Preparing for Class or Work Absences

Chris Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, 2:40 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Dear Colleague,

There are many health situations that may require a student or employee to be away from campus for an extended period. We have traditionally dealt with the flu, but now COVID and monkeypox are among the illnesses that may impact our students and our employees.

Please take time to learn more about monkeypox and stay current with the latest information about COVID.

Instructors: If students contact you about the need to miss class due to health concerns or personal emergencies, please offer a reasonable level of flexibility. Our goal is to help students stay on track if they have a medical situation that leads to an extended classroom absence. While instructors set their own attendance policies, there are many ways to provide alternate means of engagement for students who must isolate or be away from campus. Please consider reviewing your attendance, exam and late/makeup work policies to help ensure they allow students to focus on getting the care they need.

We also ask you to be mindful that requiring notes to document a student’s absence creates a burden on the student as well as healthcare providers at Watkins Health Services and in private practice, and takes time away from patient care.

Students who need to take extended leave due to illness or other circumstances should reach out to Student Support and Case Management for services. When possible, please help students make the connection.

If you need to be absent from teaching due to health reasons, please contact your chair or dean as soon as possible. This will facilitate alternate plans that ensure course continuity for students and for you to receive medical attention and rest.

Supervisors: Please keep an open line of communication with your staff, student employees and instructors throughout the semester. General information on employee absences due to illness is available online. If an extended absence is necessary, please contact Human Resource Management at with any questions you have.

We appreciate the challenging nature of your work, as well as the challenging nature of our times. Thank you for making it possible to for members or our community to be successful in their goals and endeavors.


Chris and Mike

Chris Brown,

Professor, Environmental Studies

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Mike Rounds,

Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety and Operations