Student Accommodations Policy - Reminder and Support

February 12, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

This is a follow-up to a recent email from Chancellor Carol Christ and Academic Senate Chair Lisa Alvarez-Cohen about the Academic Senate’s Student Accommodations policy. This policy was developed to create an environment that is supportive of all UC Berkeley students.

Thanks to all faculty members who are already supporting their students by implementing their eligible accommodation requests.

As a reminder, the Student Accommodations Policy includes the following stipulation:

CONFLICTS BETWEEN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

The Academic Senate has established Guidelines Concerning Scheduling Conflicts with Academic Requirements to address the issue of conflicts that arise between extracurricular activities and academic requirements. These policies specifically concern the schedules of student athletes, student musicians, those with out-of-town interviews, and other students with activities (e.g., classes missed as the result of religious holy days) that compete with academic obligations.

These policies were updated in Spring 2014 to include the following statement:

  • The pedagogical needs of the class are the key criteria when deciding whether a proposed accommodation is appropriate. Faculty must clearly articulate the specific pedagogical reasons that prevent accepting a proposed accommodation. Absent such a reason, the presumption should be that accommodations are to be made.

The guidelines assign responsibilities as follows:

  • It is the instructor’s responsibility to give students a schedule, available on the syllabus in the first week of instruction, of all class sessions, exams, tests, project deadlines, field trips, and any other required class activities.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor(s) in writing by the second week of the semester of any potential conflict(s) and to recommend a solution, with the understanding that an earlier deadline or date of examination may be the most practicable solution.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to inform him/herself about material missed because of an absence, whether or not he/she has been formally excused.

The complete [Guidelines Concerning Scheduling Conflicts with Academic Requirements]are available on the Academic Senate website. Additionally, a checklist to help instructors and students comply with the guidelines is available on the Center for Teaching and Learning website.

**Please note: Simultaneous proctored administration of a remote exam is an appropriate solution to exam security concerns. Berkeley faculty, faculty at the destination institution and the normal proctoring services here and remotely are presumed to be suitable sources of independent proctoring. Care should be taken that conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest be avoided in undertaking proxy proctorships. It is not a significant increase in faculty workload to have a suitable proctor pick up exam copy(s) several days in advance, followed by returning the completed exams within several days after administration.

Help ensure all eligible student accommodation requests are processed in accordance with campus policy – read the full Student Accommodations Policy now on the Academic Calendar and Student Accommodation website. If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at teaching@berkeley.edu.

Thank you for helping create a more welcoming and supportive environment for all UC Berkeley students to thrive.

Sincerely,

Catherine P. Koshland, Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education

Mark Stacey, Chair of the Undergraduate Council and Professor of Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering