Faculty Senate Passes New Attendance Guidelines

Truman State University’s Faculty Senate adopted a new attendance policy which will go into effect August 2018, setting a common basis for the number of sanctioned absences students are allowed each semester.

The new policy is intended to create a structured system for student absences.

The new policy states students can have 6.67 percent of class time excused as a sanctioned absence, which is equivalent to about one week of class. Any additional absences are handled at the discretion of instructors. The policy states instructors are required to publish their attendance requirements clearly in the course syllabus.

Under the new attendance policy, attendance appeals are now combined with a grade appeal. It is intended to create an attendance basis, which helps protect students, faculty and administrators dealing with appeals, Undergraduate Council Chair Paul Parker said.

Parker said the initial idea for the policy came from the faculty liaison for the sports teams, where he said there was concern student athletes were being punished for missing class.

The old policy left attendance issues solely to the discretion of faculty, Parker said, which meant students could be faced with varied consequences for similar behavior in different classes. In the new policy, faculty members still have the ability to create their own attendance policy, but there is a basis they must abide by.

Parker said students can appeal to their instructor, and if a negative decision results, they can appeal to the department chair, then the Dean of the school, then to the vice president of academic affairs.