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Academic Policy Statements

Effective Fall 2021, instructors must copy and paste the information on this page into the course syllabus, or link to this page from the syllabus. Below are descriptions of the official policies established in the University Senate Rules, available HERE in their entirety.

Note that in Spring 2021, the University Senate changed the phrase "Dead Week" to "Prep Week."

Excused Absences and Acceptable Excuses

Excused Absences: Senate Rules 5.2.5.2.1 defines the following as acceptable reasons for excused absences: (a) significant illness, (b) death of a family member, (c) trips for members of student organizations sponsored by an educational unit, trips for University classes, and trips for participation in intercollegiate athletic events, (d) major religious holidays, (e) interviews for graduate/professional school or full-time employment post-graduation, and (f) other circumstances found to fit “reasonable cause for nonattendance” by the instructor of record. Students should notify the professor of absences prior to class when possible.

If a course syllabus requires specific interactions (e.g., with the instructor or other students), in situations where a student’s total EXCUSED absences exceed 1/5 (or 20%) of the required interactions for the course, the student shall have the right to request and receive a "W," or the Instructor of Record may award an “I” for the course if the student declines a “W.” (Senate Rules 5.2.5.2.3.1)


Religious Observances

Religious Observances: Students anticipating an absence for a major religious holiday are responsible for notifying the instructor in writing of anticipated absences due to their observance of such holidays. Senate Rules 5.2.5.2.1(4) requires faculty to include any notification requirements within the syllabus. If no requirement is specified, two weeks prior to the absence is reasonable and should not be given any later. Information regarding major religious holidays may be obtained through the Ombud’s website or calling 859-257-3737.


Verification of Absences

Verification of Absences:Students may be asked to verify their absences in order for them to be considered excused. Senate Rule 5.2.5.2.1 states that faculty have the right to request appropriate verification when students claim an excused absence due to: significant illness; death in the household, trips for classes, trips sponsored by an educational unit and trips for participation related to intercollegiate athletic events; and interviews for full-time job opportunities after graduation and interviews for graduate and professional school. (Appropriate notification of absences due to University-related trips is required prior to the absence when feasible and in no case more than one week after the absence.)


Make-Up Work

Make-Up Work: Students missing any graded work due to an excused absence are responsible: for informing the Instructor of Record about their excused absence within one week following the period of the excused absence (except where prior notification is required); and for making up the missed work. The instructor must give the student an opportunity to make up the work and/or the exams missed due to the excused absence, and shall do so, if feasible, during the semester in which the absence occurred. The instructor shall provide the student with an opportunity to make up the graded work and may not simply calculate the student's grade on the basis of the other course requirements, unless the student agrees in writing. According to SR 5.2.5.2.2, if a student adds a class after the first day of classes and misses graded work, the instructor must provide the student with an opportunity to make up any graded work.


Excused Absences for Military Duties

Excused Absences for Military Duties: If a student is required to be absent for one-fifth or less of the required course interactions (e.g., class meetings) due to military duties, the following procedure (per SR 5.2.5.2.3.2) shall apply:

  1. Once a student is aware of a call to duty, the student shall provide a copy of the military orders to the Director of the Veterans Resource Center. The student shall also provide the Director with a list of his/her courses and instructors.
  2. The Director will verify the orders with the appropriate military authority, and on behalf of the military student, notify each Instructor of Record via Department Letterhead as to the known extent of the absence.
  3. The Instructor of Record shall not penalize the student’s absence in any way and shall provide accommodations and timeframes so that the student can make up missed assignments, quizzes, and tests in a mutually agreed upon manner.


Unexcused Absences

Unexcused Absences: If an attendance/interaction policy is not stated in the course syllabus or the policy does not include a penalty to the student, the instructor cannot penalize a student for any unexcused absences. (SR 5.2.5.2.3.3)


Prep Week and Reading Days

Prep Week and Reading Days: Per Senate Rules 5.2.5.6, the last week of instruction of a regular semester is termed "Prep Week.” This phrase also refers to the last three days of instruction of the summer session and winter intersession. The Prep Week rule applies to ALL courses taught in the fall semester, spring semester, and summer session, including those taught by distance learning or in a format that has been compressed into less than one semester or session. This rule does not apply to courses in professional programs in colleges that have University Senate approval to have their own calendar.

Make-up exams and quizzes are allowed during Prep Week. In cases of "Take Home" final examinations, students shall not be required to return the completed examination before the regularly scheduled examination period for that course. No written examinations, including final examinations, may be scheduled during the Prep Week. No quizzes may be given during Prep Week. No project/lab practicals/paper/presentation deadlines or oral/listening examinations may fall during the Prep Week unless it was scheduled in the syllabus AND the course has no final examination (or assignment that acts as a final examination) scheduled during finals week. (A course with a lab component may schedule the lab practical of the course during Prep Week if the lab portion does not also require a Final Examination during finals week.) Class participation and attendance grades are permitted during Prep Week. The Senate Rules permit continuing into Prep Week regularly assigned graded homework that was announced in the class syllabus.

For fall and spring semester, the Thursday and Friday of Prep Week are study days (i.e. “Reading Days”). There cannot be any required "interactions" on a Reading Day. "Interactions" include participation in an in-class or online discussion, attendance at a guest lecture, or uploading an assignment. See Senate Rules 9.1 for a more complete description of required interactions.


Accommodations Due to Disability

Accommodations Due to Disability: In accordance with federal law, if you have a documented disability that requires academic accommodations, please inform your instructor as soon as possible during scheduled office hours. In order to receive accommodations in a course, you must provide your instructor with a Letter of Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC coordinates campus disability services available to students with disabilities. It is located on the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive in the Multidisciplinary Science Building, Suite 407. You can reach them via phone at (859) 257-2754, via email (drc@uky.edu) or visit their website (uky.edu/DisabilityResourceCenter). DRC accommodations are not retroactive and should therefore be established with the DRC as early in the semester as is feasible.


Non-Discrimination Statement and Title IX Information

Non-discrimination and Title IX policy: In accordance with federal law, UK is committed to providing a safe learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community. The University maintains a comprehensive program which protects all members from discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct. For complete information about UK’s prohibition on discrimination and harassment on aspects such as race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, and sexual orientation, please see the electronic version of UK’s Administrative Regulation 6:1 (“Policy on Discrimination and Harassment”) (https://www.uky.edu/regs/ar6-1). In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex in academics, employment, and all of its programs and activities. Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment in which one act is severe enough to create a hostile environment based on sex and is prohibited between members of the University community and shall not be tolerated. For more details, please see the electronic version of Administrative Regulations 6:2 (“Policy and Procedures for Addressing and Resolving Allegations of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Exploitation”) (https://www.uky.edu/regs/ar6-2). Complaints regarding violations of University policies on discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct are handled by the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity (Institutional Equity), which is located in 13 Main Building and can be reached by phone at (859) 257-8927. You can also visit Institutional Equity’s website (https://www.uky.edu/eeo).

Faculty members are obligated to forward any report made by a student related to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to the Office of Institutional Equity. Students can confidentially report alleged incidences through the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (https://www.uky.edu/vipcenter), Counseling Center (https://www.uky.edu/counselingcenter), or University Health Service (https://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/university-health-service/student-health).

Reports of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct may be made to Institutional Equity here.