5.10.1 Approved Student Absences

A. Purpose

This policy exists to provide guidelines regarding what constitutes an approved student absence.

B. Persons Affected

This policy applies to all students and faculty.

C. Definitions

N/A

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Official University Events or Activities. University events and activities are a valued part of a student’s complete academic and university experience. Examples of these activities may include presentations at research conferences, musical and theatre performances, debate team competitions, and intercollegiate athletics. Participation in these officially sanctioned university activities often requires a student to miss class. On those occasions when it is necessary for students to miss one or more regularly scheduled classes in order to participate in an official university event or activity, faculty sponsors and program directors will assist students to assure they have the opportunity to make up missed work. In doing so they are requested to observe the following procedures:
    1. At least one month prior to the date(s)* on which students will be absent from class, the faculty sponsor or program director shall send a memorandum to the Vice President for Student Affairs. This memorandum shall include information concerning the nature of the event or activity, the dates(s) on which students will be absent from class, and the names of the students involved. The Chief Student Affairs Officer approves the requested student absence by initialing the memorandum and returning it to the faculty sponsor or program director.
    2. The faculty sponsor or program director provides copies of the memorandum to the students.
    3. Each student delivers a copy of the memorandum to the instructors, in person, at least two weeks* prior to the date of the planned absence. At that time the instructor will set a date and time with the student when the make-up assignment will be completed. Make-up assignments will be mutually arranged and will be without penalty to the student, however, availability of the instructor will be given priority in setting the arrangements.
    4. It is expected that students will not abuse the privilege of being absent from class for authorized university events or activities.
    5. *Events scheduled within the first month of an academic term may require a shortened lead time than permitted by this schedule.
    6. Student absence approval is separate from the approval of student travel. Details on the necessary steps to have student travel approved can be found in the Manual of Operating Policies & Procedures for Student Affairs, Chapter 13.
  2. Religious Holy Days. In accordance with Texas Education Code, Section 51.911, a student may be excused from exams or assignments in observance of a religious holy day if at least 5 days before the date of absence the student delivers written notice of the absence to the instructor(s) of the class(s) by either (1) personal hand-delivery, with acknowledgement of receipt by instructor(s) or (2) an e-mail sent from the students official university e-mail address to the instructor(s) official university e-mail address with read receipt requested.

    “Religious holy day” means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

    A student shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after an absence due to observance of a religious holy day provided the student has met the conditions listed above.

  3. Injury/Illness or Dean or Major Illness in a Student’s Immediate Family. When a student has an injury/illness that is too severe or contagious for the student to attend class or when a student experiences a death or major illness in their immediate family the student may request of an individual instructor that the absence be excused. The Dean of Students Office can assist in notifying professors of such illness/injury or family emergency at the request of a student as long as the office is contacted immediately via studentaffairs@uttyler.edu or by phone 903.565.5946. Instructors are encouraged to review documentation on a case by case basis and allow students to make up missed coursework. Should an instructor(s) deny a request for an injury/illness or family emergency the student can contact the academic chair or dean the course reports to for further review.

E. Responsibilities

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs are over this position.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed every five years by the following stakeholders:

Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Vice President for Student Affairs

Student Government Association President

President of Faculty Senate

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  12/01/2001

LAST AMENDED:  04/22/2009