Policy News

Administrative Policy News for March 2017

What’s new in Administrative Policies? The following articles are on policies recently under 30-day review. To view all recent policy changes, visit our Recently Updated Policies.

Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences

The new version of this policy has been approved but will not be displayed or in effect until Fall Semester, September 2017. For questions, please call the primary contacts for this policy.

I've been ill for the last week. Am I able to make up my assignments? My parents have planned a family vacation in April and I want to go with them.

These are just two examples of hundreds of questions received annually in the Office of Undergraduate Education related to Administrative Policy: Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences. In the newest proposed version of this policy, there are two key policy changes up for review:

  • adding to the list of legitimate absences is student participation in formal University system governance structures including the University Senate, Student Senate, and Board of Regents meetings for students selected as representatives to those bodies; and
  • eliminating the requirement that students provide verification for a single episode medical absence in most circumstances.

The first change occurred in response to a request by student representatives since they are unable to schedule University governance meetings around class schedules.

The latter change is to improve public health, allow students to care for minor illnesses at home, and not burden clinic resources. Students needing verification often made unnecessary clinic visits for minor illnesses (e.g., Boynton), thus exposing others, or requested verification after the episode (e.g., flu, cold, fever) had passed. Instructors may still request verification if there appears to be a pattern of recurring medical absences, or, on the Morris campus, where the absence corresponds with a key event such as a laboratory session or an exam.

Students must still notify their instructors of circumstances leading to a request for makeup work as soon as possible.

Leave of Absence and Readmission for Undergraduates

The Leave of Absence and Readmission policy was updated to provide a list of appropriate reasons for leaves of absence and also clarify language such as how terms are counted. Advisors and other University staff recommended these changes to reflect best practices for leaves of absence and create a consistent framework across the University for when leaves are granted.

Leaves of absence may be appropriate for students with the following situations:

  • physical or mental health concerns;
  • family obligations;
  • financial concerns;
  • military service;
  • academics (sequenced courses are not offered for the upcoming terms, reconsidering major, academic struggles, etc.; and
  • career opportunities.

With all leave requests, students should consult their advisors when considering a leave to ensure that all alternatives are explored. Students should also learn about financial aid impacts and the re-admission implications.

What Have We Done for You Lately?!

New features have been added to the Policy Library this year.

  1. A new “Quick Links” box has been added to the right navigation bar on the Home Page. This box lists the top four policies in terms of # of hits, as well as the favorite of the Office of Institutional Compliance, the Code of Conduct. End users will not need to enter text in the search field if they wish to go to one of these policies.
  2. A new visible indicator on a policy that is currently undergoing a 30-day review has been added. In the past, an end user viewing the current published policy would not necessarily know that a new version was under consideration. The end user may jump from this indicator directly to the new version. This should help eliminate version confusion.
  3. A direct link to the UReport (anonymous reporting system) is now provided on each web page in the bottom right hand corner.

We welcome any other suggestions you might have to improve your policy experience.