The University of Iowa

Medical Absences From Class

All Teaching Faculty and Teaching Assistants
Associate Provosts Beth Ingram, Tom Rice, and John Keller
January 15, 2013
Medical absences from class

We have been notified by Student Health Services that they are expecting a significant uptick in the number of cases of influenza in Iowa City, especially as students return to campus. We would like to remind you of our policies regarding student medical absences, especially during situations like this. In an effort to help keep medical services available to people who truly need to be seen by a doctor, our policy is that faculty cannot require a doctor's note from a student who is requesting an excused absence from class due to illness; students should self-report illnesses using the form on the Registrar's website ( Students cannot be penalized for missing a class due to illness. You should provide appropriate makeup work for those students who have excused absences (this includes attendance requirements, assignments, quizzes and tests).

We know that many of you have concerns about students lying about illness in order to avoid class or assignments. It is the experience of Student Health that very few students take advantage of faculty in that way. Should you become aware of such a case, it would be a violation of the Code of Student Life and the University could impose penalties on the student. Our priority as the semester gets under way must be to minimize the number of ill students on the Cambus, in class, or sitting in a waiting room at Student Health -- both for the well-being of the ill students and for the people who might be exposed to the illness.

We appreciate your cooperation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact one of us (,, or