In January of 2008, the Senate of the Government of the Student Body presented a resolution to the Faculty Senate, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the Dean of Students Office. The resolution asked that the absences and religious observances procedure and policy be modified to include specific language regarding the impact of this policy on students and faculty.
The resolution was approved by and finalized by the Provost, Office of Equal Opportunity and University Counsel. The policy below is the result of a great collaboration.
Iowa State University welcomes diversity of religious beliefs and practices, recognizing the contributions differing experiences and viewpoints can bring to the community. There may be times when an academic or work requirement conflicts with religious observances and practices. If that happens, students and employees may request reasonable accommodation for religious practices. In all cases, you must put your request in writing. The instructor or supervisor will review the situation in an effort to provide reasonable accommodations when possible to do so without fundamentally altering a course or creating an undue burden for the instructor, supervisor, or department.
For students, you should first discuss the conflict and your requested accommodation with your professor at the earliest possible time. You or your instructor may also seek assistance from the Dean of StudentsOffice or the Office of Equal Opportunity.
For employees, you should inform your supervisor of the conflict and your requested accommodation at the earliest possible time. You or your supervisor may also seek assistance from University of Human Resources or the Office of Equal Opportunity.
For students and employees, it is advisable to confront any potential conflicts as early as possible rather than waiting until the deadline or event is upon you, leaving everyone little time to plan and consider alternatives in a comprehensive way. For students, this can be accomplished as soon as you receive the course syllabus. If an accommodation is given, students and employees may be required to complete coursework or work assignments in advance of an absence, which further demonstrates the need to address the conflict early.
Instructors and employers should be aware that the time needed for a student's or an employee's accommodation may extend beyond the length of the religious observation itself, including for the purposes of travel or to complete missed coursework or work assignments. Instructors and employers should also be aware that religious observances can vary widely not only between religions but within religions as well, which may call for different kinds of accommodation.
If any student or employee feels discriminated against because of religion, the individual(s) may contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and/or file a complaint under the Discrimination and Harassment policy.
Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity