To ensure that we maintain our teaching mission, help minimize the spread of illness, and work flexibly and fairly with affected students during this influenza epidemic, we ask that all instructors and departments prepare for the eventuality of large numbers of absences by students, faculty, and staff by developing course-specific plans to implement the following guidelines.
Students should indicate influenza-like illness (ILI) status directly to their professors at the onset of symptoms. There is no requirement that students report to Student Health Services unless they are seeking medical advice or assistance. Please inform your students that they are to communicate their ILI status to you directly.
Attendance policies should be relaxed, where they exist, so that students with ILI symptoms are not penalized for missing class.
Students self-identified as having contracted ILI will not be required to provide official medical verification in order to make up, or obtain extensions on, take-home assignments.
Faculty should be flexible in accepting late assignments and giving make-up work and exams, as appropriate.
In a class with many absences, faculty should post their PowerPoint slides or other materials on the course website.
For classes with a graded collaborative component (e.g., labs, group projects, participation in discussions), students who are not infected might still be disadvantaged by the absence of others; thus, leniency may have to be extended even to those who do not contract seasonal flu.
Department chairs should begin coordinating a contingency teaching plan for instructors who might be absent by arranging for colleagues within the department to fill in as substitutes.
While some abuse of this policy is inevitable, students should be made aware that University standards regarding integrity and academic misconduct remain in effect at all times.
Particular questions and concerns about student attendance and academic issues can, as always, be addressed to CAS Advising (100 Bay State Road; 617-353-2400; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lorraine Dooley and Susan Jackson can assist departments with scheduling make-up classes or implementing other alternative plans to cover teaching.
Additional information about the current flu season and BU’s response to it can be found at BU Today.