22.10 Religious Diversity and the University Calendar

(3/99; 11/00; 8/9/19)

Effective August 9, 2019, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version

Religious history, religious diversity, and spiritual values have formed a part of The University of Iowa's curricular and extracurricular programs since the founding of the University. In order to advance religious diversity on campus, the University makes reasonable accommodations for student employees, staff, and faculty whose religious holy days coincide with their work schedules and classroom assignments. As a public institution, the University neither promotes any particular form of religion nor discriminates against student employees, staff, or faculty on the basis of their religious viewpoints.

University holidays are not religious holy days, although a religious holy day may coincide with a University holiday. The University is prepared to make reasonable accommodations in its work assignments in a manner which is consistent with the University Policy on Human Rights (see II-3) and does not unfairly burden employees.

  1. Students. See IV-8.2 Absences for Religious Holy Days. 
  2. Faculty. Faculty members have "the responsibility to meet classes as scheduled and, when circumstances prevent this, to arrange equivalent alternate instruction" (see III-15.2 Responsibilities to Students). Faculty members who wish to observe religious holy days must fulfill the above-mentioned policy and satisfy any other responsibilities regarding off-campus time, including proper notice, in accordance with their standard departmental procedures.

    When scheduling tests, instructors are encouraged to take cognizance of religious holy days which fall on University class days. In addition, faculty should include in their syllabi information regarding the policies for handling conflicts between classroom activities (attendance, tests, etc.) and religious holy days. Such policies must be consistent with University policies (see paragraph a above).
  3. Staff (including student employees). Staff members may request accommodation for religious observances through their immediate supervisor. Accommodation may be in the form of scheduled leave or an alternate work schedule. Approved absences will be recorded as vacation. In cases when vacation is not available or an alternative work schedule is not possible, a leave of absence without pay may be permitted. Departments will attempt to accommodate such requests, balancing the request to accommodate with the particular needs of the work unit.

    In order to best meet staff needs in an area, appropriate advance notice is required.