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Standard Academic Policy Statements

Instructors must copy and paste the information on this page into the course syllabus, or link to this page from the syllabus. Below are descriptions of the official policies established in the University Senate Rules, available HERE in their entirety.


Excused Absences and Acceptable Excuses

The Senate Rules define the following as acceptable reasons for excused absences: (a) significant illness, (b) death of a family member, (c) trips for members of student organizations sponsored by an educational unit, trips for University classes, and trips for participation in intercollegiate athletic events, (d) major religious holidays, (e) interviews for graduate/professional school or full-time employment post-graduation, and (f) other circumstances found to fit “reasonable cause for nonattendance” by the instructor of record. Students should notify the professor of absences prior to class when possible.

If a course syllabus requires specific interactions (e.g., with the instructor or other students), in situations where a student’s total EXCUSED absences exceed 1/5 (or 20%) of the required interactions for the course, the student shall have the right to request and receive a "W," or the Instructor of Record may award an “I” for the course if the student declines a “W.” 


Religious Observances

Students anticipating an absence for a major religious holiday are responsible for notifying the instructor in writing of anticipated absences due to their observance of such holidays. Senate Rules requires faculty to include any notification requirements within the syllabus. If no requirement is specified, two weeks prior to the absence is reasonable and should not be given any later. Information regarding major religious holidays may be obtained through the Academic Ombud’s website or calling 859-257-3737.


Verification of Absences

Students may be asked to verify their absences in order for them to be considered excused. Senate Rule states that faculty have the right to request appropriate verification when students claim an excused absence due to: significant illness; death in the household, trips for classes, trips sponsored by an educational unit and trips for participation related to intercollegiate athletic events; and interviews for full-time job opportunities after graduation and interviews for graduate and professional school. (Appropriate notification of absences due to University-related trips is required prior to the absence when feasible and in no case more than one week after the absence.)


Make-Up Work

Students missing any graded work due to an excused absence are responsible: for informing the Instructor of Record about their excused absence within one week following the period of the excused absence (except where prior notification is required); and for making up the missed work. The instructor must give the student an opportunity to make up the work and/or the exams missed due to the excused absence, and shall do so, if feasible, during the semester in which the absence occurred. The instructor shall provide the student with an opportunity to make up the graded work and may not simply calculate the student's grade on the basis of the other course requirements, unless the student agrees in writing. According to the Senate Rules, if a student adds a class after the first day of classes and misses graded work, the instructor must provide the student with an opportunity to make up any graded work.


Excused Absences for Military Duties

If a student is required to be absent for one-fifth or less of the required course interactions (e.g., class meetings) due to military duties, the following procedure (per SRs) shall apply:

  1. Once a student is aware of a call to duty, the student shall provide a copy of the military orders to the Director of the Veterans Resource Center. The student shall also provide the Director with a list of his/her courses and instructors.
  2. The Director will verify the orders with the appropriate military authority, and on behalf of the military student, notify each Instructor of Record via Department Letterhead as to the known extent of the absence.
  3. The Instructor of Record shall not penalize the student’s absence in any way and shall provide accommodations and timeframes so that the student can make up missed assignments, quizzes, and tests in a mutually agreed upon manner.


Unexcused Absences

If an attendance/interaction policy is not stated in the course syllabus or the policy does not include a penalty to the student, the instructor cannot penalize a student for any unexcused absences. 


Prep Days and Reading Days

Prep Days and Reading Days are designed to help students prepare for their final examinations. Certain instructional activities are restricted on Prep Days, and additional restrictions apply to Reading Days. There shall be no required interactions on Reading Days.

This rule applies to ALL courses taught in both semesters, the Summer Session, and the Winter Intersession, regardless of modality. In addition, if a course is taught in a format that has been compressed into less than one semester, intersession, or session, and the course overlaps with Prep Days or Reading Days as set in the regular University calendar, then the course must abide by the restrictions on instructional activities that apply to those Prep and Reading Days with which it overlaps. This rule does not apply to courses in professional programs in colleges that have University Senate approval to follow a nonstandard calendar.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Timing

For Fall Semester and Spring Semester, Prep Days are the last three days of instruction (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and before the start of the Final Examination Period. The third Prep Day (Wednesday) is when classes end.

For Summer Session and Winter Intersession, Prep Days are the last three days of instruction before the final exam day as established in the academic calendar annually approved by the Senate Council and posted by the University Registrar.

For Fall Semester and Spring Semester, Reading Days are the two days (Thursday and Friday) after the Prep Days before the start of the Final Examination Period.

There are no Reading Days during Summer Session or Winter Intersession.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Examinations and Quizzes

Instructors must not schedule examinations or quizzes, including final examinations, on Prep Days or Reading Days, with the following exceptions:

1.         Instructors are permitted to schedule oral/listening examinations and lab practical exams on Prep Days during a semester, provided such examinations are scheduled in the syllabus AND the course has no final examination (or assignment that acts as a final examination).

2.         Instructors are permitted to schedule make-up examinations or make-up quizzes anytime, including, if the affected students agree to it, on Reading Days. Instructors may distribute take-home examinations, but students shall not be required to return the completed examination before the regularly scheduled examination period for that course.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Class Participation and Attendance Grades

Instructors are permitted to grade student participation and require attendance on Prep Days, but not on Reading Days.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Homework

Instructors are permitted to collect regularly assigned homework for a grade on Prep Days, but not on Reading Days, provided the homework was scheduled in the syllabus. However, instructors may collect make-up homework on Reading Days if the affected student agrees to it.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Projects, Papers, and Presentations

Instructors are permitted to collect projects, papers, and presentations on Prep Days, but not on Reading Days, provided such assignments were scheduled in the syllabus AND the course has no final examination (or assignment that acts as a final examination).


Prep Days and Reading Days: Make-Up Assignments

Instructors are permitted to schedule make-up assignments that replace, substitute for, or satisfy earlier required interactions anytime), including, if the affected students agree to it, on Reading Days.


Prep Days and Reading Days: Review Sessions

Instructors are permitted to offer review sessions at any time on Prep Days or Reading Days as long as attendance is not required and the instructor does not discuss or provide new material.


Homework During Finals Week

Instructors are not permitted to assign homework during Finals Week, nor are they permitted to make any homework assignments due during Finals Week. However, instructors may collect make-up homework after the last day of classes.


Accommodations Due to Disability

In accordance with federal law, if you have a documented disability that requires academic accommodations, please inform your instructor as soon as possible during scheduled office hours. In order to receive accommodations in a course, you must provide your instructor with a Letter of Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC coordinates campus disability services available to students with disabilities. It is located on the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive in the Multidisciplinary Science Building, Suite 407. You can reach them via phone at (859) 257-2754, via email ( or visit their website ( DRC accommodations are not retroactive and should therefore be established with the DRC as early in the semester as is feasible.


Non-Discrimination Statement and Title IX Information

In accordance with federal law, UK is committed to providing a safe learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community. The University maintains a comprehensive program which protects all members from discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct. For complete information about UK’s prohibition on discrimination and harassment on aspects such as race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, and sexual orientation, see Administrative Regulation 6:1 (“Policy on Discrimination and Harassment”) ( In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex in academics, employment, and all of its programs and activities. Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment in which one act is severe enough to create a hostile environment based on sex and is prohibited between members of the University community and shall not be tolerated. For more details, see Administrative Regulations 6:2 (“Policy and Procedures for Addressing and Resolving Allegations of Sexual Harassment Under Title IX and Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct”) ( Complaints regarding violations of University policies on discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct are handled by the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity (Institutional Equity), which is located in 13 Main Building and can be reached by phone at (859) 257-8927. You can also visit Institutional Equity’s website (   

Faculty members are obligated to forward any report made by a student related to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to the Office of Institutional Equity. Students can confidentially report alleged incidences through the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (, Counseling Center (, or University Student Health Service (

Reports of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct may be made via the Institutional Equity’s website (; at that site, click on "Make a Report" on the left-hand side of the page.


Regular and Substantive Interaction

All credit-bearing courses must support regular and substantive interaction (RSI) between the students and the instructor, regardless of the course’s delivery mode (e.g., in-person, hybrid, or online). Courses satisfy this requirement when course participants meet regularly as prescribed in SR 10.6, and the Instructor of Record substantively interacts with students in at least two of the following ways: provides direct instruction; assesses students’ learning; provides information or responds to students’ questions; and facilitates student discussions. Some exceptions allowed as per SACSCOC. For further information about the RSI requirement, see the Compliance Resources link on the Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation Compliance page.