The Short Term Illness Notification Form is now permanently incapacitated.
The STINF policy and form have been replaced with the Incapacitation Form and Policy, Academic Dean Jenny Wood Crowley wrote in an email. Although its replacement is similar, there are a few distinctions, such as a more involved process for students who submit the form more than three times per semester and a new name to better encompass the reasons that students may fill it out.
"The policy is much the same, only now the Incapacitation Form is not limited to physical ailments and forms can only be submitted for three days of missed course work before the form is blocked and the student is instructed to contact their dean for assistance," Crowley wrote in the email.
To use the form, students input their NetID and courses for the current semester, and the corresponding instructors will be displayed. Crowley noted that this aspect of the process makes it less challenging for deans to collect "accurate information about which courses, labs or discussion sections have been missed."
In addition, students now have the option of whether or not to disclose their ailment.
Crowley wrote that new software makes the Incapacitation Form easier for students and academic deans to use than STINF.
"With the old form, we were not getting accurate information, as students would list classes by names and not numbers and sometimes the wrong instructors would get notifications about illnesses," she wrote.
The new form also acknowledges that "not every incapacitation is for a short term physical illness," Crowley added.
However, the "biggest change" to the process is a three-day limit on form submissions per semester. If a student exceeds this window, the student will be blocked from filling out other forms and will be directed to contact an academic dean.
Based on the data from past STINFs, Crowley noted that most students submitted them for three or fewer dates.
"Students who were incapacitated on more than three days were often students who needed help from their dean to get accommodations for an incapacitation," Crowley wrote. "These students did not always reach out to their deans to get that help, and we deans didn’t always get information about STINF submissions in time to intervene."
Deans will check up on students who have used the form for more than three days and assist them in "negotiating missed course work with their professors." Crowley explained that deans can remove the block on form submissions on a case by case basis.
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"We want to help students before too much course work is missed," Crowley wrote.
Stefanie Pousoulides is The Chronicle's Investigations Editor. A senior from Akron, Ohio, Stefanie is double majoring in political science and international comparative studies and serves as a Senior Editor of The Muse Magazine, Duke's feminist magazine. She is also a former co-Editor-in-Chief of The Muse Magazine and a former reporting intern at PolitiFact in Washington, D.C.