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Absences Due to Illnesses

Section 1

Feb. 4, 2020

Dear Instructors, 

We ask that you refrain from requiring written excuses from medical personnel for absence due to illness. Many healthy people experience a mild-to-moderate illness and recover without the need to seek medical attention.

The UCI Student Health Center does not have the capacity to evaluate such illnesses and provide documentation excusing student absences. However, our providers will continue to provide documentation when a student is being treated by the Student Health Center for an illness that necessitates a change in course load or an incomplete.

From time-to-time the Academic Senate has issued guidance concerning missed classes and exams due to illnesses such as influenza advising that students not attend class if they have a fever. Should a student experience repeated absences due to illness, it may be appropriate for the faculty member to ask the student to seek medical advice or consult with Disability Services Center for temporary accommodations. 

The Senate guidelines advise faculty to use flexibility and good judgment in determining whether to excuse missed work, extend deadlines, or substitute an alternative assignment. Only the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) can waive the final exam. However, a department chair can authorize an instructor to offer an alternative format for a final exam (e.g., paper, take-home exam) on a one-time basis.

Thank you for your valuable time and attention.

Albert S. Chang, MD, MPH
Medical Director, UCI Student Health Center