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Office of the Provost | Communications

July 1, 2013

 TO: AU Faculty
 FROM: Scott A. Bass, Provost
 SUBJECT: Major Religious Holy Days

American University values diversity and inclusion. Each year, AU affirms its commitment to religious diversity by reminding both faculty and students of their rights and responsibilities regarding religious observances. In the spirit of celebrating our different beliefs, I ask that you assist students with observing their respective religious holidays and traditions.

According to university policy, students may receive an excused absence from class or exam attendance for observance of religious holidays. Students should not be penalized for excused absences and are required to make-up all work missed as a result of the excused absence. Students must also inform their professors of their religious obligations in a timely manner.

The calendar attached to this memorandum lists the major religious holy days for the 2013-2014 academic year. Included on the calendar are notes that explain some of the religious commitments associated with some of the holy days. Please share this list with your colleagues and refer to it when preparing your syllabi. The holy days listed in bold are those that most likely will have a number of students requesting accommodation. Especially on those holy days, please try to avoid scheduling exams or other important events. If you must schedule important class events on these days, please provide proper notification in your syllabi and give students reasonable opportunities to make-up the missed work. Students have been instructed to notify faculty in advance if they are intending to miss class for a religious commitment.

Your cooperation and assistance is part of the tradition that makes American University such a welcoming and special place. Should you have questions, please contact the dean of your school or college.

Attachment: Major Holy Day Calendar 2013-2014 (PDF)

cc: Peter Starr, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Michael Ginzberg, Dean, Kogod School of Business
Jeffrey Rutenbeck, Dean, School of Communication
James Goldgeier, Dean, School of International Service
Barbara Romzek, Dean, School of Public Affairs
Carola Weil, Dean, School of Professional and Extended Studies
Claudio Grossman, Dean, Washington College of Law
Nancy Davenport, University Librarian
Phyllis Peres, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs
Lyn Stallings, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Jonathan Tubman, Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies
Joseph Eldridge, University Chaplain