University policy

The University of Iowa policy for attendance and excused absences requires that students be permitted to make up exams missed because of illness, mandatory religious obligations, or other unavoidable circumstances, including certain University of Iowa activities. Examples of authorized activities include participation in university-scheduled events for athletic teams, the marching band and pep band, debate teams, and other recognized UI groups, as well as participation in UI field trips, service with the military or National Guard, and jury duty.

In addition, each college may further define what constitutes an excused absence for exams and other grading purposes (e.g., attendance or participation grades). Tippie's policy is intended to give guidance to faculty and students in the Tippie College of Business about what factors might influence the decision to excuse an absence that is not already covered by UI policy. 

Tippie general policy

In the Tippie College of Business, the general policy is twofold. First, excused absences should be narrowly defined to ensure that academics are the first priority. Second, faculty have discretion to determine, beyond the UI-mandated excused absences, what constitutes an excused absence and what course work, beyond exams, is available for make-up credit. Faculty are encouraged, but not required, to take the following factors into account when deciding whether or not to treat an absence as excused:

  1. Did the student proactively attempt to cure the need for the absence (e.g., by rescheduling an event)?
  2. What are the consequences for the student if he or she misses the out-of-class experience (e.g., losing an opportunity to participate in a national conference)?

Absence for job interviews may or may not be excused at the discretion of the faculty member. Again, faculty and students are encouraged to consider the degree to which the student was proactive in avoiding the conflict and the elective nature of the particular date and time of the interview (e.g., did the student have a choice of times or dates for the interviews).

Students should not expect instructors to make adjustments to the class attendance policy, nor to provide make-up exams, so that students can leave campus before the beginning of scheduled vacation times or the end of a semester, or to accommodate family or employment activities.

Faculty are encouraged to put their absence policies in their syllabi, making clear the effect of absence from class and, to the extent possible, the circumstances under which absences may be excused. 

Student responsibilities

Whenever possible (e.g., religious obligation, authorized University of Iowa activity), students are responsible for notifying their instructor of a conflict requiring an excused absence well in advance of a scheduled examination or other in-class activity. For permission to be absent from class in order to participate in authorized UI activities, students are expected to present to each instructor before each absence a written statement signed by a responsible official specifying exactly the dates and times necessary for them to miss class. For permission to be absent under Tippie's policy, the same general procedure applies. Whenever possible, the student should contact each instructor before the absence to request that the absence be excused.

When advance notification is not possible (e.g., illness, family, or other personal emergency), students are expected to present evidence to verify the reason—faculty are urged to request this verification. In cases of family emergency, faculty may ask for a funeral notice or the phone number of the student’s parents to call for verification about the emergency. Students who are or will be absent for more than five days may ask the Office of the Registrar to send notification of the absence to each instructor.

Students should be flexible in terms of scheduling make-up exams and are expected to be willing to schedule make-up exams at any time that does not conflict with other regularly scheduled class or exam times.