Course Information Course Number/Section
PSY 4473.001 CRN 14118
Conflict Resolution John Q. Stilwell, J.D. Ph.D. Instructor
Term Days & Times Classroom
F08 W 4:00PM – 6:45PM GR 4.208
Professor Contact Information Professor John Q. Stilwell, J.D., Ph.D. Office Phone 214 521 9550 Other Phone 214 202 9642 (Cell) Email Addresses [email protected]
; [email protected]
Office Location None assigned on campus Office Hours By appointment at a mutually convenient time and place Other Information See Professor’s web site at www.PowersOfTen.org
Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions None Course Description Conflict Resolution in A Conflict-Ridden Society Course PSY4377.001 CRN 14118 John Q. Stilwell, J.D., Ph.D., Instructor Wednesdays 4:00PM – 6:45PM GR 4.208 Course Description 1. This course provides an overview of most methods of alternative dispute resolution through the study of case materials and participation in a group mock mediation project which will account for most of the final evaluation. The Instructor will provide by lecture and example most of the historical, theoretical and experiential material for student consumption. The group work will teach theory and skills primarily of mediation, one of the many methods that will be examined as means of peaceful conflict resolution. All Students will have reading assignments to be responsible for in connection with class discussions and case studies on conflict resolution from the community level to global confrontations. The dynamics of mediation in its various forms, and the analysis of roles played by parties, their advisors and neutrals, will be the subject of about two-thirds of the classes, with the balance devoted to studies of strategies adopted by groups competing for limited resources, demands of those seeking vindication and redemption of rights
believed to be denied by government or other authorities, regional and global conflicts including armed hostilities. 3, the Instructor will provide guidance on those selection of interest for examination purposes. Undergraduate students will be given the opportunity to choose from several topic areas to concentrate their non-practicum work in the course and to prepare a term paper for final evaluation in the course, in lieu of a final examination. The paper will be not more than 15 pages, including notes and bibliography and will be in the nature of a research paper on the chosen topic. A Midterm exam will account for about 25% of evaluation, class (and group) work will account for about 50% and the final term paper or examination for about 25% of evaluation weight. This allocation of evaluative work may change depending upon several factors, chief among them the size of the class which will influence the amount of class participatory work available. Attendance is mandatory and will be monitored. Failure to attend and participate will result in deductions from the amount of points allocated to classwork and will influence the Instructor’s decision to qualify or not students who desire Mediator qualification. One absence only, for any reason, is permitted. All students seeking qualification by the Instructor as Mediators under Texas law, will be required to keep records of the time spent outside class in preparation [readings, preparation for mock mediation and examinations] and to submit such records to the Instructor in the form provided by him for the purpose. Students will be furnished with the letter grades and grade point equivalents applicable to their final evaluation customary in BBS [An illustrative table is appended to this Syllabus]. Qualification for Mediator necessarily involves some subjective evaluation by the Instructor who is a lawyer with 46 years at the Bar of New York and 18 in Texas, and is an experienced professional in domestic and international dispute resolution. How this is accomplished will be discussed in detail as students prepare for mock mediations.
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
1. At the end of the Course, students will have greater insight into the sources of human conflict in all “communities of life” beginning with the “community of self” and extending outward to world-wide conflicts (including, but not limited to, armed hostilities). Role play in an ongoing dramatized mediation will enable those desiring it to be qualified under Texas rules for the requisite basic 40-hour training as mediator in court annexed civil actions. 2. A primary Goal of the course is to understand the range of conflict resolution techniques and facilities available to disputants and professionals in dispute resolution: Mediation, voluntary and judicially annexed; bench trials, jury trials, military tribunals, internationally constituted tribunals, neighborhood convocations and arbitration, either by a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators independently selected or chosen by the parties to the dispute or a combination thereof. 3. To augment understanding of the foregoing, students will participate in various roles of those participating in disputes and their resolution and satisfy Texas requirements for Mediator training. Required Textbooks and Materials Required Texts Three texts required for purchase are Christopher W. Moore, The Mediation Process (San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint, 3rd Ed., 2003); Fisher, Ury and Patton, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving Up (Harvard Negotiating Project, Penguin Press, 1988); Roger Fisher and Scott Brown, Getting Together: Building Relationships as We Negotiate (Penguin Books, 1988, 1989) Other materials and ;references for required reading and/or viewing will be provided in the Class Schedule Table, above. An extended version of this document provides students with an advance precis of the activities and associated readings of each class. Required Materials Other required materials are reading assignments posted and updated on the Class Table Schedule and in emails sent prior to each class. Suggested Course Materials Suggested Readings/Texts See Class Table Schedule, above Suggested Materials See emails to students and Class Table Schedule, below.
Assignments & Academic Calendar
CONFLICT RESOLUTION - DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN A CONFLICT-RIDDEN SOCIETY CLASS SCHEDULE TABLE - CLASSROOM GR4.208 TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO REVISION – CHANGES WILL BE EMAILED TO STUDENTS AND SHOWN IN RED ON THIS PAGE ON PROF. STILWELL’S WEBSITE at www.PowersOfTen.Org/ConflictResolution
Class Dates Fall 2008
Class Topic Details
Aug 27 Class I
Admin. Introduction; Student Profiles, Introductory lecture on some ancient and modern examples of conflict and techniques of resolution and negotiation Setting the Frame: Why Humans Engage in Conflicts; "Universal" Traits; Grounding in psychology and neurobiology. Each class will have an element of the issues presented by human development, personality as expressed in disorders of the brain. "Emotional Intelligence"and its role in conflict creation and resolution; Second Half of Class will view 50 minute presentation by DVD of dramatized mediation, which will form basis of much of class work and role play. Homework preparation should include study of “The Singson-Whittemore Dispute the facts of which are” on pp. 4-5 of the Primary Text Mediation Process.
Reading Assignment and Precis of Class Discussion . Please consult Professor Stilwell's Web Site at www.PowersOfTen.org for Additional Materials On the Origins of Human Conflict and the Neurobiological Bases for Aggressive Behavior. Navigation of Web Site will be demonstrated in Class via laptop presentation. Read Supplemental Lecture – Class I, posted on web site. Read carefully the Guide to Successful Completion of the Course, posted on the web site. Modernists would credit Chief Justice Burger in 1976 with the revival of interest in alternative dispute resolution to conflicts generating mountains of backlogged cases in the judicial system. "Isn't there a better way?" asked the Chief, the highest judicial officer in the land. This class will probe the origins of human conflict as well as the development of institutions, primarily legal, to deal with their resolution. We will of course be intensely involved in consideration of armed hostilities recognizing that so far, international systems of justice, and forums for the resolution of disputes among nations, such as the UN, have been unsuccessful in preventing civil wars, regional wars or wars of terminal vagueness such as "The War on Drugs" or "The War on Terror." Negotiation is very ancient. Thucydides gives an account of an extended dialogue between the territory hungry Athenians and the leaders of the residents of Melos, a small island
Sep 3 Class II
Sep. 10 Class III
Overview of Mediation Process using Competing Physician Case (Primary Text, Ch. 1 and Dance Company Case (video and transcript) as comparative examples. In the short time frame of 14 classes for Mediation training and Instruction generally in alternative dispute resolution, context is of great importance. Thus the framework of mediation as highlighted by two cases will be our context for understanding the broad range of ADR issues. Resume Background and Origins of Alternative Dispute Resolution; Outlines of Each Major Category of ADR methods, in addition to mediation..
principality. The text of the dialogue is published on the Instructor's web site. Read this piece as one of the centers of tonight's discussion. [Instructor will demonstrate from laptop internet connection the navigation of the web site, to familiarize students with contents and resources and how to find them] READING ASSIGNMENT : READ ALL OF GETTING TO YES; YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE BOOK IN A WEEK (about 20 pages a day), but you will be using it and selected parts of the companion text GETTING TOGETHER, throughout the Course. All work in the Course is "Open Book" and you may use these texts and materials and references from the Instructor's web site as resources for absorbing what the Course offers and in preparation for and completion of Midterm and Final Exams. Begin Reading your primary reference text on Mediation, The Mediation Process. Chapters 1, pp 1-20;and 2. Instructor will outline each step of the process, using case examples for illustration. Be sure to bring with you your Primary Text and materials referenced in Class I for “roadmap” of course study. Focus and purpose of Midterm exam will be explained. Evaluative methods will also be outlined and group assignments will be made for mock mediation practice.
In the Term "Alternative Dispute Resolution" in this class we focus on "alternative to what?" as the central issue. In the case of civil disputes in the U.S., is it always preferable to litigation? Why does Stilwell say that as a rule, "your worst settlement will be better than your best lawsuit?" Discussion of Legal Methods, Court System of Justice
Equilibrium; Legislative solutions View excerpts from "The Trial" and "Twelve Angry Men", time permitting. Sep. 17 Class IV Rhetoric and Justice: Discuss these concepts as they apply to Negotiation and ADR; questions on jury function – threat or promise?; Continue discussion of specific methods of dispute resolution: Negotiation - Can it be taught? Consider negotiation as a skill that has basis in human psychology and can be enhanced by studies in rational decision making, learning how to listen, and understanding and dealing with emotional responses as they arise. [Students desiring to submit term paper in lieu of final exam to begin consideration of choices of term paper topic from list furnished by Instructor and prepare to submit outline asap.] Using one or more of the cases previously referenced, we begin detailed discussion of the principles and practice of Mediation. Tonight the focus will be on qualities of the Mediator? Consider neutrality, trustworthiness, compassion, listening skills, ability to keep a secret. . To cultivate these skills, if not qualities, is the goal of the successful mediator. One Definition of Mediation: Short-term (half-day to full day), Voluntary (parties in control of destiny, participation not coerced – Court involvement explained) structured (Mediator sets rules of procedure); participatory (everyone works, directed by Mediator); intervention process. The intervention is by a neutral, third party selected by parties (the Mediator); If no written agreement reached, process dissolves, no written record, even of the existence of Mediation except to certify to a judge that it has occurred if necessary under local law. "Truthiness" vs. "Truthfulness". What does "truth" have to do with "peaceful" or "mediated"
Sep. 24 Class V
Mediation: When Negotiation discloses key elements of conflict, often the "discipline" of a Mediator and the Mediation Process is Required - Negotiation Process - Adversarial Model Legal Outcomes - Lawyers and non-professionals -
Oct. 1 Class VI
Preparation for Midterm Exam; which will be open book and distributed at end of class; Exam will be due not later than Class time on October 8. Preparation will stress specific methods of conducting Mediation as applied to the two principal cases: “Last Dance” and “SingsonWhittemore”
Oct. 8 Class VII
[Midterm Exam Results and Discussion as additional prep for Mock Med] With this class, we begin Practice by Mock Mediation: 3 to 4 Groups (dependent upon class size). This activity will continue and occupy at least half to two-thirds of each of the remaining classes. The class format will remain partly lecture, but mostly class participation through mock mediation and case analysis. Lectures will emphasize negotiation techniques and the bargaining interactions encountered in most dispute mediation. Instructor will post on web site and deliver by handout several helpful charts and tables that may be used for guidance in mock cases.
Oct. 15 Class VIII
Continuation of Mock Mediation Practice: Students must continue through p. 81 of Primary Text (end of part I) Instructor slides and lectures will cover substance of Part Two. Students should continue reading by resuming on p. 232 with Chapter 9, Defining
settlements? Students will be assigned to groups which will begin mediation based on one of the paradigm cases. Time and class size permitting, more than one case may be assigned for a Mock Arbitration or mini-trial. The Schedule will be flexible during the first six classes to include instruction in and class discussion of the methodology of mediation at a variety of levels. Negotiation skills, which are covered in depth in the assigned texts for purchase, will also be the subject of handouts prepared by the instructor to act as topical guides for each principal category of dispute, ranging from street gang dispute settlement, to court annexed mediation, to international resolution of hostilities, including armed conflicts. Cases may be illustrated, depending upon the availability of materials, though video taped interviews, segments of motion pictures and news broadcasts. The Instructor will draw upon his own experience in the practice of law, involvement as principal in several business ventures (see the Instructor's Vita on his Web Site), and alternative dispute resolution acting as Mediator and Arbitrator, to provide substantive and procedural examples of negotiation and dispute resolution in a wide variety of settings. Again time and availability permitting, associates, former clients and other professional acquaintances, may be invited for a particular class session to provide shared experience from different perspectives. Examination Of Criteria set out in Instructor Handouts (Posted on Web Site) of Methodology of Negotiation: Determine Interests, not Positions;etc. Details of each class hereafter will be announced by email communication following the conclusion of each
Issues and Setting Agenda through the end of part Three on p. 294. Instructor will illustrate with randomly selected students the substance of Part Four – Reaching a Settlement the conclusion of which should take us through the end of the classwork in Class XIV on Dec. 3. Oct. 22 Class IX Oct. 29 Class X Continue work of preceding class. Term Paper Proposals Due from those electing as alternative to Final Exam.[Proposal to be accompanied by detailed outline and sources - Proposal package separately evaluated as part of final grade] Continue with mock mediation practice.
class, depending upon instructor’s evaluation of class progress.
See above Discussion of Proposal requirements and how to proceed with papers [Collaborative Project between Student and Instructor] for students so choosing. Return to Mediator as focus of qualities required in any mediation. Introduction to other forms of dispute resolution, as annexed to court litigation in U.S. Arbitration, mini-trial; evaluative mini-trial; International Arbitration under ICDR [International Centre for Dispute Resolution] and ACR [Association for Conflict Resolution] and The American Arbitration Association [AAA] and similar organizations. [STUDENTS WILL EXCHANGE ROLES FROM FIRST MOCK MEDIATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH CASE HANDOUT Handouts of Readings from "Preventing Deadly Conflict, the Final Report of Carnegie Endowment. Can Mediation be effective in resolving conflicts of national interest? What of War Crimes Tribunals and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions? Compare with the ICJ. Should Serbia and the states of the former Yugoslavia be treated differently from South Africa? Are George Mitchell and Jimmy Carter good Mediators? Why or why not? Is the United States in a position to claim "honest broker" status in its efforts to build a "new middle east?" What
Nov. 5 Class X
Dispute Resolution and Unresolvable Issues; Terrorism The Sound of One Hand Clapping; With no Other Side, With whom does one Negotiate? Short of Forceful Intervention is there no other Alternative? Cooperation at some Level Seems Necessary to Peaceful Resolution of disputes
[Informal Peer review of mock
is an "Honest Broker" anyway? What does a "broker" do? Does launching "Shock and Awe" attacks with the most destructive weapons short of nuclear warheads, followed by "regime change" constitute the lawful conduct of war? Do any of the concepts we have discussed under alternative dispute resolution apply? If you were an alien from Pluto (Mars is now a suburb of Houston) would you understand what the United Nations is or be able to comprehend its Charter? [ALL STUDENTS PLANNING A TERM PAPER IN LIEU OF FINAL EXAM SHOULD HAVE PROPOSALS AND OUTLINES READY TO SUBMIT TO INSTRUCTOR, IF NOT PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED AND APPROVED] Consider U.S. role in near and middle east, its close ties to Israel, its strong desire to democratize the middle east, if not the world, and the conflicts generated thereby. What relationship does the U.S. have with the UN? How could it be defined in terms of the UN's role as peacekeeper? What "peace" is there to be kept.? See Postings on Web Site as directed by emails from Instructor Deadline for Draft Term Paper Reviews
Nov. 12 Class XI
Claims and Counterclaims; Offers and Shuttle Diplomacy Joint Sessions and Caucuses; Methodology of process explained and demonstrated
Nov. 19 Class XII
Nov. 26 Class XIII
Review and Discuss Student Paper Topics with those so choosing. Continue Mock Mediations as before; Emphasis: Generating Options and Solutions Continue mock Mediations as before; Emphasis on Reaching and Implementing Settlement
Handouts of Expanded Outlines of Getting To Yes and Getting Together; Lecture and Discussion of formal types of dispute resolution when mediation fails; arbitration; minitrials; shadow jury proceedings. Family negotiations; contracts among family members with consequences for breach; similar arrangements for school discipline problems; the role of peace officers. Summation
Dec. 3 Class XIV [Last Class]
Dec. 10 Final Examination Day
[CONDUCT STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS] Finish Mock Mediation Class Participation in Event some have not concluded . Prepare for Final Exam with summary lecture and examples of queries with student participation. FINAL TERM PAPERS DUE; From students who have chosen to submit in lieu of Final Examination Final Examination Conducted
lecture. Students choosing to submit term paper come prepared to discuss their topics and conclusions with classmates. Depending on class size and time constraints, this will form a part of overall class participation evaluation. IF YOU WISH YOUR GRADE BY EMAIL YOU MUST REQUEST IN WRITING WITH YOUR PAPER SUBMISSION – BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WISH TO USE FOR THIS PURPOSE
Midterm Exam 25% Classwork including attendance 40% Final Exam or Paper 35% All graded work in the course is “open book,” and a general “honor system” will apply. Students may take an exam and submit responses on line by a date TBA in class and on the published Class Schedule Table on the Instructor’s web site. Two hours and forty-five minutes will be allowed for each exam. At any time prior to the deadline for submission, students may take the exam and submit responses provided (1) the entire exam is taken at one time, not exceeding the total time limit; (2) the materials used are only those related to the course (including library and online resources); and (3) the test is taken without the presence of or consultation with any other person. By submitting the test for grading, the student represents and warrants to the Instructor that these three requirements have been complied with. Discovery of failure to comply with the three requirements will result in a grade of F. Scoring of work product and assignment of grades will be in accordance with the following scheme, which may also be found on the Instructor’s web site. UNDERGRADUATE GRADE SCALE 98 – 100 A+ 92 – 98 A 88 – 92 A84 – 88 B+ 80 – 94 B 76 – 80 B72 -76 C+ 68 – 72 C 64 – 68 C60 – 64 D+ 60 60< 0 – 60 4.0 (4.33 for LSAC Scale) 4.0 3.75 3.5 3.25 3.0 2.75 2.50 2.25 2.0 D 2.0 D1.0 F 0
Course Policies Make-up exams Given the flexibility provided for examination submission, subject to the rules outlined above, none should be required. Individual problems will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Extra Credit None anticipated; if volunteered by student, additional grade credit may be negotiated. Late Work Same expectation and criteria as provided under Make-up exams above Special Assignments None anticipated Class Attendance Attendance is required, one absence permitted for any reason. Additional absences may result in a final grade penalty of up to 10% of total grade. Classroom Citizenship The nature of the “Doctor and Student” relationship is professional. Students are expected to maintain decorum and to address the Instructor as Professor, Doctor or Mister Stilwell, as they choose. The Instructor makes it a practice to address students by Mrs., Ms., or Mr., followed by last name, as appropriate. Students should appear on time, neat and clean, cellphones/PDA’s off or silenced, laptop use for note taking only or website use as directed by Instructor. Field Trip Policies / Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities No field trips will be required. From time to time professional visitors may be invited to meet class and engage the class in colloquies concerning various aspects of dispute resolution.
Student Conduct & Discipline
The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391). A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the
following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings. Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.
The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange. The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.
Withdrawal from Class
The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.
Student Grievance Procedures
Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.
Incomplete Grade Policy
As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.
The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is: The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22 PO Box 830688 Richardson, Texas 75083-0688 (972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY) Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance. It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.
Religious Holy Days
The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated. The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.
Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities
Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address given below. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean. (http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm)