Attendance Issues

Absences and missed exams

We understand that life does not stop for students. You may need to be absent from your courses for a variety of reasons, and it can be stressful to navigate life while also missing class. The Student Care and Resource Center and Dean of Students Office is here to support students during and after their absences. If you have a concern about the need to miss class or an assignment, you should discuss this with your instructor as soon as possible.

What is an attendance memo?

  • An attendance memo is a notice sent by the Dean of Students Office to a student’s instructors to alert them of an absence during an emergency. We require documentation to verify your absence and will not share the reason for the absence with your instructors.
  • The situations that qualify for an attendance memo are student hospitalizations, the death of an immediate family member, or similar crisis moments that prevent the student from contacting their professors directly. If your situation does not qualify for an attendance memo, please reference the student responsibility information below and contact the Student Care and Resource Center at 812.856.CARE or email
  • An attendance memo cannot be made for absences that occurred in the past but are meant to communicate in the present moment.
  • Attendance memos are not necessarily required by all instructors. You may find that you can communicate with your instructors without the assistance of an attendance memo.

What should I do after an attendance memo is sent?

  • An attendance memo does not excuse a student’s absence or coursework. It is up to each instructor to decide whether to excuse an absence and if alternative arrangements will be required.
  • As soon as students are able, they are responsible for being in contact with their instructors to determine the next steps for addressing missed class time and coursework.
  • The Student Care and Resource Center supports students by ensuring they have all the appropriate campus and community resources to be safe, healthy and successful. To get connected, please submit a Care Referral.

A student's responsibility

  • All students are expected to attend their classes and complete coursework according to the syllabus provided at the beginning of each course.
  • If students find themselves needing to miss class for reasons that are not related to a hospitalization or the passing of an immediate family member, they should discuss this with their professors as soon as possible to make the appropriate preparations.
  • The Dean of Students Office may choose to not grant an attendance memo request based on information received or timing of information received and may instead refer to additional resources of support.

Excused absences

If you have a chronic medical condition that may affect your attendance, contact Accessible Educational Services to determine if any academic accessibility measures (accommodations) would be of assistance.

Instructors must reasonably accommodate students who want to observe their religious holidays at times when academic requirements conflict with those observances.

As a student, you must notify your instructor as early in the semester as possible of any conflicts with the course and your religious and civic observances.

If your absence is the result of threats to your personal safety or security, please contact our Confidential Victim Advocate at 812-856-2469. Remember, if you are in immediate danger, contact the police by dialing 911.

Each academic year, the Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students provides faculty with a recommendation to allow students who miss class time due to “university-sanctioned curricular and extracurricular activities” a reasonable opportunity to submit missed assignments and take missed exams at another time without penalty.

University-sanctioned curricular and extracurricular activities are considered to be travel to and performance in:

  • Concerts
  • Artistic presentation
  • Athletics events
  • Academic competition
  • Participation in workshops and conferences

Prolonged absences

If you miss more than 20% of the semester (approximately 3 weeks) for medical or personal reasons, it may be best to consider withdrawing from all courses until you are able to return and focus on your academic goals.