Are students required to wait for tardy professors?

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The situation is all too common. A group of students wait outside a classroom door, eyeing the ticking clock. Minute by minute, students grow more anxious and excited about the prospect of the professor not showing up and class being cancelled.

Often, the professor will show up, apologize and disappointed students shuffle into the classroom and prepare themselves for a shortened lecture.

Though the teacher shows up and learning resumes, the question remains: How long are students supposed to wait for tardy professors? Five, ten, fifteen minutes? Does the time vary per professor?

The answer may be disappointing.

There is no university policy regarding faculty tardiness, according to Sheila Kershek, an academic records specialist who works for Marquette’s Office of the Registrar. Kershek, however, did say the colleges might have their own policies.

Deans from the College of Engineering, Education, Health Sciences and Business Administration said no policy exists within their colleges. The College of Communication, Nursing and Arts & Sciences did not respond to emails from the Tribune.

In the faculty handbook, under Classroom Management, is written, “All classes are to be held as scheduled. All faculty absences are to be reported in advance to the respective Department Chair. The chair will determine individually the disposition of each class in question.”

Mark Federle, associate dean of the College of Engineering, clarified this by saying any instructor that is going to be absent or late is expected to contact their department office which would either post a sign on the door to the classroom or inform the students.

The lack of any official policy can frustrate students sometimes.

For example, Peter Fiorentino, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said he had an English professor last year that locked the door 10 minutes after class started and marked students absent if they were fifteen or more minutes late.

“If professors expect us to be on time, why shouldn’t we expect the same from them?” Fiorentino asked.