PROPOSED ADDITION TO SECTION 4.20 OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK
Students are responsible for the content of courses in which they are enrolled. Specific policy concerning attendance requirements and announced and unannounced examinations is the responsibility of the individual instructor. Students have a responsibility to inform faculty prior to absences whenever possible. Faculty should make every effort to find a reasonable accommodation for students who miss class as a result of participation in Provost-approved University-sponsored activities or legally required activities such as emergency military service. Students missing class on account of jury duty must receive such an accommodation.
(Faculty Senate, 2-26-68, 3-20-95, 5-6-97; Presidential Approval, 3-5-68, 7-7-95, 2-5-98, Senior Vice President and Provost, 8-27-04)
A faculty member's assignment to teach a course is an important element of the faculty member's professional responsibilities, including the obligation of the instructor to attend all classes and to teach. Academic units shall have a policy regarding faculty absences from teaching responsibilities and a procedure for instructors to arrange with their units plans for modifying scheduled class periods. Chairs and directors also are responsible for ensuring that faculty obligations for courses are fulfilled.
For medical and family emergencies and other unforeseeable contingencies, a scheduled class meeting may be canceled. For legitimate, foreseeable obligations, the faculty member is responsible for finding a reasonable alternative way to perform teaching duties in the form of a substitute or a make-up session.
(Faculty Senate, 1-23-95; President, 2-21-95)
Classes are not to be dismissed or rescheduled for any extracurricular function. (1962 Faculty Handbook)
IRREGULAR CLASS MEETINGS
All class meetings should be held during the regular hours scheduled for the course. Unscheduled meetings at other hours should be held only for very unusual and clearly defensible reasons and never for the mere personal convenience of the instructor or the students or both.
If it is desirable for sound educational reasons to schedule a departmental or joint quiz at an evening hour so that all sections of a course may write the quiz simultaneously (uniform exams), the date and hour of each such irregularly scheduled quiz should be made known to all the students concerned during the first week of classes.
If a student then incurs a serious conflict at one of these hours, the responsibility is the students.
If no such notice of irregularly scheduled hours for departmental or joint quizzes can be given, such a plan for giving tests is presumably not important enough to merit systematic planning and should not be used.
The University discourages all unscheduled class meetings; individual faculty members and departments regulate their teaching schedules in accordance with this principle. The department that announces the hours at which a course will meet, the faculty member who agrees to teach it at those hours and the student who has agreed to take it at those hours have all assumed an unwritten contractual obligation from which no one of them should deviate without very substantial reasons for doing so.
(Deans Council, 12-14-66; Senior Vice President and Provost, 9-20-68, 3-3-05)
If the University has an unscheduled closing, all instructors are encouraged to offer additional face to face or virtual office hours to facilitate transmission and understanding of the materials missed. In addition, the instructor may hold class during the regularly scheduled meeting time in an alternate format that makes use of existing technology available to the majority of students. The instructor may also schedule make-up class(es) at a time convenient to the maximum number of students. The materials will be made available in paper and/or electronic form for those students who cannot attend the alternate format or make-up class meetings. (Faculty Senate, X-X-09)
CLASSES DURING FINALS WEEK
The State Regents have indicated the importance of holding class during finals week. Since finals week always has been considered a week of instruction and is a necessary part of the minimum hours of instruction for accreditation, the holding of a final meeting of the class during that week may not be considered optional. (For the policy regarding final examinations, see Section 4.7.)
(Senior Vice President and Provost, 3-31-80)