Syllabus statement won’t help students, should be removed

Editoral Board

Editoral Board

At issue:

New “Freedom in Learning” statement in syllabi from Board of Regents.

Our view:

It’s a poor way to make sure students know their rights.

Freedom in learning. Do we need to define it? The Board of Regents policy requiring it isn’t anything new.

All it does is shine a spotlight on policies already on place.

Case closed, right?

Not necessarily. We haven’t discussed the real point here.

This isn’t a good faith effort to inform clueless students. This is a political end-run by the Board of Regents. They didn’t want the state legislature to interfere, and that’s fine.

But their idea of informing students is to require the statement in each course syllabus-those handouts at the beginning of the semester packed full of info. So full, they often don’t get read by even the eager student.

It might pacify the legislature and outside groups, but it’s a poor way to make sure students know their rights.

If the regents think this issue is important, they need to come up with better ways to speak to students.

Now professors are riled. And who can blame them? They’re all but being accused of having an agenda. Worse, they’re being accused of taking it out on students.

That’s not fair. There are professors on this campus with agendas. But it’s not fair to judge all professors on the over-the-top conduct of a few.

Sure. Let’s tell students what to do if they feel cheated out of a good grade. But let’s do it right.

Stop requiring the academic freedom statement.