Dear TC Community,

Teachers College recognizes that many of the world’s religious and cultural traditions are represented among its campus community, and we support the rights of faculty, staff, and students to observe these traditions accordingly. We ask that you take reasonable and appropriate steps to support members of our community who choose to engage in religious or cultural observances. For example,

  • Please be mindful of religious and cultural holidays when scheduling events, significant talks, and other campus activities that may be of broad interest to members of our community.
  • Instructors should be mindful when classes are scheduled during religious or cultural times of importance and try and find alternative means for students to satisfy missed academic requirements.
  • Students are required to notify instructors of classes they will miss due to a religious or cultural holiday so they can work with the instructor to find alternate accommodations, as they are still responsible for all course requirements.

As an institution, we are committed to the value of inclusion, and so our practices must correspond to our commitments. I am confident that working together, we can continue to build an environment that supports and fosters diversity and inclusiveness. A list of the religious holidays in 2019-2020 can be found here; please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list.

Lastly, the Chinese New Year is January 25, 2020, and Spring classes begin on January 22. Due to the close alignment of these dates this year, some students may ask to miss the first class session to remain at home for the holiday. Chinese New Year is not a religious holiday but is deeply meaningful to many students and their families. I am gently encouraging you to be understanding and provide academic accommodations for those who miss classes.



Stephanie J. Rowley, PhD
Provost and Dean of the College
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th St. | Box 54 | New York, NY 10027