Sept. 12, 2023

TO:                  Members of the Faculty


FROM:            Jill Dolan, Dean of the College


RE:                  Varsity Athletic Competitions and Class Attendance Policy


Princeton has long been committed to maintaining a competitive varsity athletics program as part of its broad conception of undergraduate education.

Our athletics department makes every reasonable effort to schedule competitions at times that do not conflict with our students’ academic commitments.  In cases where those conflicts are unavoidable, our policy is not to penalize students for missed class time when they are attending or traveling to competitions.

We ask for your cooperation in maintaining two important components of the University’s long-standing policy.  First, we ask that faculty accommodate student athletes who have conflicts between regularly scheduled classes and varsity athletic competitions or related travel.

Second, the University reserves the 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. time slot for all students, to support their participation in extracurricular activities, including athletics.

Please note that as always, students are not permitted to miss class to attend practices.

In short, while the University permits students to miss classes for sanctioned varsity athletic competitions and related travel, these absences must not compromise their ability to remain in good academic standing.  That standing, of course, may well be compromised if student-athletes choose to miss more classes than required by their athletic commitments.  Let me urge you here to set a clear attendance policy for your courses so that they will be fully aware of the risks they take if they do so.

Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack and I ask student athletes to meet with their instructors as close to the beginning of the semester as possible to identify any class meetings they are likely to miss for competitions or related travel and to discuss how they plan to cover course material.

When student athletes are enrolled in your courses, we would be grateful if you would give them the opportunity to compensate for participation points missed for varsity competitions.  For example, a student might review a classmate’s notes (if you permit); see you during your office hours; write a short essay on assigned readings; or complete an assignment that you consider fair and equivalent.

In addition, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning offers a number of educational technologies that can help mitigate the academic disruptions caused by missed classes.

When varsity athletic competitions and related travel conflict with course requirements such as mandatory field trips or midterms, we ask you to make fair and appropriate accommodations.

Please note that the rescheduling of final examinations is always handled by the Registrar.                                                                                                         

Certain athletic competitions fall outside of the scope of this memo, such as national-team and Olympic competitions.  We encourage instructors to make allowances in such cases, though the decision about how to handle conflicts remains the instructor’s prerogative.

Instructors can consult with our residential college deans and assistant deans with questions or concerns, for further information, or for logistical assistance.  You can find additional suggestions on the Dean of the College website under the “Athletics and Class Attendance” section.

Thanks for helping our students balance the rigor of their academic pursuits with the educational opportunities offered through our athletics programs.  I appreciate in advance your efforts and cooperation.

Warm best for this school year,

Jill Dolan


Cc:       Elizabeth Colagiuri, Deputy Dean of the College

            James A. Dun, Associate Dean of the College

            Anthony Archbald, Executive Associate Director of Athletics

            Greg Busch, Senior Associate Director of Athletics