How are USF faculty changing attendance policies in response to H1N1?

Below are the types of comments expressed by some of the 110 individual respondents to the UFF survey this week on H1N1 and attendance policies. Please keep in mind that the participants in this survey are probably not a representative sample, and answers should be viewed as a sample of the options that faculty are considering.

Attendance requirements—what are faculty planning to do? Some of the choices faculty are making:

  • No changes
  • Case-by-case adjustments
  • Raising the limit on unexplained/unexcused absences.
  • Providing alternative assignments that enable students to make up attendance
  • Waiving in-class assignment requirements
  • Extending deadlines for assignments
  • Turning in-class work into online (Blackboard) assignment
  • Eliminating attendance requirements, with in-class exercises as extra credit


What documentation are faculty planning to require? Some of the choices faculty are making:

  • Doctor’s note required
  • Doctor’s note not required
  • No doctor’s note but prior notice required (no “oops I overslept” post-hoc inventions of flu)
  • Distinctions between regular classes and exams: flexibility for classes, doctor’s note required for exam absence


Other thoughts related to H1N1 and classes:

  • Some faculty will insist that students who are sick should stay home, quoting from Dr. Egilda Terenzi’s statement in syllabus
  • Some faculty are intending to place more material online
  • Some faculty intend to record classes to place mp3s on line for absent students
  • Some faculty intend to spend more time explaining attendance policies clearly at beginning of term and specifically how they might apply for H1N1
  • Some faculty intend to use the H1N1 pandemic to remind students that they have the obligation to contact classmates to catch up on material
  • Some faculty intend to explain the practical effect on grades of missing substantial amounts of the semester
  • Some faculty will explain that they will be more supportive of petitions for dropping/withdrawing from class for medical reasons


Additional comments:

  • There were some concerns about availability of medical care at Student Health Services
  • Some faculty expressed concerns about staff and faculty health
  • Some faculty expressed concerns about the work and security involved in creating make-up exams and suggested that USF create a testing center to provide security for make-up exams



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