FAQs for Faculty
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Click the button below for official excused absence policies for TCU and mandates for State and Federal regulations.TCU Student Absence Policy
Inclement Weather Campus Closing
We encourage you to include the statement below in your syllabus:
When the university announces an official campus closure, all academic instruction and activities, online or in-person, on or off campus, will cease until the university officially reopens. Since there is no guarantee of the ability to communicate or access academic resources, students will not be expected to attend class, submit assignments, take exams or quizzes, or meet any scheduled deadlines during the closure. Instructors should make every attempt to communicate with students prior to a campus closure—but not during since this may not be possible—to provide expectations for upcoming course activities. Upon reopening, instructors should communicate with students to adjust course expectations and deadlines,
No, since there is no guarantee that every class member will be able to communicate or access academic resources. No communication will be expected, including email. All activities or deadlines such as class meetings, quizzes, exams and assignments that occur within the time the campus is closed should be adjusted to after the campus reopens.
No. Since there is no guarantee of the ability to communicate or access academic resources for every class member, communication will not be expected when campus is closed. Course activities or deadlines scheduled within the time the campus is closed should be adjusted to after the campus reopens.
All course activities or deadlines that occur within the time the campus is closed should be adjusted to after the campus reopens.
Any activities or deadlines scheduled to occur within the time when campus is closed should be adjusted to after the campus reopens.
No. Any make-up time will take place during the scheduled class time or through out-of-class activities. Faculty should not schedule additional class meetings where all students are expected to attend—in-person or online—outside of normal class hours.
When campus closures are predicted, faculty may communicate with students to provide expectations for upcoming course activities in the case of campus closing. No communication is expected between faculty and students once the campus closes, since communication may not be possible for every class member.
When campus reopens, faculty will inform students of adjusted course expectations and deadlines to make sure the course learning objectives are met.
We encourage you to include the syllabus statement to address students’ expectations.
No classes can be held on campus when the university is officially closed. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance.
Faculty are encouraged to build flexibility into your course schedules to account for personal illness or campus closures. Do not schedule additional class meetings where all students are expected to attend (in-person or online) outside of normal class hours. Instead, utilize out-of-class activities that students can complete in a reasonable timeframe, such as homework, reviewing a PowerPoint, watching a recorded lecture video, reading, writing a reflection, etc.
SACSCOC requirements follow the U.S. Department of Education definition of a credit hour at one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class work each week for approximately 15 weeks. For TCU, this requirement is met by having course work equal 700 minutes of instruction per credit hour plus 150 minutes of a final evaluative exercise. The use of asynchronous instruction allows using out-of-class activities for making up missed class time due to campus closures without the need for scheduling specified make-up days.
COVID in the Classroom
No, teaching on campus is an essential duty for faculty and instructional staff who are teaching classes that are not part of TCU’s online course offerings.
Attending class online is not an accommodation for students at TCU. Instructors may not offer class online when students are sick or away for other reasons.
Follow the same protocol established by your department before the pandemic for covering classes when an instructor is sick.
Employees at TCU are not permitted to work while sick, either on campus or remotely.
Please self-report your positive test via the Protect the Purple website so that a notification will be sent to your Department Chair and Dean.
Quarantine is no longer required for those exposed to COVID-19, however, per the CDC, if you are exposed you should take precautions such as wearing a mask and getting tested on day 6 or earlier if you have symptoms.
As with any illness or absence, students are responsible for reporting absences directly to their instructors via email.
Additionally, when a student reports a positive COVID test through TCU:
1) The student’s instructors will receive a notification from the Dean of Students’ office.
2) The student will receive a verification email from TCU that they may forward to instructors as proof of reporting.
3) The student will be asked to identify close contacts on the form, which will then generate an automatic notification to close contacts only.
When a student reports a COVID exposure through TCU:
1) The student will receive a verification email from TCU that they may forward to instructors as proof of reporting and need to isolate.
TCU encourages everyone to self-report positive tests. When instructors self-report a positive test, a notification will be sent to your Department Chair and Dean. You will be asked to identify close contacts on the form, which will then generate an automatic notification to close contacts.
While masks are optional at TCU, instructors may continue to require masks in their classrooms. If you require masks in your classroom, clearly convey the requirement to your students in the syllabus and reiterate it in the first week of class – via email and in person – so students have ample opportunity to change courses or sections if they prefer.
If you have clearly conveyed your mask requirement in the syllabus and reiterated it to the class via email and in person, any students who do not comply may be referred to email@example.com. This is solely for reporting students within your classroom who have been given ample notification and opportunity to change classes.
Disposable masks remain available in buildings. If you wish to request a box specifically for your classroom(s), make the request to the appropriate building manager where the classroom is located.
If you primarily provide on-campus office hours, you may supplement those with remote office hours.