MUPIM states that faculty should notify their department chair prior to any known class absences, including those for conference travel or professional obligations. Thus, faculty who will miss class should provide details about their plan for coverage of affected courses, including alternative activities or coverage provided by a colleague, graduate student, guest speaker, etc. Classes should never be cancelled without a substitute activity, even when an instructor is absent — there should be a replacement academic activity of comparable intellectual engagement for students.
Faculty are asked to use this form (Google login required) is the mechanism to notify the chair regarding any planned absence. Further, faculty should also notify the chair immediately for any emergency absence from class and provide their coverage plan.
Please understand that providing this information to the chair provides details that can help the chair explain a course alteration to an audience (e.g., administrator, parent, student) who might not understand legitimate reasons why course alterations may be necessary. This feedback is not about the chair being nosy or controlling (really, he has much better things to do with his time), but rather, it provides details that can help to reduce confusion or resolve misunderstandings in ways that should help minimize potential headaches. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!