attend class.
Adopted - Student Life Committee - Fall 1998
Amended - University Senate - March 29, 2010