Faculty class time

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Policy title:

Faculty class time

Academic Affairs
Omaha Instructional Site
Traditional Undergraduate
Owner: Approved by:
Policy statement

NWU’s Class Attendance policy states that “regular class attendance is expected of all
students.” This statement underscores the value of class time as a time for instructors to
facilitate student learning. While students have a responsibility to attend class, the course
instructor must also fulfill his or her contractual obligation to teach and to abide by the
academic calendar. Federal regulations also point to this obligation per the stipulation
that each class meet a minimum number of hours per semester depending on the assigned
number of credit hours.

For planned absences (e.g., conferences, religious observance), faculty members will
notify their students and the Academic Affairs Office ahead of time (via the syllabus).
When course instructors are unexpectedly unavailable to teach their classes (e.g.,
sickness, funeral, weather) it is important to notify those who need to know, including
those in supervisory roles or those who may field questions about the instructor’s
whereabouts. Full- and part-time faculty members who will be absent from their classes
need to notify their department chair and staff assistant, as well as the Academic Affairs
Office. Students should also be notified, and alternative plans for class communicated
(e.g., guest lecture, assignment, group work). If the faculty member is not able to send
timely notification, the staff assistant will try to relay this information to the students.

In the case of all absences, the instructor must make every effort to ensure students
receive a relevant class experience. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such
as by asking another faculty member to teach the course material, inviting a guest lecturer
(including Library or Career Services staff), assigning group work, or designating work
to be completed electronically.

Absences should be rare to ensure that students do not suffer academically as a result of a
faculty member’s absences. For absences caused by situations that could be eligible for
Family Medical Leave Act, the faculty member needs to work with Human Resources to
ensure all appropriate benefits are administered. Benefits that will be reviewed include,
but are not limited to, short-term disability and Family Medical Leave (FMLA). The HR
office will also provide direction for the required documentation to be turned in prior to
the faculty member returning to work.


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