A UD faculty member, who asked not to be identified by name or department, gave Flyer News a copy of an email sent by the provost to all faculty with guidance on classroom expectations regarding St. Patrick’s Day. The letter is another example of the university’s attempt to minimize potential student misbehavior on the traditional party day for UD undergraduates.
- The email urged faculty not to cancel class on March 18 (the day after St. Patrick’s Day and the first day back from spring break).
- It also states that professors have had success with attendance on St. Patrick’s Day, or days around it, by scheduling a quiz, test or assignment. The email says that if it’s not possible to do that on March 18, faculty should “…be sure to include material from that class (March 18) on your next assignment or test.”
- If a student shows up to class inebriated, the professor should excuse and report the student.
- According to UD Provost Paul Benson, a version of this letter is sent to faculty every year.
- “The letter reflects longstanding policies regarding faculty authority to address classroom conduct,” Benson said in a statement to Flyer News.
The full text can be read here:
Guidance on Faculty Authority and Responsibility for the Classroom
In response to questions about the authority and responsibility faculty have to manage their classrooms – especially but not only with regard to potential student misconduct on or around St. Patrick’s Day – the Provost’s Office offers the following guidance.
As a faculty member, you have both the authority and responsibility to establish standards for the learning environment in your class. This includes, among other things, establishing classroom policies related to attendance, participation, phone or computer use, preparedness, and (relevant to St. Patrick’s Day) sobriety. You also have the authority to excuse students from the classroom if they violate the standards you have set. According to the Student Handbook, “Behavior disrupting normal University operations, consuming an inordinate amount of University staff time and/or resources, or interfering with the educational process and/or orderly operation of the University” is not permitted. Additionally, faculty members’ high expectations for classroom behaviors and participation can influence students’ conduct outside of the classroom.
While we expect that most students will comport themselves in accordance with appropriate standards of academic conduct and mutual respect, given the timing of spring break and St.Patrick’s Day falling on the day before classes resume, we would advise that you prepare for the possibility of classroom disruption.
- The University expects that classes will be held as scheduled on March 18. Please do not cancel your classes. We have heard reports that some students are holding the expectation that classes will be cancelled or will not hold the same expectations as a typical class day.
- Set high expectations for class attendance on March 18. If you have an attendance policy, remind students that you will be taking attendance; if you do not, make it clear that you expect them to be present.
- Faculty report that embedding a quiz or test or assignment during class time will encourage attendance and keep students focused on their studies. If it is not possible to do that on March 18, please make sure students know that they will be responsible for what transpires in class, and be sure to include material from that class on your next assignment or test.
- Be direct, and tell students that you expect them to attend class and to be sober. Tell them ahead of time that you will ask them to leave if they come to class inebriated and that you will make a report to the Dean of Students if they engage in disruptive or disrespectful behavior that interferes with others’ learning in the classroom. This gives them fair warning.
- If, despite warnings ahead of time, a student comes to class inebriated, please send that student home and then report the student to the Office of the Dean of Students (link below). There is a web interface that makes the reporting quite easy:
- The first screen requires that you indicate a “reporting type.” Once you identify yourself as a faculty member and hit “submit,” another screen will appear, allowing you to describe the problem you are reporting. Include the student’s name and your course number. The form is used for many kinds of incidents. You can be very brief in reporting the incident—“intoxication in class,” for instance
- While we do not expect this to happen, if a student becomes recalcitrant or challenging in a class and refuses to leave your class when asked, Public Safety can assist. Public Safety’s number is 937-229-2121.
- If you report the student, please inform your department chair so that she or he is aware.
We believe that following these guidelines will help to reinforce the primary importance of students’ learning and academic study.
To report a concern about a student: https://udayton.edu/studev/dean/report_a_concern.php
University of Dayton Student Handbook:
Follow Flyer News on Twitter (@FlyerNews) for continual St. Patrick’s Day coverage. Photo courtesy of Christian Cubacub.