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Course Modality and Attendance Policy

The following principles provide additional guidance for the College of Humanities and Sciences in regards to the new university guidance regarding course modalities. All employees in the College of Humanities and Sciences who have responsibility as an instructor of record for at least one course, to include full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate students, are expected to follow these principles:


1. Courses must be taught in their assigned modality. Exceptions for a modality change for an individual class session should be communicated beforehand to the department chair/school director or designee. If the modality of multiple sessions for a course needs to be changed, the department chair/school director or designee should consult with the Dean’s office. 

2. In general, cancellations of class sessions should be avoided. When possible, the instructor should seek approval from their department chair/school director or designee and arrange for an alternative to the class session that might include an online session or an alternate instructor. 

3. Classes should only be canceled in a case where the instructor of record faces a sudden emergency (illness or otherwise) and no alternate arrangements can be arranged on short notice. The class cancellation should be communicated to the students and to the department chair or school director or their designee (see below).

4. The absence of any instructor of record should be known by their department or school leadership. A faculty member must contact their department chair/school director or designee; the department chair/school director or designee must communicate the method of this contact at the beginning of every semester. Failure to notify the chair or designee in a reasonably timely manner will be noted in the annual evaluation.  Each department or school should have a clear, written process to handle faculty members’ absences, and all faculty members - including adjunct faculty and graduate student instructors - must be aware of this process. Please use the relevant google form provided by your school/department to notify the chair/director of any absences or modality changes.

5. If a course is taught asynchronously, it is understood that assignments or other course activities may be delayed for a short period of time due to a sudden emergency. Departments/schools should identify an alternate instructor if needed as soon as possible.

6. In cases where graduate teaching assistants lead a course section, the instructor of record who oversees the course should have a clear, written process in place to ensure that the section is taught in the event the TA is absent.