Letter from the Provost: Mask, Class Attendance Requirements for Faculty
I want you to know how much I appreciate the dedication and determination you’ve shown while planning our return to traditional in-person courses this semester. As you know better than anyone, in-person classes are key in providing the energy, opportunities for collaboration and overall experience that make a U of A education unique. It’s what we do best.
Faculty Senate leadership has indicated some additional clarification regarding mask and class attendance requirements would be helpful, so I would like to clear up any confusion about these requirements:
- Masks are Required by Everyone (Students and Instructors) In All Classrooms
Masks are required in all classrooms regardless of social distancing, seating arrangements or vaccination status.
- Very few classroom spaces allow adequate distancing where masks might not be necessary for protective purposes, and it would not be practical or appropriate for individual instructors to make this judgment.
- Masks are also required indoors elsewhere on campus when at least six-feet of social distancing can’t be maintained.
- See the university’s mask requirements and limited exceptions.
- Instructors Must Be Present and Lecture from the Classroom
Instructors are not authorized to convert a course that has been designated as face-to-face to remote delivery. Instructors must lecture from the classroom unless a formal change of policy has been announced by the provost.
- Students Must Be Able to Attend Classes In-Person at Anytime
While individual students may request in writing not to attend a face-to-face lecture, all students in the class must be able to change their minds and attend classes face-to-face at any time.
- Instructors control class attendance and are encouraged to be lenient with class attendance policies, so students will not feel obligated to attend class if sick.
- Instructors have the ability to accept or deny individual student requests not to attend a face-to-face lecture, with the possible exception of approved requests based on a student disability processed through the Center for Educational Access.
- If an instructor accepts a student’s written request not to attend a face-to-face lecture, the instructor must keep the written request to document that the instructor is accommodating the student’s request.
- After accepting an individual student’s request not to attend a face-to-face lecture, instructors also have the ability to rescind that approval at any time.
Additional details about class attendance expectations, as well as information about mask recommendations, what instructors should do if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their class, and other items are available on the provost’s site under key communications.
Finally, please know that the university’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to monitor the situation and will revise our guidelines as needed.
Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs