Go to the U of M home page


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Memo for Instructors: Policies Regarding Student Athletes

The Faculty Academic Oversight Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics has asked that instructors read the following memo regarding University policies for student athletes. Continue reading for the memo.

FROM: Susan Meyer Goldstein, Professor and Chair Faculty Academic Oversight Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics
RE: Student-athletes' Participation in University Sanctioned Activities and
Academic Progress Reports
I am writing on behalf of the Faculty Academic Oversight Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics (hereafter FAOCIA) about some issues important to the academic success of student-athletes at the University of Minnesota. First, we are enlisting your help in making faculty and instructors aware of the University policies for student-athletes missing class days for University sponsored events. Over the course of the past year, our committee has become aware of student-athletes' unfortunate experiences with their
instructors concerning missed class days for competition or for travel associated with competition. It is important that our student-athletes are treated fairly and are not penalized when participating in University sanctioned events. It is also important that instructors know whether a student-athlete is missing class because of a sponsored event or for other reasons.
To address this, at the beginning of each semester student-athletes are provided a letter that includes their approved competition schedules that they are to give to each of their instructors. Lynn Holleran, director, McNamara Academic Center for Student Athletes (hereafter MAC), will be working with the students on how to approach professors and be comfortable with the interactions. This is important because, in the past, student-athletes have felt discriminated against by some instructors. We don't want this to prevent them from communicating with their instructors.
For approved competitions, the University policies regarding legitimate absences, missed classes, schedules, and final examinations, are briefly stated below.

Policy on Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences

This policy states "Students will not be penalized for absence during the semester due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Such circumstances include illness of the student or his or her dependent, participation in intercollegiate athletic events...subpoenas, jury duty, military service, bereavement, and religious observances. Such circumstances also include activities sponsored by the University if identified by the senior academic officer for the campus or his or her designee as the basis for excused absences. The instructor has the right to request verification for absences. Such circumstances do not include voting in local, state, or national elections." This policy can be found at:http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/MAKEUPWORK.html.
Our committee believes it is important for instructors to be familiar with this policy and work with students to accommodate their schedules in a positive way that encourages academic success.
Intercollegiate Athletic Events during Study Day and Final Weeks: Twin Cities
This policy addresses athletics events during Study Day and Finals Week. It reads... In those instances where post-season competitive events occur during Study Days or Finals Week, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) will consider them approved (that is, without requiring explicit action on the part of the Committee) subject to the following conditions:
a. The event is in normal progression in the sport, leading from in-season
competition to conference or regional championships and then to national
championship competition;
b. The academic counselor for the team ensures that satisfactory alternative
academic arrangements have been made and reported to the Faculty Academic
Oversight Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics; and
c. The event is conducted under the aegis of the NCAA or the appropriate
national sport governing body if it is not the NCAA.
This policy can be found at:
http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/ATHLETICSTUDY.html and means that instructors need to accommodate students' schedules around finals, possibly giving makeup finals or allowing finals to be taken on the road under appropriate supervision.
Student Progress Reports
I would also very much appreciate your support and assistance in encouraging instructors to complete the Course Progress Reports for student-athletes. This request for information is sent to instructors from Lynn Holleran, director, MAC. The purpose of the progress reports is to provide useful information to both the student and the academic counselor. MAC requests this information during the 5th week of the semester, and again during the 10th week of the semester. The reporting form is conveniently online and will take about five minutes to complete. Our committee recognizes the extra attention this requires but we believe it is crucial to the success of
many student-athletes.
We also recognize that the most important aspect in these matters is the integrity of your courses and the University's academic programs. If an instructor feels that their treatment of a student-athlete in any way compromises this integrity, there are several paths available to resolve these issues. He or she should contact Lynn Holleran (612-626-5093) and/or Professors Perry Leo (612-625-0535) or Linda Brady (612-624-9211), Faculty Representatives to Athletics.
Finally, the FAOCIA welcomes and invites your feedback so it can continue to work to improve the academic performance of student-athletes.
Thank you.
cc: Members of the FAOCIA
Linda Brady, Faculty Athletics Representative
Vickie Courtney, director, University Senate Office
Perry Leo, Faculty Athletics Representative
Lynn Holleran, director, MAC
Robert McMaster, vice provost, Undergraduate Education