Sample Syllabi Statements
Cultural Leave Policy
UM has a Cultural and Ceremonial Leave Policy: "Cultural or ceremonial leave allows excused absences for cultural, religious, and ceremonial purposes to meet the student's customs and traditions or to participate in related activities. To receive an authorized absence for a cultural, religious or ceremonial event the student or their advisor (proxy) must submit a formal written request to the instructor. This must include a brief description (with inclusive dates) of the cultural event or ceremony and the importance of the student's attendance or participation. Authorization for the absence is subject to approval by the instructor. Appeals may be made to the Chair, Dean or Provost. The excused absence or leave may not exceed five academic calendar days (not including weekends or holidays). Students remain responsible for completion or make-up of assignments as defined in the syllabus, at the discretion of the instructor."
Office for Disability Equity
The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office and the Office for Disability Equity encourage faculty members to inform students of their intent to provide reasonable program modifications to them. This notice invites students to initiate the modification process in a respectful and effective way. We recommend that instructors include one of the following statements in their course syllabi. In addition to a written statement, we recommend that instructors announce their intent to provide reasonable modifications on the first day of class.
Students with disabilities may request reasonable modifications by contacting me. The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction for students with disabilities in collaboration with instructors and the Office for Disability Equity, which is located in Lommasson Center 154. The University does not permit fundamental alterations of academic standards or retroactive modifications.
The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction through collaboration between students with disabilities, instructors, and Disability Services for Students. If you have a disability that adversely affects your academic performance, and you have not already registered with the Office for Disability Equity (ODE), please contact ODE in Lommasson Center 154 or 406.243.2243. I will work with you and ODE to provide an appropriate modification.
If you are a student with a disability and wish to request reasonable accommodations for this course, contact me privately to discuss the specific modifications. Please be advised, I may request that you provide a verification letter from the Office for Disability Equity (ODE). If you have not yet registered with ODE, located in Lommasson Center 154, please do so in order to coordinate your reasonable modifications. For more information, visit the ODE website at www.umt.edu/disability.
Food & Housing Insecurity
Any student who faces challenges securing food or housing, and believes that this could affect their performance in this course, is urged to contact any or all of the following campuses resources:
Food Pantry Program
UM offers a food pantry that students can access for emergency food. The pantry is open on Tuesdays from 12 to 5 PM and Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM. The pantry is located in UC 119 (in the former ASUM Childcare offices). Pantry staff operate several satellite food cupboards on campus (including one at Missoula College). For more information about this program, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the UM Food Pantry website or contact the pantry on social media (@pantryUm on twitter, @UMPantry on Facebook, um_pantry on Instagram).
ASUM Renter Center
The Renter Center has compiled a list of resources (https://medium.com/griz-renter-blog) for UM students at risk of homelessness or food insecurity. Students can schedule an appointment with Renter Center staff to discuss their situation and receive information, support, and referrals.
TRiO Student Support Services
TRiO serves UM students who are low-income, first-generation college students or have documented disabilities. TRiO services include a textbook loan program, scholarships and financial aid help, academic advising, coaching, and tutoring.
Students can check their eligibility (www.umt.edu/triosss/apply.php) for TRiO services online. If you are comfortable, please see members of the teaching team. We will do our best to help connect you with additional resources.
Diversity: Representation of all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another.
Equity: Evaluating systems and institutions to identify and remove biases in the distribution of opportunities and resources.
Inclusion: Ensuring differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging.
Sample Statement (Core Message)
Consistent with the UM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan, I will [strive to] include the representation of different identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives of all students. I will [aim to] offer everyone what they need to succeed by increasing access, resources, and opportunities for all, especially for those who are systematically underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged. I will [desire to] create a welcoming learning environment in which differences are celebrated and everyone is valued, respected, and able to reach their full potential.
Sample Statement (Core Message + Instructor’s Intention/Commitment)
Consistent with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan, I will [strive to] include the representation of different identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives of all students. I will [aim to] offer everyone what they need to succeed by increasing access, resources, and opportunities for all, especially for those who are systematically underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged. I will [desire to] create a welcoming learning environment in which differences are celebrated and everyone is valued, respected, and able to reach their full potential.
The Séliš-Ql̓ispé Cultural Committee created the following language, "The University of Montana acknowledges that we are in the aboriginal territories of the Salish and Kalispel people. Today, we honor the path they have always shown us in caring for this place for the generations to come."
The Diversity Advisory Council encourages the campus community to use this statement on syllabi, on public websites, and at public events, and to be deliberate in thinking about how to translate the acknowledgment into action.
Photos of Salish tipis on the land the University of Montana now occupies are available via the Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections, which provide a visual representation of the verbal statement.
Office of Organizational Learning and Development
OOLD has identified some resources on fighting racism, inclusive teaching, equity in the workplace, and facilitating conversations that we have found helpful. We invite members of the campus community to add to or critique this list and share what you have been reading, watching, and listening to.