Student Absences for Religious Holy Days                   UPPS No. 02.06.01
Issue No. 5
Effective Date: 08/21/2013

                                                                                                Review: January 1 E4Y





01.01  The purpose of this UPPS is to establish the policy and procedures governing student absences on religious holy days.


02.       DEFINITION


02.01  "Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.




03.01  In accordance with Texas Education Code Section §51.911(2b), an institution of higher education shall excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.


03.02  Students must provide written notification to the instructor of each class prior to the student’s absence for a religious holy day. Ideally students should make every attempt to notify the faculty member at least two weeks in advance of the anticipated absence.


03.03  An instructor will not penalize a student excused under this section for the absence. However, the instructor may respond appropriately if the student fails to complete any missed assignments or examinations within a reasonable time.


03.04  Each instructor may establish additional procedures to accommodate the needs of students who are absent from classes to observe a religious holy day. These procedures must not conflict with state law.


03.05  Texas Administrative Code §4.4 (c) states that if a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day as defined therein, or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution or his or her designee. The student and instructor shall abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or his or her designee. The academic dean of each college serves as the president’s designee to hear requests for decisions on these matters from either the faculty member or the student.




04.01  The list below outlines the notification policies and procedures for this UPPS:


a.   By publication annually in the student handbook;


b.   By electronic notification from the dean of Students to all staff, students, and faculty members at the beginning of each academic year;


c.   By the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs through publication in the faculty handbook; and


d.   By the registrar through other appropriate student publications.




05.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:


Position                                                                     Date


Associate Vice President for                                  January 1 E4Y

Enrollment Management and Marketing


TSUS Office of General Counsel                         January 1 E4Y


Associate Vice President                                       January 1 E4Y

                        for Student Affairs and Dean of Students




This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.


Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing; senior reviewer of this UPPS


Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs