UWS 22 Accommodation of Religious Beliefs

UWS 22.01 Declaration of Policy.  It is the policy of the board of regents that students' sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonably accommodated with respect to all examinations and other academic requirements. The board of regents adopts this chapter in order to ensure that all institutions of the university of Wisconsin system have in place appropriate mechanisms for ensuring the reasonable accommodation of students' sincerely held religious beliefs, and for appeals related to these matters.

UWS 22.02 Definitions. In this chapter:

  1. "Board of regents" or "board" has the meaning given under s. UWS 1.02.
  2. "Chancellor" means the chief executive officer of a university, the university of Wisconsin centers, or the university extension.
  3. "Examination or other academic requirement" means any course requirement established by an instructor which will be considered in awarding the student's grade in the course.
  4. "Institution" has the meaning given under s. UWS 1.06.
  5. "Instructor" has the meaning given under s. UWS 14.02(11).
  6. "Student" means any person who is registered for study in an institution of the university of Wisconsin system for the current academic period.

UWS 22.03 Accommodation of Religious Beliefs.

  1. A student shall be permitted to make up an examination or other academic requirement at another time or by an alternative method, without any prejudicial effect, where:
    1. There is a scheduling conflict between the student's sincerely held religious beliefs and taking the examination or meeting the academic requirement; and
    2. The student has notified the instructor, within the first three weeks of the beginning of the academic term, of the specific days or dates on which he or she will request relief from an examination or academic requirement.
  2. Instructors may schedule a make-up examination or course requirement before or after the regularly scheduled examination or other academic requirement.
  3. Instructors shall accept, at face value, the sincerity of students' religious beliefs.
  4. Student notification of instructors and requests for relief under par. (1) shall be kept confidential.
  5. Complaints of failure to provide reasonable accommodation of a student's sincerely held religious beliefs as required by this rule may be filed under institutional complaint and grievance procedures adopted pursuant to Chapter UWS 6 and Chapter UWS 13, or under any other appropriate institutional procedure designated by the chancellor in consultation with instructors and students.
  6. The chancellor of each institution shall, through appropriate institutional publications, provide notification to students and instructors of the rules for accommodation of religious beliefs, and of the procedure and appropriate office for filing complaints.

It is proposed that this rule shall take effect on the first day of the month following publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Register, as provided in s. 227.22(2)(intro.).

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