University of Oklahoma – Norman Campus

Advice to Faculty on How to Handle the Anticipated Flu Season


Because of the projected early onset of the 2009-2010 flu season and the potential for a larger than usual number of flu cases caused by H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, this academic year may pose unique challenges to maintaining the continuity and effectiveness of OU’s educational activities. All students are responsible for acquiring and demonstrating competency with the course content. To provide a common framework for addressing the potential disruptions in class attendance caused by the flu, we offer the following recommendations.


·         The currently prevailing medical advice is that if you are sick, you should stay home (“self-isolation”). If symptoms are severe you should call your physician and follow instructions. Therefore, faculty, staff and students who become ill are advised to stay home until they are free from fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

·         Because students infected with H1N1 could miss over a week of class, faculty members are requested to be flexible in enforcing their absentee policies.  Moreover, because people are being advised to stay at home when they are sick, students may not be able to provide a doctor’s note.

·         Faculty members are also asked not to penalize students for missing in-class exams while they are out with the flu. To this end, faculty members should consider providing make-up exams, holding students harmless for missing exams or providing alternative forms of assessment for student who are out with the flu.

·         Faculty members who are sick should notify their department office so that students can be notified of class cancellations or alternative instructors assigned.

·         Faculty members are especially encouraged to use D2L as a way of communicating with their students on-line, when either the students or the faculty member are forced to miss class. Among other things D2L can be used to notify students of a faculty member’s absence; post syllabi, readings and assignments; and provide alternative assignments or exams to be done in the students’ or faculty member’s absence.

·         For the most current information available on 8-25-09 go here: http://www.flu.gov/plan/school/higheredguidance.html