Feb. 1, 2024

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.

     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 (https://mcgraw.princeton.edu/digital-pedagogy).

     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 athletic conflicts with scheduled final examinations, whether in-person or remote, are always handled by the Deputy Registrar.  For conflicts involving other end-of-term assignments, we encourage you to work with the student(s) involved to find equitable arrangements.

     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 when reasonable, though the decision about how to handle conflicts remains the instructor’s prerogative.

     Instructors can consult with our residential college deans and directors of studies 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.  Alec Dun, our Associate Dean of the College whose portfolio includes academic support for athletes, might also be of assistance.

     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 upcoming term.