Dropping students for failure to attend class

[Advice to Divisional Chair Jeffrey Gibeling 5/15/2000]

CERJ finds no basis for an instructor assuming the authority to compel a duly registered student who meets the prerequisites of the class to drop the class for non-attendance.  Attendance may be part of a student's evaluation, affecting the grade in the course.  This would clearly be the case when class participation is an integral aspect of course material (e.g., conversational French).  More generally, an instructor is free to decide what is gradable and what is not.  So, attendance could be made mandatory with grades as the enforcement mechanism.  However, due process and the regulations requiring syllabus distribution suggest that the grading rules must be set out in advance and not created as an ad hoc enforcement mechanism.

[See, however, DDR 539 (Mandatory First Day Attendance) enacted 6/3/2004.]