Faculty-Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
May, 2016
Policy Number: 
University Senate
Resolution on Revisions to Policy on Faculty-Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance
27-15/16-APC – May 10, 2016 – Second Reading
RESOLVED: That the University Senate of Humboldt State University recommends to the President that the following revisions to the “Faculty-Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance Policy” be adopted and implemented by Fall 2016:
Faculty-Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance Policy to Take Effect Fall 2016
Students who have been absent from a class or lab session within the first week of instruction, may be dropped from the course by the instructor no later than the end of the second week of instruction. The instructor would instigate this process by notifying the registrar. Any student dropped by the instructor during this period will be notified of the action by an e-mail from the Registrar. A student who wishes to be reenrolled in a course from which they have been dropped must receive a permission number from the instructor and reenroll in the course prior to the semester census date.
Not all instructors will drop students on the basis of non-attendance. Students are responsible for making sure the correct courses are on their schedules prior to the census date. If they do not properly drop a course, they will receive a "WU" (withdrawal unauthorized), which counts as an “F” in their grade point average. Faculty are encouraged to remind students about this policy and if feasible, warn students before dropping them from the course.
RATIONALE: An issue has emerged with the 2011 Faculty Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance Policy. The initial purpose was to allow faculty to formally drop students who did not attend the first week of classes. However the phrase “without officially notifying the instructor before the absence” was too vague. According to one possible interpretation, a student, simply by notifying the instructor would be immune to being dropped, even if they did not have a valid excuse. Removing this phrase leaves it up to the discretion of the faculty member to hold the seat if a valid reason for absence is presented.
The policy was initially created because, prior to its implementation in 2011, faculty could give away an absent student's seat in the first week, however faculty could not formally drop the absent student, resulting in overenrollment. A great deal of time goes into dealing with retroactive withdrawals as a result of students enrolling, and forgetting to withdraw from classes. This creates time consuming and costly petitions for retroactive withdrawal.
The policy was adopted to encourage faculty to add students in courses once the non-attending students had been dropped. In the fall of 2016 the new add/drop policy will go into effect. Students will have only the first two weeks to add and drop courses. Faculty electing to drop a student for non-attendance in the first week should do so quickly so that the student still has time to add a replacement course, if needed, before the end of the add/drop period.

Approved by the President; June 24, 2016