As the academic year begins, so does SMU’s new focus on keeping stated attendance in undergraduate classes. Professors who teach undergraduates should ensure their students understand that attendance will be monitored in every class, as well as share with their students the method by which they or their department choose to take attendance.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner, after a Faculty Senate review, accepted the recommendation of a stated-attendance requirement from the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention in April 2008. The policy also is supported by the University Catalog, which already contained a policy regarding attendance.
As stated in Turner’s Response to the Task Force: “The recommendation, properly, does not identify a particular way in which the faculty member should take attendance, nor does it require these records to be turned into a particular office. However, it does call on faculty to announce and utilize an attendance policy, which will be communicated to faculty by their Deans and Department Chairs.”