257

Edit: see below for some additional thoughts following OP’s revision of the question. Let me start with this basic premise: Your students are adults. Let me repeat that: your students are adults. That is one of the great luxuries of teaching in a higher education setting: you get to spend your time and energy actually teaching the subjects you are passionate ...


114

I think it's reasonable for you not to support these circumstances, but also no need for you to report/escalate the situation to compel some change in behavior. In your place I'd advise your students A) that you cannot help with installation of non-standard copies, and B) you can't be responsible if the non-standard software they use prevents them from ...


73

Should we just let these things go? Yes. Either the situation is real, in which you would be causing great harm in refusing and distressing the student further OR the student is lying and they get an extra 48 hours. Do you really care if the student is getting an extra 48 hours? Is the ability to complete work within a very specific time frame one of the ...


63

This sort of behavior by a professor is poor pedagogical technique and, in many cultures, poor etiquette. It is not misconduct and it is not rule breaking. If you are a student and a professor acts this way, you can criticise the behavior in any anonymous teaching evaluations. Otherwise, ignore it and move on. Receiving criticism, including bad quality ...


63

Demanding a bereaved student get a doctor's note isn't an appropriate strategy. (A death certificate or notification would be more suitable, but still inappropriate, in many instances.) Can experienced instructors chime in on how we can be considerate to the student's personal lives while also hold on to our standards and be vigilant with academic ...


55

The game is: you listen, but then, you decide. Just because students don't like something, you do not have to do what they ask. Check whether what they say has merit, if so, you can promise to change for next year (or for the current if there is enough flexibility). Well-designed courses often cannot be massively adapted on the fly. I always explain to ...


54

Unless your university has an umbrella policy about absences, you as the instructor get to decide what you deem acceptable. In this case, I would first defer to what you wrote in the syllabus. A common type of wording is to allow "excused" absences, where a proof of an excuse can range from things like a doctor's note, official notice from the ...


46

My line: On the first day of classes I tell the students that I don't want to be contacted by social media or by any means other than the school e-mail. The school also gives students a nice way to provide anonymized feedback, which no one has ever used so far. If students send me friend requests on Facebook et al (which I don't really use), I delete the ...


41

It would be unethical for a professor to publish something written by students under the professor’s name without express consent (which is to be given free of any coercive pressure) and coauthorship for the student. (See this recent discussion on a related type of abuse.) It would also be self defeating and something that no competent professor I’ve met ...


38

Since you mention economic incentives, one obvious answer might be for teaching, at least this was the way it was in Germany. Even the most theoretical professor is supposed to teach a certain number of classes each semester. Generally the work involved in this is too much for one person alone, that is why the professor is supposed to do the lectures and the ...


36

Yes, this should be a reasonable excuse. Leaving aside the discussion in certain other answers about mandatory attendance policies and whether or not they're appropriate, there is an important factor that you haven't considered: University students are adults. Adults engage in romantic relationships that have traditionally been formalized with marriage. As ...


35

Let me translate: I am an adjunct professor at a University for a course where the students have to use a certain software "X" during the course. For your course, Students must use the software. students who apparently have had issues in installing the (legally distributed) student version of X The software provided by you is not working. One ...


35

Ideally, students who are really in a serious predicament should be able to get an extension. To allow this, but to minimize lying, I suggest that if you're free to set course policy, you: Make one or two extensions available no questions asked. Specifically tell the students that the intent of the policy is to accommodate them in case of serious emergency, ...


30

This could be done in both a clumsy, rude way, and in a reasonable way. The apparent anonymity of the student in the critique is a step in the right direction. In terms of "what should you do?", um, well, not too much. The anonymity means that there was no public shaming... Yes, there is a shock in seeing one's work even anonymously discussed as a ...


26

I don't think my university policy allows a student to miss quizzes/exams due to the death of the student's significant other, so I am assuming that the same policy would apply for missing classes. You'd have to check your university's policy, but I would be very surprised if this were correct. I'd urge you to double check. What I suspect is that university ...


24

Years ago I used to accept student friend requests on the Facebook platform, but I came to regret doing that. At some point I stopped accepting student friend requests on social media. Steven Krantz in How to Teach Mathematics makes the point that you need some amount of social distance from your students to hold their respect, and to not do that is a common ...


22

I have several personal experiences to add to others here. I was one of four graduate students in George Mackey's course who volunteered to take complete notes. He then used those to write a book. We were thanked in the acknowledgments. I learned a lot. See The Mathematical Theory of Quantum Mechanics. Once when I decided to write a text after teaching a ...


20

I would worry a bit about asking the professor to "hire" your sibling. On the other hand, telling the professor that your sib is looking for a position in the same field and would like to meet them to talk about the possibilities would be entirely appropriate. If the two of them, without you, come to some understanding it would be better. And even ...


16

I'm thinking that "reprimand" may be the wrong idea here, and certainly in isn't your responsibility to police their behavior and report them to higher authority. You can, however, remind them of the responsibilities inherent in ethical and safe behavior and recommend that they not cross lines that an honest person wouldn't. I think that is the ...


15

As far as social media goes, especially Twitter in your case, you should be very careful about who can see your activity. Particularly if you find yourself gravitating towards any type of "controversial" conservative political content, the stuff that you do on social media can be incredibly consequential as is evident by the University of British ...


13

I think your question is ill-posed. Why do you consider that a family member's death is justified and the death of a girlfriend's father is questionable? In some cases, we are emotionally much more attached to people who are not family members. Then, I think it is not appropriate to judge which one is "justified" or not. This is your personal ...


13

A few reasons: It might be required by the funding agency. Graduate students let the professor expand his/her research program. If one is interested in the results, but don't have the time to do it yourself, then graduate students are great. Successful graduate students produce papers which have their advisor's name on them, and if they go on to become ...


13

Yes, of course. (Any discussion beyond this is over-thinking it...)


11

It's a requirement of their job. (Longer version: in the UK at least, universities seem to be increasingly setting explicit requirements of academic positions, and at least some of those lists of requirements set out minimum rates of research students you must have graduate under your supervision.)


11

Ugh. I cannot believe professors do this, either as a good example or (worse) a poor example. You said that you're in the US, so it's completely legal unless it's easy to infer who the student was--for example, if there are a very small number of people in the class--in which case it's a FERPA violation. If you believe it's a FERPA violation, then go to the ...


11

If it's true and you are being difficult about it the effect is far greater on the student (and potentially on you if they then complain) than if it's false and they get some extra time does that really affect you? Don't waste your valuable time on such matters, I don't think we study to try and become very good researchers to end up checking doctor's notes.....


10

You are actually asking 2 questions: Is this a valid reason to miss class? How should grades be handled? Let's look at the questions one at a time. Is this a valid reason to miss class? I think it's important to see this from the students perspective. So let's get you into similar situations. The father of your husband/wife passed away, and he/she needs ...


10

If you are not tenured, one criterion for tenure will be how many (successfully completed, ideally) PhD theses you have supervised. If you apply for a grant, showing that you successfully supervised X PhD students will help. In addition, having good students increases your publication output, which is again helpful when applying for grants. You might ...


10

I dont think there is any particular academic practice or advice that can be offered to help you here. Whether or not you take action to report potentially unlawful behaviours (of two very different kinds) is a practical and ethical decision that will involve a lot of factors that are specific to your situation and your personal views. There is certainly ...


9

Are Japanese professors responsible for their students' behavior outside the university? Legally perhaps not (I'm no expert), but culturally, yes. What happens/could happen to a Japanese professor if their student has e.g. a messy apartment? The professor gets disgraced. It's like being the father of someone who later goes on to become a serial killer. ...


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