From Paula Walsey's "The Syllabus Becomes a Repository of Legalese," in The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 14, 2008):
"[T]he syllabus gets longer and longer each time students think up something new that you wouldn't necessarily want them doing," says Susan R. Boettcher, an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.I'm both impressed and horrified by the nerve of the student who challenged Professor Boettcher's decision. As I point out when I teach the Inferno, plagiarists would likely end up in the tenth bolgia of the eight circle of Dante's hell, reserved for falsifiers (alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers, impersonators), those who tamper with the integrity of things, words, and persons.
More than a third of her nine-page syllabus for a course on the Reformation is taken up by explanations of her policies on attendance, laptop usage, and how to round grades, and her availability to write letters of recommendation.
Her detailed policy on scholastic dishonesty includes a clause stating that "the rules of academic honesty also apply to extra credit." It was an addition that she made after a judicial board overturned her recommendation that a student fail her course for plagiarizing an extra-credit paper. Her syllabus had not explicitly stated that students could fail for cheating on extra-credit projects.
No link: most items in the Chronicle are available only to subscribers. But here's Wikipedia's article on creeping featurism.