Course Attendance and Engagement Policy

Date of Notice:
Current Status:


Mike Price (Undergrad Council, CAS - Mathematics); Jagdeep Bala (Undergrad Council, CAS - Psychology)


Section I

1.1  WHEREAS during Spring 2021, the University Senate approved US20/21-13: Course Policies on CANVAS use, Syllabi and Office Hours; requiring that a syllabus be provided to students in all undergraduate courses; and

1.2  WHEREAS during the deliberation by the UO Senate, there was an extensive discussion on attendance policies and what instructors (Note: “Instructor” in policy document from US20/21-13 refers to Instructor of Record which includes both faculty and GEs) can and cannot do in terms of student absences; and

1.3  WHEREAS there was not widespread agreement, resulting in the Senate deciding to refer the topic to the Undergraduate Council for further discussion and possible legislation; and

1.4  WHEREAS the following were identified as areas of concern during the above-mentioned deliberations and subsequent discussions in Undergraduate Council:

  • Lack of clarity on what is required and what is allowed or not allowed. [RB1] 
  • There are many “university-sponsored events” that involve students who are not student-athletes. The university does not currently offer the same guidance or consideration for these that it does for student-athletes.
  • The concept of “excused and unexcused” is often relied on without clear parameters or guidance. There is no university-level policy or definition related to this.
  • There is a question as to whether instructors have either the bandwidth or capability to accurately and equitably “verify” student reasons for absences.
  • The power differential between instructors and students means instructors asking students for information is not a neutral act. In addition, there are other offices on campus empowered to independently review information for cases that fall outside the norm. This occurs through AEC, the petition process run by faculty committees, and the Dean of Students. These processes and the policy proposed provide protection for faculty by taking them out of the adjudication process.

1.5  WHERAS due to the concerns cited above, the Undergraduate Council has determined that a “no excuse” attendance and engagement policy provides a more level playing field for students and faculty by  eliminating and the need for any verification of student absences, and applying course absence policies equally to all students.

1.6  WHEREAS the Undergraduate Council voted unanimously in favor of the proposed Undergraduate Course Attendance and Engagement Policy as outlined in the Related Document.

Section II

THEREFORE BE IT MOVED that the University Senate approves the (NEW) proposed Undergraduate Course Attendance and Engagement Policy as outlined in the Related Document.

Motion History

  • Notice Given

  • Approved