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Absence From Class and Class Coverage Policy

Outlines the campus' expectations for anticipated and unexpected absences of teaching faculty.

Policy Information

Policy Number Policy Owner
4000.2 Provost/VP of Academic Affairs & Human Resource Services


  • 4.0 Policy

    Faculty are expected to be present for all officially scheduled class times (including during finals week). Time missed from class for any reason should not normally exceed one week of classes over the course of the semester. Arrangements for absences from class, including absences for anticipated medical reasons, should be planned well in advance, and approved by the department chair and dean.

    Absences due to illness require notification of the chair and departmental secretary before scheduled class time so that class can be officially canceled or substitute instructional activities arranged.

    All scheduled class and exam times must be met in order for students to receive credit for classes. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to arrange for appropriate coverage ahead of time to meet class obligations. Coverage usually involves a lecture or exam covered by a colleague, an in-class video administered by a colleague, required attendance at a special event on campus, a library project, or an online assignment. The instructor needs to show how the video, special event, or special assignment is relevant to class. Library faculty are available for advice on library assignments or other projects, but the faculty member is responsible for overseeing the students’ work on the project. The make-up assignment must be included as a component of the final course grade.

    If an instructor must cancel a class on short notice due to illness, students must make up the missing material. Make-up classes may be scheduled, but any student who cannot attend must not be penalized. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to meet in small groups or individually with any student who cannot attend a make-up class, or provide the student with another reasonable option for coverage of the missed material. Missed classes may also be made up with independent appointments with students to review papers or class material as appropriate. The make-up assignment must be included as a component of the final course grade.

    All absences due to illness or medical procedures must be reported on the Absence for Illness Form. Faculty should complete the form in advance for planned absences for medical procedures and no more that THREE (3) days after an absence due to illness. Absences due to illness or other medical reasons must be charged against sick leave credits and be reported on the monthly leave record that is submitted to Payroll Services.

    Faculty must complete and submit a Professional and Personal Absences Form in advance (see Forms). A copy of the Authorization to Travel Form (see Forms) must be attached for professional absences. Please refer to the Academic Faculty Sick Leave and Attendance Policies for additional information on faculty responsibilities (see Appendix)

For additional information about this policy, please contact the Policy Owner listed above.

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