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article 1—student rights and responsibilities

Part 5. Class Attendance

§ 1‑501 All Students

(a) Regular class attendance is expected of all students at the University.

(b) Instructors are strongly encouraged to make a course syllabus available to all students prior to the deadline for an undergraduate student to add a course (see the Class Schedule for the current term for the specific date). A syllabus should include the due dates of all major assignments, quizzes, and examinations. The student is encouraged to inform the instructor of any known conflict as soon as possible but no later than one week before the date of the quiz or examination, or due date of the assignment. (Note that conflict policies stated in the syllabus take priority over this rule.) A syllabus also should include the instructor’s attendance policy, if any.

(c) Excused absences include those resulting from:
(1) illness, death in the family or other emergency, or other reasons beyond the student’s control; and
(2) a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices. (University policy and state law require that all instructors reasonably accommodate conflicts with class attendance and work requirements resulting from a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices.) (See § 1‑107)
(3) a student serving as a volunteer emergency worker, as defined in the Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act. (University policy and state law require that all instructors reasonably accommodate conflicts with class attendance and work requirements resulting from a student’s serving as an emergency worker).

(d) Instructors must reasonably accommodate students whose class absence resulted from formal participation in scheduled activities of officially recognized groups such as athletic teams, performing groups, and the Urbana-Champaign Senate. Policy governing class attendance of student athletes, as adopted by the Senate, is found in § 1‑502.

(e) For excused absences, the student must provide an explanation to the instructor and supply supporting evidence as required by the instructor. The student must make arrangements with the instructor to make up missed work expeditiously. (See § 3‑201 for information about absence from final examinations and § 3‑202 for information about absence from evening, midterm, and hourly examinations.) Any student may appeal in writing an instructor’s decision for absence to the dean of the academic unit offering the course. Before taking action, the dean or director should request that the instructor explain his or her denial in writing.

(f) Instructors shall hold all students who miss class for religious or University sponsored activities to the same standard. Accommodating absences for some groups but not others amounts to invidious discrimination and is against University policy. (See § 1‑108.)

(g) The instructor decides when a student’s attendance becomes irregular. In this case, the instructor may send oral, written, or electronic notice of the student’s irregular attendance to the dean of the student’s college. The dean shall then notify the student by electronic, campus, or United States mail. The notification may be in the following form:

____________________ has notified this office that your attendance in ____________________ has become irregular. Please contact the instructor immediately. The instructor may refuse to grade, return, or record any assignment, quiz, or examination until you have met with the instructor to discuss your attendance problem.

(h) If, after receiving a notice described in subsection (g) above, a student’s attendance continues to be irregular, the instructor may report this fact to the student’s college dean. The dean of the student’s college, in consultation with the instructor, may determine that the student’s attendance has become so irregular that the student’s scholarship is likely to be severely impaired. The dean may require the student to withdraw from the course with a grade of Withdrawal or Failure. (See § 3‑312.)

(i) General Provisions
(1) A student may notify the Emergency Dean, Office of the Dean of Students, if the student will be unavoidably absent from class because of illness, death in the family, or other emergency. The emergency dean will pass this information along as is appropriate. The student’s college may forward this information to instructors. This communication is meant for information and does not certify the validity of the student’s reason for absence.
(2) Class absences before and after vacations are treated like any other absences during the semester.
(3) Regularly scheduled classroom or laboratory work shall have precedence over instructional field trips except on the second Saturday of each month.
(4) Because McKinley Health Center does not provide medical excuses, instructors should be aware that a student may not be able to provide formal documentation for minor illnesses. For more serious or extended medical absences, the student should advise the instructor at the earliest possible opportunity. The student should provide supporting evidence for serious or extended medical absences as appropriate. The Dean of Students should serve as a resource when medical confidentiality might limit what can be shared with the instructor. Students who will be absent from classes due to an extended illness or hospitalization, or who are required to recover at home or other extended care facility, also should contact the Emergency Dean, Office of the Dean of Students, as soon as possible with this information.