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Excused Absences

The definition of excused absence under Senate Rule has not changed. Instructors already have significant leeway to determine what absences count as “excused.” However, the Senate Council strongly encourages faculty to consider the severity of this unprecedented situation and remain flexible with student excuses. Students may have difficulty contacting their Instructors, because of problems with hardware, software, cell signals, or internet. Furthermore, because current medical guidance indicates that individuals who suspect they may be ill should call before going in person to seek medical assistance, we urge faculty to consider accepting Tier 1 level excuses, even in courses in which documentation indicating a student has been seen by a medical provider is typically required. The Senate Council urges faculty to use compassion and common sense as they evaluate absences (from class attendance, exams, deadlines, and other course requirements) in this unprecedented situation.