Students' Religious Observance and Class Attendance
Date: September 8, 2016
To: NYU Faculty
From: Katherine E. Fleming, Provost
As a nonsectarian, inclusive institution, NYU policy permits members of any religious group to absent themselves from classes without penalty when required for compliance with their religious obligations. The policy and principles to be followed by students and faculty may be found here: The University Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays.
This autumn is a time of important religious observance for many of our students who celebrate, among other holidays, the Jewish High Holy Days and Sukkot holiday in October, the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in September, and the Hindu holiday of Diwali in October. Some students may miss a significant amount of class early in the semester, as they choose to observe religious holidays.
Notwithstanding the University's supportive approach to these matters, some students may feel uncomfortable alerting their professors to upcoming absences related to religious observance. As we start the new semester, I thank you for your continued cooperation in creating an atmosphere of understanding and accommodation in response to our students' commitment to religious observance. Where questions arise about applying the policy to specific circumstances, faculty should consult with their department chairs and Deans of their schools.