Absence Notification

Note: The Dean of Students Office’s absence notification process is intended to raise a level of awareness regarding the wellbeing of UofL students and/or activate the appropriate support network for students.  It is not intended to dictate the content of an instructor’s or academic department’s attendance policy for their courses.

When a student, family member, or faculty/staff member makes a request for a student’s temporary, short-term, or unknown length of time absence from the University due to emergency or other critical incident, the Dean of Students will provide appropriate notification via email.  Absences which warrant such responses may include, but are not limited to: student’s hospitalization, alleged victim of a crime, or death of a family member or close friend.

The absence notification is intended to provide information to instructors to anticipate the absence and when to expect a student to return.  It is not a request or mandate to excuse an absence.  This decision belongs to the instructor.  The absence notification is a written reminder that students should work directly with their instructors to determine how to complete any missed coursework.

University of Louisville does not have an institutional policy on absences or making up work, other than for work-restricted religious holidays and for university sanctioned events.  However, the reporting of an absent or missing student is important.  In the interest of student health and safety, the Dean of Students Office would like to be aware of students who have extended unexplained absences.  Reports of absences can be directed to the Dean of Students Office (dos@louisville.edu) to collect specific information regarding the absence of a student.

Responsibilities of Students:

  • Requesting assistance with making appropriate absence notifications. Please be prepared to provide documentation for the reason of the absence. 
    • When possible, instructors should be notified of the absence prior to missing class.
    • Absences shorter than three days can be addressed directly with the instructor per their established attendance policy.  If circumstances arise that make this challenging, contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance.
    • Initiating direct contact in a timely manner with instructors upon return to discuss any late assignments/missed work. If granted extensions/make-ups/incompletes, it is the responsibility of the student to complete the work in the agreed upon timeframe.
    • Contacting the Dean of Students Office upon return to campus to review any additional resources that may be needed to assist in the transition back to campus.

Please note: Absences do not need to be managed by the Dean of Students Office, and can be addressed directly to individual instructors per their attendance policy.  If you need assistance navigating this process, contact the Dean of Students Office.

Responsibilities of Faculty:

  • If a student is unaccounted for or has missed class for a period of time, which is atypical or concerning, notification to the Dean of Students Office should be made for further inquiry.  Please provide as much information as possible regarding the timeframe the student has been absent, the amount of missed work in the course and, depending upon the circumstances, an assessment of whether a student should consider withdrawing from the class due to missed time/work.
  • Absence requests can be addressed directly by instructors, per their established attendance policy.It is the instructor’s decision to determine whether any extensions/make-ups/incompletes are given.  If you have questions regarding the enrollment status of a student, contact:
    • the Registrar’s Office for questions regarding an individual course
    • the department’s academic advising office
    • the Dean of Students Office regarding withdrawal from the University

Responsibilities of the Dean of Students Office:

When the Dean of Students Office receives a request for an absence notification

  • The DOS staff member will collect specific information, including the anticipated return date.
  • An email will be sent to all instructors listed for that student, copying the student and the requesting DOS staff member on the email
  • Upon a student’s return, the DOS staff member will attempt to make contact with the student, inquiring about their situation and reviewing any follow-up resources available.

When the Dean of Students Office receives a report of concerning absence from an instructor, the staff member will gather the necessary information to determine whether that student is missing.

  • If it is determined that there is potential that the student is missing, efforts will be made to contact the student regarding their situation and discuss appropriate resources and/or withdrawal dates.
  • When some level of a determination is made, staff may be able to share with the reporter what findings they can with respect to the situation/privacy rights of the individual under FERPA.

University Excused Absence for University Sanctioned events

Policy and Calendar: Religious Holy Days and Observances (PDF)

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