Faculty Attendance Policy

Please see the Faculty Attendance Policy, attached and listed below.

Title: Faculty Attendance Policy

Responsible Unit: Faculty Affairs

Approval by: Academic Excellence Committee, Dean’s Council

Effective Date: April 3, 2019


Per Columbia University’s Faculty Handbook, under obligations of instructional and research officers, it is the responsibility of the instructor to meet all scheduled classes. In the event of an unavoidable absence due to emergencies, religious holidays, or other scheduling conflicts, an officer must reschedule missed classes or arrange for a replacement. Preference at SPS is to maintain the class schedule and find a replacement. All classes must be given over the semester. Should an officer be absent for an extended period due to illness or injury, the department or school will provide substitute instructors for his or her courses.

Given the professional responsibilities and schedules of SPS students, the Academic Excellence Committee recommends that if a faculty member needs to be absent for a class session then s/he is responsible for identifying and securing a replacement Instructor. The replacement Instructor MUST be Columbia faculty. The lecturer is expected to attend all sessions, but a course associate can take over for one session per semester if needed (e.g. emergency, conference).

We deem this approach the least disruptive to students as their regularly scheduled class will still take place at the designated time and day. In the event of an Instructor absence, face-to-face classes cannot be converted to an online session. Academic Directors should be notified of absences but do not need to approve them.

Faculty must be present for add/drop period, with special exceptions allowed (e.g. family emergency).

Faculty are still expected to be present when there are guest speakers, to maintain continuity.


In an emergency when time does not permit an Instructor to find a replacement the class session will be rescheduled.