3.1.13 Student Class Attendance and Excused Absences

By action of the University faculty, the responsibility for defining attendance expectations is left to the individual faculty member, subject to the guidelines given below. Thus it is of great importance that early in each course the instructor make clear to each student what attendance expectations are, and how absences due to "relatively minor" illnesses, as described below, are to be communicated. The use of the syllabus to list attendance expectations and means of communicating about illnesses is recommended.

In inclement weather, when classes have not been cancelled, students should notify their faculty promptly if they are unable to attend class, as described in the policies on Holding Classes and Inclement Weather.

It is the policy of the University of Delaware not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students and faculty are encouraged to exercise their own judgment pertaining to their attendance on these days. In addition, faculty are encouraged not to schedule examinations or require the submission of special assignments on the following days: the evening before as well as the first two days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the fall term, Good Friday and the evenings before and the first two days of Passover in the spring semester. To facilitate planning for the potentially large number of absences on these days the University shall include the dates of these holidays in the academic calendar. Adjacent to each of these dates the academic calendar will include a reminder to consult the University policy on excused absences.

Absences on religious holidays listed in University calendars is recognized as an excused absence. Nevertheless, students are urged to remind the instructor of their intention to be absent on a particular upcoming holiday.

Absences on religious holidays not listed in University calendars, as well as absences due to athletic participation or other extracurricular activities in which students are official representatives of the University, shall be recognized as excused absences when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first two weeks of the semester of these planned absences for the semester. 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 adviser or athletic coach.

Absences due to serious illness or death within a student's family, or other serious family emergency, are recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence to the Dean's Office of his or her college. The Dean's Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student's instructors for the term.

Absences due to serious personal illness (e.g., hospitalization, surgery, or protracted medical illness or convalescence) shall also be recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence of the illness to the Dean's Office of his or her college. Supportive evidence will be provided on the student's request by the Student Health Service directly to the respective Dean. Students who experience long-term absences of a week or more should consult with their Assistant Dean; in such cases, it may be possible to negotiate with faculty for the opportunity to take an incomplete grade, or a withdrawal may be more prudent. The student's Assistant Dean will give guidance in these matters.

For relatively minor, short-term illnesses of students (e.g., colds and flu, where attendance in class is undesirable) or their immediate family, the University system depends upon reasonable communication between students and faculty. If possible, students should report such illnesses before the affected class, following the directions of the instructor provided at the start of the term. (Rev. 5/96)

Absence due to short-term military duty in the National Guard or active reserve is recognized as an excused absence. To validate such an absence, the student should present evidence to the Dean's Office of his or her college. The Dean's Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student's instructors for the term.

Students are not to be penalized if absent from an examination, lecture, laboratory, or other activity because of an excused absence. However, students are fully responsible for all material presented during their absence, and faculty are encouraged to provide opportunities, when feasible, for students to make up examinations and other work missed because of an excused absence.

Authority for excusing all class absences rests with the instructor, subject to the abovementioned guidelines. (Rev. 4/87; 3/95; 5/99; 4/10)