The Student Health Center does not provide excuses for everyday illnesses (such as colds) that may lead to missed classes or incomplete assignments. Vanderbilt University expects that students are honest with their professors regarding their ability to complete work, and professors are expected to work with students on these issues. Student Health can provide students with cards documenting a visit to the Student Health Center, but details of minor illnesses are not provided to professors routinely. The student’s right to privacy is one important issue that guides this policy. In addition, since there is a great variability in each student’s response to minor illnesses, the Student Health Center cannot always predict which students will miss assignments or classes in response to these illnesses. Honest communication between a professor and a student can better address these situations on a case by case basis.
In cases of more serious illness or injury, especially those that would require prolonged bed rest or hospitalization, the Student Health Center (with the student’s permission) will notify the student’s academic dean of the student’s illness so that the professors can be formally informed of the situation.