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Agenda Item FA 18-61

Submitted by the Academic Standards Committee

Update to Religious Observances Policy (Faculty Handbook 11.21)

11/01/18: Passed

11/26/18: Approved

Update to Religious Observances Policy (Faculty Handbook 11.21)

(https://www.unf.edu/acadaffairs/faculty_handbook/Chapter11.aspx)

Rationale

The Faculty Association Academic Standards Committee was approached by the Dr. Daniel Moon (Associate Vice President for Budgets and Personnel) regarding updating Faculty Handbook Policy 11.21 (Religious Observances Policy) to clarify that students who have an approved absence for a religious observance will be provided the opportunity to make up the work they missed.

Resolution

The proposed addition and changes to the current policy were approved by the Academic Standards Committee. Removals are shown as strikethrough and additions are bolded and underlined.

11.21 Religious Observances

(Reference: F.A.C. Ch 6C9-2.012)

 

The University of North Florida advocates the concept of religious freedom and in recognition of the plurality of religious beliefs of its individual students sets forth in this rule the framework within which it accommodates the religious observance, practice and belief of those students in regard to admissions, class attendance, class assignments,and the scheduling ofquizzes and examinations, major class events, major University activities, and work assignments absences..

 

For all class related activities it is the responsibility of the student to notify his/her instructor that they will be missing class activities due to a religious observance. Such a notification shall be made no later than one week prior to the holy day, or as prescribed by the instructor at the beginning of the term.

 

Admissions - The University of North Florida shall not deny admission to any student because of the religious practice or belief of the student.

 

Class Attendance - Any student shall, upon properly notifying his/her instructor, be excused from class to observe a religious holy day of his/her faith. Such notification shall be made no later than one week prior to the holy day, or as prescribed by the instructor at the beginning of the term.

 

Work Class Assignments - EachAny student excused from class for the purpose of observing a religious holy day will be responsible for the material covered in his/her absence, but shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up any missed workclass assignment. Missed workclass assignmentsshallmustbe made up prior to the end of the term or as prescribed by the instructor at the beginning of the term, whichever occurs first. Similarly, online assignment due dates will be adjusted to the next calendar day or as prescribed by the instructor at the beginning of the term. This applies even if the instructor's policy is to drop a low score.

 

Quizzes and examinations - Any student shall, upon properly notifying his/her instructor of a religious observance, be provided the opportunity to make up the quiz or examination at the soonest appropriate time. This applies to all instructional modes (face-to-face, online and hybrid). This applies even if the instructor's policy is to drop a low score.

 

Major Class Events - Any student shall, upon properly notifying his/her instructor of a religious observance, be excused from a major class event. The student shall be provided the opportunity to make up the major class event at the soonest appropriate time.

 

Major University Activities - No Major University activity shall be scheduled on a major religious holy day. A major religious holy day shall be a significant day of religious observance as recognized by the highest governing body of that particular faith. Evidence of such recognition shall be provided by the student unless previously designated by the Office of Academic Affairs.

 

Examinations, Major Class Events, and Major University Activities - No major test, major class event, or major University activity shall be scheduled on a major religious holy day. A major religious holy day shall be a significant day of religious observance as recognized by the highest governing body of that particular religious faith. Evidence of such recognition shall be provided by the student unless previously designated by the Office of Academic Affairs.

 

Absences - Due to Religious Observances - Faculty members and University administrators shall in no way penalize students absent from academic or social activities because of religious observances.

 

Appeals - Any student who believes he/she has been unreasonably denied an educational benefit due to his/her religious belief or practices may seek redress by implementing the Student Appeals Procedure as described in the Academic Appeals Process.