INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON ACCOMMODATIONS FOR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
(Approved BFC: 2/15/00, 12/1/09; last amended 4/21/09)
It is the policy of Indiana University that instructors must reasonably accommodate students who want to observe their religious holidays at times when academic requirements conflict with those observances. This policy is intended to ensure that both faculty and students are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities in the accommodation of students’ religious observances.
Indiana University respects the right of all students to observe their religious holidays and will make reasonable accommodation, upon request, for such observances.
- 1. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will prepare, for guidance, a list of dates of the major religious holidays This list, policy, and a note to the effect that students wanting accommodations for observance of religious holidays must contact their instructors, will be brought to the attention of both students and faculty. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will write regularly to the various deans and chairs, indicating that they, in turn, are to inform the faculty (including associate instructors under their supervision) concerning this policy and of the importance of observing it.
- 2. If a conflict with a religious observance exists, a student must make a request to the instructor for a reasonable accommodation for that observance by the end of the second week of the course. Any relevant change to the course calendar affords a new opportunity to make such a request in a timely manner. The request is to be made in writing on a standardized form to be used for this purpose, and copies of that form will be made widely available.
- 3. The instructor and the student should discuss what a reasonable accommodation should include in a given case. Generally, it is insufficient to require a student to forgo taking an exam or doing some other major assignment even if the instructor agrees to average the remaining exams or other assignments. The student must be given the opportunity to do appropriate make‐up work that is intrinsically no more difficult than the original exam or assignment.
- 4. If the instructor and student agree on the accommodation, the plan should be carried out.
- 5. If after discussion there is no consensus on the accommodation, either party or both may ask the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to mediate. The VPFAA will confer with both the instructor and the student, and may seek advice from anyone else who could provide helpful information. If the instructor and student still cannot reach consensus over the accommodation, the VPFAA will then make a determination about the appropriate accommodation.
- 6. Either the instructor or the student may appeal the VPFAA's decision to the Office of Affirmative Action. Final authority for determining the outcome rests with the Provost.
- 1. The policy and procedure above are to be printed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Procedures for Bloomington Campus.
- 2. All instructors are encouraged to include on the syllabus and to announce at the beginning of the semester the policy and procedure as it applies to religious holidays.
- 3. Orientation programs for new students will inform incoming students about this policy and urge them to check for conflicts before the deadline for informing their instructors. Particular attention should be paid, in this matter, to the orientation of international students.