Absence Notification Policy

Faculty and students are encouraged to deal directly with one another concerning all student absences.  The Office of the Dean of Students does not have the authority to excuse an absence.  Absence notifications are sent for non-academic reasons to assist a family during a rare and significant event or crisis in a student’s life. 

Typically notices will be issued only if the student is unable to communicate directly with faculty for an extended period of a week or more. Examples of when a notice will be issued may include:

  • Death of a student’s immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse, or child).  Students with other family-related deaths should contact their professors directly.
  • A student’s extended stay in the hospital which lasts a week or more.
  • An extreme personal emergency in which the student is unable or reluctant to speak directly with faculty (e.g., psychological or emotional difficulties).

Students missing a week or more due to more common illnesses (such as flu or mono) or brief hospital stays will be advised to contact their professors directly as soon as possible. If applicable, students are advised to contact their Advisor or the Advising Center of their major to discuss academic concerns such as requesting an incomplete or withdrawing from some or all of their classes.

Students should contact their professors if they are able to do so.  Once a student or family member has contacted faculty, a notice from the Office of the Dean of Students is no longer appropriate.  However, faculty should feel free to report any of the above circumstances immediately.  In such cases, advocacy will be provided as deemed appropriate from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Immediately upon return to classes, it is the responsibility of the student to contact faculty to provide documentation and discuss any missed class time, tests or assignments.  It is the professor’s decision to excuse an absence or to allow for any missed class time, tests or assignments.

When the Office of the Dean of Students does issue an absence notice, the student is required to provide the office with documentation of the reason for the absence.  If this documentation is not received within two weeks, another memo will be sent advising faculty to disregard the earlier notice.