I would like to correct some erroneous statements in the Jan. 24, editorial, "Professors violate ACU attendance policy," particularly the statement that "the attendance policy in the Student Guide states that students must attend 80 percent of their classes to pass."
The only statement in the Student Guide regarding class attendance is found on page nine of that document and reads, "Students who are living in residence halls, University Park or other campus housing and have stopped attending classes will be asked to vacate their residence unless expressed permission is given by the dean of Campus Life for students to remain in campus housing."
The University’s Faculty Handbook provides faculty members with the following guidelines regarding attendance policies (pages 5.2-3):
"The educational philosophy of Abilene Christian University assumes that the instruction that occurs in regularly scheduled classes is critical to the learning process. Therefore regular class attendance is essential.
Each faculty member must distribute a syllabus on the first day of class. A clearly stated attendance policy is a required element of the syllabus. The policy should state the expectations of all students for attendance at required course meetings."
Finally, the University Catalog reads as follows:
"ACU expects students to attend and participate in all class and laboratory meetings. Students must adhere to the policies published in each course syllabus. (p. 18)"
It certainly is relevant and appropriate to engage the university community in a spirited discussion regarding the place of an in loco parentis-driven attendance philosophy in a twenty-first century higher education institution. However, this discussion should be predicated on an accurate representation of the school’s attendance policy.
The inaccuracy in the editorial about institutional policies regarding student attendance is, in my view, a distraction to this important discussion.