Making up snow days not mandatory
Faculty diffused rumors Tuesday of the possibility of a policy being in place regarding University attendance and government funding.
Some students had been speculating that a policy stating that the University must hold school a certain amount of days to receive government funding was deterring the University from cancelling classes on the days of recent snow storms.
Such policies exist in both public elementary education and secondary education.
“I am unaware of any government regulation that would penalize students for the University being closed in order to ensure their safety due to inclement weather,” Matthew Borowick, associate vice president of Alumni and Government Relations, said.
Borowick said that he assumes there is a fear among students that if there are too many snow days, the University will lose government funding and further lose student loans.
According to Tracy Gottleib, associate provost and dean for Enrollment Management, the state of New Jersey provides guidelines but there is no policy in place.
“As far as requirements go, the state of New Jersey does provide guidelines for colleges to follow for contact hours during a semester,” Gottlieb said. “The University does its best to adhere to those guidelines, but it is not required to do so by the state.”
Unlike secondary and elementary education, universities do not have to make up the days that they miss.
Gottlieb said that there have been no instances where classes have been added or the semester has been extended.
“I have been at Seton Hall for 23 years and I can think of years when we had tremendous amounts of snow,” Gottlieb said. “But I can think of no time when we have added classes or extended the semester.”
In order to ensure the quality of education, Gottlieb said that professors need to be creative.
“Sometimes, professors need to be creative in posting lectures online, in requiring more reading to cover the information needed in a course,” Gottlieb said. “I know professors who might meet during exam time and give a take-home final instead of a traditional test.”
Ashley Duvall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.