Provost FAQs re: Absences, Core vote, Testing, AI, Inclement Weather

Dear Academic Affairs colleagues,

We are embarking on an exciting year for TCU as we celebrate 150 years of higher education excellence. I look forward to the many special events and speakers available to all of us throughout the year.

I continue my practice of timely reminders of important Academic Affairs initiatives and answering your questions via regular FAQ messages. As we begin the Spring 2023 semester, we have several significant items to review.

Excused Absences Reminder
As you distribute your syllabi and review expectations with your students, I advise you to acquaint yourself with mandatory excused absences in compliance with State and Federal regulations.

Mandates for excused absences for holy days, active military service and TCU-related trips are posted here:

Updated Title IX regulations now mandate excused absences related to pregnancy and childbirth for both parents. In such instances, TCU must allow excused students to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before their absence(s), and provide them the opportunity to make up missed work, including class participation grades. Questions about Title IX should be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity. Associate Provost Reginald Wilburn is working with OIE to confirm policies and procedures related to the updated Title IX mandates, to be established and posted by the beginning of the fall 2023 semester.

Note that, according to legal regulations, and in the best interest of student success, all work for all excused absences must be made up within a reasonable timeframe after any absence, not while students are away.

Your Vote is Needed to Update the Core Curriculum
I urge you to vote electronically on two proposals, approved by the Faculty Senate, to be presented at a special Faculty Assembly Town Hall on January 23, 3:00 p.m., Kelly Alumni Center and via Zoom. The electronic vote requires a quorum (20%) of full-time faculty.  You do not have to attend the special Town Hall to vote; a link to vote will be sent to all faculty after the meeting. No matter how you vote, a quorum of votes is imperative for a decisive future for the TCU Core Curriculum under the leadership of Director Theresa Gaul.

Centralized Accommodated Testing Spaces
We have initiated a Centralized Accommodated Testing pilot program for Spring 2023 to support undergraduate and graduate students registered with Student Access and Accommodation with a documented need for accommodated testing. Directions for reserving these spaces are available on my website under Faculty Resources: Any questions should be directed to

Some of you are seeking guidance on ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence tools. The Neeley Teaching Effectiveness Committee and Dr. Mark Houston will be offering a seminar entitled “Implications of ChatGPT and Generative AI tools for Teaching and Learning” in February, and the TCU Center for Digital Expression, housed in AddRan, will be offering a seminar this semester. I will send out more information soon.

Inclement Weather Reminder
As we know too well, one winter day in Texas can be a sunny 78 degrees, and the next can be sleeting and below freezing. Please be aware of inclement weather policies before it happens, especially TCU’s policy of not contacting students nor assigning work during official campus closures. The policy is delineated here:

MLK Luncheon
One of TCU’s most popular events is the annual luncheon celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. I hope you’ll join me at this free event on Wednesday, January 18, noon-1:30 p.m., in the BLUU Ballroom. Register here.

The Sesquicentennial is Here!
I am looking forward to the kickoff week for TCU’s 150th beginning January 23, with a fine arts performance, immersive experience, drone light show, basketball games, and more. It’s an exciting time to be a Horned Frog.

Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling 2023,

Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg
Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs