Classroom Policies


On the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, the provost approved the following guidelines for student absences excused by reason of participation in university-sanctioned events. These guidelines replace the Faculty Senate statement of July 8, 1998 and the revised policy of September 6, 2006. Revised Fall 2018.

Resolved by the Faculty Senate, June 6, 2012:

Although each college, school, or academic unit of the University of Louisville creates its own regulations concerning class attendance, all units hold students responsible for materials covered, lectures given, papers due, exams scheduled, or other evaluative measures administered. The academy requires student participation in the learning process, measurement of student progress, and the fulfillment of basic course requirements.

However, because the university recognizes that educational experiences extend beyond the classroom and campus, faculty must be flexible with students who are acting as official representatives of the university, or participating in university-sanctioned events or activities that require absence from class. A university sanctioned event or activity shall be one in which a student represents the university to external constituencies in academic or extra-curricular activities. These include but are not limited to student government congresses, intercollegiate athletic and debate contests, music competitions, academic meetings, and conferences. The deans, the student government association, or faculty sponsors of recognized student organizations may petition the provost to designate other events or categories of events as university-sanctioned.

When students’ participation in university-sanctioned events or activities requires them to be absent from a class (or classes) during which an examination or other measurement of academic progress is scheduled, faculty will provide students with opportunities to be evaluated at other times and by comparable alternative evaluation methods within a reasonable period of time prior to or after the absence.

Faculty members will provide students in their classes with clear syllabi, including attendance requirements and dates for required measurements or field experiences. Attendance policies should allow excused absences for university-sanctioned events.

Students who seek excused absences to attend university-sanctioned events are expected to follow the instructions below, and are expected to complete assignments on time, actively participate in other class sessions, and to make up work missed as agreed upon with the faculty member. Students are expected to attend regularly at all other times.

Official notice of a university-sanctioned event shall consist of an excused absence request letter from the sponsoring unit or program to the faculty whose class(es) will be missed, delivered by the student. The excused absence letter may request blanket approval for a series of events or approval of a single event. If the event or class of events has not already been designated as university-sanctioned, the letter must be signed by the provost or her/his designee [1]. The letter must be delivered to and received by the faculty member at the beginning of the semester for a series of events or a minimum of one week prior to the event or activity [2]. The letter shall include the following data:

  • Name, date(s), and location(s) of the event(s).
  • Date of departure from campus and exact time when the student is expected to report for departure.
  • Date of return to campus and exact day and time that the student will be expected to return to class.

The faculty member will respond in writing. Approval indicates that the instructor will provide opportunities for students to be evaluated at other times and by comparable alternative evaluation methods, within a reasonable period of time prior to or after the absence, without academic penalty.

If the letter requests blanket approval at the beginning of the term for a series of absences and the faculty member determines that the absences will seriously compromise the student’s performance in the course, the faculty member may deny the excused absence request within the first week of classes, thereby allowing the student to drop the course and add another. If the letter requests absence from an exam or other evaluative measure later in the term (but at least one week in advance) [2] and the faculty member determines that the requested absence will compromise the student’s performance in the course, the faculty member may deny the excused absence.

The student may appeal denial of an excused absence to the provost or the provost’s designee [1]. Students who believe themselves to be penalized by an instructor, either by a disproportionate task to make up missed work or a grade reduction, may also appeal. Reprisals for following the policy or for reporting a failure to follow the policy are prohibited.

[1] The designee for these guidelines is Dr. Beth Willey, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (852-6159, e-mail ).

[2] On occasion, students will not anticipate an absence for a university-sanctioned event until late in the term and will be unable to provide a week’s notice. Such events include but are not limited to post-season tournaments or participation in a regional or national competition. In such instances, the student will provide the faculty member with a letter from the sponsoring unit or program for the event, as soon as the event is scheduled, and the faculty member is expected to be as flexible as possible.


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(UofL’s policy conforms to the ADA Act of 1990 and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)

The University of Louisville is committed to providing equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504). It is the responsibility of every student, faculty, and staff member of the university community to assure compliance in all university operations and provide a welcoming environment for persons with disabilities. (Full policy statement)

The Disability Resource Center (Stevenson Hall) is responsible for the coordination of programs and services for qualified applicants for admission and enrolled students with disabilities. For information on note taking, reader, and tutoring services and to find out how to apply for these support services, please visit the Disability Resource Center website or call 852-6938.

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The policy on class attendance varies by academic unit; please check with the appropriate Dean’s Office.

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A&S policy permits an instructor to withdraw a student who is taking a course for "audit" if the student has not attended or otherwise met whatever stipulations were agreed upon when the permission for audit was given. Instructors who have students in this category may cross off the AU on the grade report and indicate a W.

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The federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not permit the posting of grades by Social Security numbers, by student ID numbers, by names, or by some other personal identifier. It is not acceptable to use a portion of the Social Security or student ID number unless the individual professor has written, signed and dated consent forms from each student in conformity with section 99.30 of the FERPA regulations.

The professor and each individual student, however, may agree on a code name or number for use in posting grade information. Only the particular professor and the student should know that name or number.

William Morrison, University Archivist
Administrator of the U of L Student Records Policy,
Chair, University Student Records Committee
Fall 2000

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Participation in Commencement is reserved to those students who have timely completed all graduation requirements. The enrollment-unit dean may waive this requirement if, in the dean's judgment, circumstances warrant an exception. Appeals for a waiver must be made directly to the dean.

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Severe Weather Policy

First, we have changed our delayed classes policy.

In instances where we announce a delayed schedule, we will cancel classes up to a certain time and begin with our full class schedule at that point.

For instance, if we delay opening until 10 a.m., classes that end before 10 a.m. will be canceled. Students who normally would be in class at or after 10 a.m. should go wherever they would be at that time unless they have received other instructions from their instructor in advance, which should be included in the course syllabus.

Second, for purposes of this policy, evening classes will be defined as any classes beginning at or after 4:30 p.m.

Third, while we make every effort to announce our closings through the local media, their processes can lead to confusing or sometimes wrong information. Please note that the university will provide official school closing information in the following ways:

--    A notice on the university home page,
--    Text messages sent to students, faculty and staff who sign up for UofL Alerts
--    Emails sent to students and employees on their Groupwise accounts
--    A recorded message at 852-5555

These are the only venues through which we can guarantee accurate information. They also are the first four methods by which we will communicate, although we will continue to announce our decisions through media as well.

Finally, whenever possible, we will announce decisions regarding morning classes by 6 a.m. and decisions regarding evening classes by 3 p.m.

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