I'm one of those evil professors who cancelled the first week. But I did send the syllabus and the first reading assignment to all of my students at the same time. (I didn't just not show up!)
It's been my experience that students aren't ready for the first week. Some aren't even in the dorms yet. They stumble around a gargantuan campus, have 90 tequila shots at orientation "seminars," and they are of no use to me.
When the second week rolls around they have their bearings. I know what I'm doing and can quite easily get them through my very rigorous schedule in whatever time I choose. (I also cancel the week before finals to afford them extra study time, because my final is a bear.)
So, before you turn your tiny pinpoint of alarm at faculty, get the facts straight.