When Professors Skip

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Started packing weeks ago.

It’s almost expected for students to forgo class every now and then, for any number of illegitimate reasons. Professors may even be more deserving of the occasional free pass, especially for work-related absences. However, there must be some kind of limit on how many days a professor can take off, especially in an integral core class like Contemporary Civilizations. Bwog was tipped about a CC professor who cancelled class for the next four weeks while the professor “attends a random conference.”

The students are still expected to do all the reading and work with a postponed midterm, and are additionally assigned a group project.  The professor is offering a make-up session for interested students once he returns.  Even so, consider how much tuition money is wasted for one student skipping one class. $150 per class per student multiplied by 8 total classes missed times 15 students: $18,000. Must be an awesome conference.

Carefree Professor via ShutterStock. 


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  1. do we know

    the details of his arrangement - what was the admin's say in this, what type of conference is he attending etc . hard to pass judgment until we know all of this.

  2. From the 2008 Columbia Faculty Handbook:

    "It is the responsibility of the faculty to meet all scheduled classes. In the event of unavoidable absence due to emergencies, religious holidays, or other scheduling conflicts, an officer must reschedule missed classes, arrange for a replacement, or provide alternative instruction. Should an officer be absent for an extended period due to illness or injury, the department or school will provide substitute instructors for his or her courses."

  3. oops  

    The professor cancelled for two weeks, not four (still a lot though). We are missing 4 classes. And it's a she.

  4. Anonymous

    This is a very serious situation.n students are paying 60k/yr for their six and a half months of classes. Also, CC is a defining class in the Columbia education.

    This story needs to be investigated by Spectator.

  5. Alum

    Classroom discussions are as important in CC as the readings. Even at two weeks, this absence is going to deny the students eight hours of that discussion. That's unacceptable. Either she or the CC program needs to find someone to fill in for her.

  6. That  

    is pretty egregious and a sub needs to be found.

    My favorite absences were from Ken Jackson. I took a bunch of classes from him, and he would always miss a class or two a semester. Class though was never cancelled and of course, in his stead would be some Ken Burns documentary in which he would invariably appear as a talking head within the first five minutes.

    Then again, Jackson did about a billion class trips, so you could probably get in an extra two class sessions a week for free if you really wanted to.

  7. Lol  

    Is this David Eisenbach. Would not be surprised because he cancelled so many class when I had him

  8. anonymous  

    Carol Rovane?

  9. What ev

    I lived through worse, once had a professor begin the semester with a lecture on carpetbaggers in the south post civil-war era and how they were these horrible people for ripping people off, than she didn't show up for the next 5 lectures.

  10. In reality.... all act upset....but is anyone reaaalllly upset? I slept through CC anyway, now these kids get to spend that time sleeping in other places like libraries, benches, other people's beds....

    • what  

      Yes? We pay 60k/yr to go to the school and CU pitches itself as made up completely of and for the Core. That professor is getting paid for those classes and not doing her job. Whenever my CC professor skipped for conferences, she scheduled a sub. My lit hum professor missed two classes and scheduled make up days and bought us dinner to make up for it (presumably with Core money, but still).

      If you slept through CC, that was your choice—but know that you missed out on the discussion and interaction that makes CU worth the money and stress.

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