Campus Policies on Instruction

Summarized below are the formal policies that apply to course syllabi, scheduling, examinations, and grade reporting. Consult the Student Code for the most up-to-date information. For policies not covered in the code, contact the Office of the Provost.

Course Syllabi

Instructors are encouraged to make a syllabus for each course available to students prior to the deadline to add a course. A syllabus should include the due dates of all major assignments, quizzes, and examinations and the instructor’s attendance policy. Students are obligated to inform their instructors of any conflict within one week following the distribution of a syllabus or by a later deadline if specified by an instructor. (See article 3, part 2 of the Student Code.)

Students should be provided with a statement of grading policies for the course, for example, how the final grade will be determined. This statement must also include information on whether the plus/minus grading system will be used.

Scheduling Classes

Classes and instructional laboratories begin on the hour or the half hour and must end at least 10 minutes before the hour. For example, a one-hour class scheduled at 10:00 a.m. will meet from 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., and a class scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. will meet from 1:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Both the beginning time and the ending time should be included in the Class Schedule (Timetable) for classes meeting longer than one hour.

Accommodation of Religious Beliefs & Scheduled Activities

University policy and state law require that all instructors reasonably accommodate conflicts with class attendance and work requirements resulting from a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices. Instructors must reasonably accommodate students whose class absence results from formal participation in scheduled activities of officially recognized organizations such as athletic teams and performing groups. Policies governing class attendance of student athletes, as adopted by the Faculty Senate, is found in article 1, part 5, section 1-502 of the Student Code. Instructors shall hold all students who miss class for religious or university-sponsored activities to the same standard. Accommodating absences for some groups but not others is a violation of university policy. For more information on class attendance, see article 1, part 5 of the Student Code.

Scheduling Examinations

Evening, Midterm & Hourly Examinations

The following regulations govern examinations given at times other than during regular class periods. These policies do not apply to final examinations.

Please note that in applying these regulations, the university must reasonably accommodate a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices if the student informs the instructor about the conflict within one week of receiving the examination schedule.

  • Scheduling an examination for an evening requires the approval of the departmental executive officer unless the regular class meeting is the same day and time.
  • An evening examination given outside the regular class meeting time will be scheduled between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. An examination may be given on Friday evening or on Saturday morning when, in the opinion of the dean, exceptional circumstances warrant it.
  • Students shall be excused from one or more regular class periods for the same amount of time set aside for the evening examination.

For more information on scheduling evening, midterm, and hourly examinations, see article 3, part 2, section 3-202 of the Student Code.

Final Examinations

On occasion, there may be a valid reason for changing the officially scheduled time of a final examination. However, all requests to alter examination dates are subject to review by the Office of the Provost.

In particular, you should be aware of the following regulations:

  • No final examination may be given outside its regularly scheduled time slot without the approval of the Office of the Provost.
  • No final examination is to be given on Reading Day.
  • No final examination should be given during a regular class period unless this is deemed necessary by virtue of the course or the examination (for example, a laboratory practical examination as one part of a final examination).
  • Approval to reschedule a final examination will not be given by the provost unless the instructor (a) has polled the class to determine that an alternate date is desired by the class members, (b) has agreed to offer the final at the regularly scheduled time for those who do not choose to take it at the alternate time, (c) has contacted the Office of Facility Scheduling and Management (217.333.1231) and has been assured that space is available at the alternate time, and (d) has first received approval of the department head or chairperson, the director of the school (when appropriate), and the dean.

If faculty members elect to assign take-home final examinations, those examinations fall under these same guidelines. All take-home examinations are due on the date of the regularly scheduled examination. Requests to alter these due dates must be forwarded to the Office of the Provost for review.

For more information on scheduling final examinations, including the rules applying to scheduling conflict exams, see article 3, part 2, section 3-201 of the Student Code.

Office Hours

Each semester, faculty members should announce their office hours in class and post them either outside their offices or in a location in the departmental office that is accessible to students. Faculty members will make special appointments for students who are not able to visit them during their regularly scheduled office hours.

Reporting Grades

Reports of midsemester grades are required for all freshmen; midsemester grade rosters will be mailed to instructors of freshman students early in the semester. Note that posting student grades by personally identifiable means (for example, social security numbers) is a violation of federal law and thus is prohibited. For more information on reporting grades, consult the information from the Office of the Registrar.

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