More information on student firefighters

September 23, 2020

Dear University of Oregon Faculty Members,

As we begin a fall term like no other, I am writing regarding students who may be serving as firefighters battling the wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and California. I know we are all grateful for their important work. Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently asked colleges and universities in the state to excuse the absences of student firefighters combatting the wildfires.

We have asked any student firefighters to notify the Office of the Provost at if they expect to be absent once classes start. We will work with the students and their instructors to determine whether or not any absences inhibit successful completion of certain classes. UO will assist with cancelling the registrations with no financial penalties for these students if it is deemed necessary.

Any student firefighter with documentation of active deployment on a fire may withdraw at any time during the term and receive a full refund. If sufficient coursework has been accomplished and the instructor feels justified, students may receive credit for the coursework completed and get a grade or take an incomplete. In either of these cases, no refund will be given. The student may use a combination of these options.

If you have any questions about the policy or this email, please contact UO Registrar Julia Pomerenk at or her executive assistant Kaira Chandler at

Best wishes,

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President