American University is deeply committed to building an inclusive community, which includes recognition of and respect for different religious beliefs and traditions. In the spirit of celebrating our different traditions, I ask that you assist our students in observing their religious holidays.
A calendar of the major religious holy days for the 2010-2011 Academic year, prepared by the University Chaplain, is attached and is available on the Provost’s Office website at http://www.american.edu/provost/upload/072310.pdf . Please feel free to share this list with your colleagues and refer to it when preparing your course syllabi.
Included on the calendar are notes that explain the religious commitments associated with some of the holy days. The holy days listed in bold are those that most likely will have a number of students requesting accommodation. Especially on those holy days, please try to avoid scheduling exams or other important events. If you must schedule important class events on these days, please provide proper notification in your syllabi and give students reasonable opportunities to make-up the missed work. Students will be instructed by the University Chaplain to notify faculty in advance if they intend to miss class for a religious commitment. Likewise, I encourage you to discuss this matter with your students.
Your cooperation and assistance is part of the tradition that makes American University such a welcoming and special place. The deans’ offices are aware of the university’s commitment of religious expression and may be contacted should questions arise.