Minimum Faculty Responsibilities – Student Achievement, PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY

As you plan for the coming semester, please keep the following university regulations in mind. (CR=Clarkson University Regulations. OM=Clarkson Operations Manual.)

1.        Course Syllabus

Faculty member must provide students with a detailed syllabus prior to the end of the first week of classes. You must file a copy of this syllabus with your department, and you must also post an electronic copy of this syllabus (on Moodle; we are consolidating all  online  course  materials to Moodle to better support student learning and equity in classroom experiences). See Teaching and Learning Resources under the Office of Faculty Achievement at  affairs.

Course Offerings Guidelines and memorandum

The syllabus should contain at a minimum the following information:

  • Your course objectives
    • Your expectations and any special requirements for papers, projects, lab reports, or exams
    • Your attendance policies
    • Your grading and/or evaluation criteria and the weight of each course requirement in the final grade or evaluation
    • Your examination schedule and any make-up or rescheduling policies
    • Your office and phone numbers, and your email address
    • A  brief  statement  about  the  university’s  policies  on  academic  integrity,  including plagiarism
    • A statement that if a student has a disability and feels he/she will need accommodations in order to complete course requirements, they should contact AccessABILITY Services
    • A reference to academic support services (tutoring, writing, etc.) that are available to students
    • Revisions to the syllabus during the semester must also be filed with your department and posted electronically for students, and students must be given reasonable notice before changes are implemented.

Since grading and evaluation policies are often the focus of confusion or misunderstanding, take special care to articulate your criteria and invite students to discuss related questions with you early in the course.

Avoid further misunderstandings by reminding students of their responsibilities in your course. For instance, remind them that it is their responsibility to take exams at the scheduled times and know the location of their exams, to make alternative arrangements in advance if they  have  a legitimate reason for not being able to take an exam, and to provide appropriate explanation and documentation if they miss an exam without making prior arrangements. Remind students also of your policies on make- up exams.

Announce field trips and other special meetings, preferably in class and in writing. If these require activity of holidays and/or weekends, state this clearly  in  the  syllabus  and  orally  during  the add/ drop period.

Return exams, lab reports, papers and projects to your students with appropriate feedback in a timely manner. Students have the right to discuss their grades and evaluations with faculty; they should be apprised of your grading policies, be able to see their graded/ evaluated work, and allowed, if they seek it, to speak to you directly about their evaluation of their work.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to report all instances of academic dishonesty in order for the university to keep records on recidivism. Keep written records and follow the procedures scrupulously found in the Academic Integrity section of Clarkson Student Regulations Discourse on campus should always be defined by civility, please reinforce this with your students.

Avoid at all costs guessing about University policies, if you are unsure what the policy is regarding a given topic please contact your Chair who will assist you.

2.        Office Hours

All full-time faculty members must schedule, post, and keep regular office hours. A minimum of 6 office hours per week is required, with additional hours to be offered during peak advising times (OM Section 5.2) Part-time faculty members should schedule office hours in proportion to the number of courses taught (e.g., one hour per week for those teaching one course). Additional office hours may be scheduled by appointment.

3.        So-Called “Dead” Week

There is no such thing, although it is a popular “rural” legend among students. The Regulations state that no tests, quizzes or examinations of any kind can be given on any of the seven calendar days preceding the first day of final examinations. However, many other educational activities are permitted – e.g., the introduction of new material, scheduling student presentations, and paper due dates, among others. Moreover, tests are permitted in specified types of courses – e.g., laboratory courses. See CR Section III-G.8, for details regarding this. Spring semesters (only) have 2 truly “dead” reading days (M & Tu) before finals begin.

4.        Classes & Course Work Before and After Breaks

  1. You will not reschedule or omit the class days immediately preceding or following breaks. The intent behind this regulation is to preclude faculty from canceling or rescheduling pre- or post- break classes because they expect low class attendance. Professional activities that have an impact on these days should be discussed with your department chair. (CR Section II-E.2)
    1. No tests, quizzes or examinations of any kind may be given on the first academic day following the end of a break. Also, homework which is due the first academic day immediately following a break must be assigned prior to the last academic day preceding the beginning of that break. (CR Sections III-G.6 & III-G.7)

5.        Rescheduling Classes

In general, a class cannot be rescheduled if even one student objects. This holds both for individual class sessions and for the semester as a whole. (CR Section II-E.1)

6.        Course Work Due During Finals Week

Some course work must be completed and/or due during finals week. This means that if you do not give an examination during finals week, some other piece of work–oral or written–must be due during finals week. See CR Section III-H.1 for details regarding this work.

Faculty members are obligated to restrict the administration of final examinations to the official examination period. Faculty members may not, therefore, administer final examinations during the last week of classes or during dead week. Please be reminded, also, that a timely submission of grades is required.

7.        FERPA

You may not discuss or disclose information about a student unless the student has given prior permission, not even with the student’s parent(s). Student Achievement Services (SAS) maintains the records regarding student permissions, and you should check with SAS if you receive a request. The types of activities prohibited by this regulation include, but are not limited to, discussing a student’s grades, posting grades, returning graded work in a way that other students can see the grade (including placing it in the hallway), and posting or distributing student rosters for your classes. E-mail distributions to classes or student groups should not list individual student addresses (e-mails sent by Moodle and PeopleSoft do not, or you can use the bcc field for the student addresses). Questions about this regulation, which is required by federal law, should be directed to the Registrar.

8.        Student Absences

Faculty are requested to report a student with three consecutive absences to the Dean of Students’ office, since such absences may indicate academic, emotional, or physical problems. This report can be made via the SafetyNet link: . The Dean of Students’ Office will follow up regarding the student’s well-being. (CR Section III-F.5)

9.        Official Class Roster

PeopleSoft is the official class roster for classes taught at CU. No student should be participating in classes unless they have officially registered and appear on the PeopleSoft roster.

10.     Reminder about F grades

Earned and unearned grades. Federal Financial Aid regulations governing Title IV Federal Aid requires institutions to indicate whether or not the student attended and completed the course and earned the grade of F as opposed to a student who began the course and at some point during the semester stopped attending the class and ceased participating in academically related activities. Please see for further information. More information may be found on the Clarkson website, Student Regulations, Policy III-I Grading System.

11.     Instructor Resources

Reminder about instructor resources for student projects on campus – contacts to relevant departments on campus to support safe and productive project(s) are encouraged within the first four weeks of the term. Supportive units may include facilities, OIT, Campus Safety, Risk Mgt, Env. Health & Safety, and IRB in Sponsored Research Services. When in doubt, please ask.

12.     Inclement Weather Plans

Inclement weather may lead to non-essential staff being released early. Regardless of this early dismissal for non-essential staff, classes are not cancelled or impacted. Cancelling, in this case, an individual class is up to the professor. In the event that a professor cancels class, students are to be given ample notice and arrangements have to be made for loss in instructional time. Faculty are strongly encouraged to use Moodle to support student learning when a class has been canceled so that forward momentum in the class can be maintained.

13.     Missed Classes

All planned faculty absences for legitimate professional or personal reasons must be approved in advance by the department chair (or dean or designees in schools without a departmental structure). In such cases, the instructor is responsible for arranging makeup classes or for providing alternative instructional activities. When an illness or unforeseen emergency results in the cancellation of a class, the instructor should notify the department chair/ dean as soon as possible and arrange for notices to be posted informing students of the cancellation. In the event of an extended absence of the instructor, the chair/ dean is responsible for arranging continuing instruction of the course.

14.     Attendance at Commencement and Convocation

Attendance by faculty at Commencement and Convocation is considered a faculty service

responsibility. Please arrange summer travel and research plans to accommodate this responsibility and to allow you to celebrate your students fully at these important moments in their lives. They and their families and friends will appreciate your attendance deeply.

15.  Attendance and Participation in Research and Project Showcase (RAPS) and Career Fairs Faculty are encouraged to actively support student engagement and participation in campus wide research and career focused events and be sensitive to the best interests of students seeking to take advantage of these experiences.

16.     AccessABILITY Services

The goal of our AccessABILITY Services programs are to assure equal access for students with disabilities and that they be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, all postsecondary education programs and activities (including any course, course of study, or activity offered). Rules or policies that would limit students with accommodations from participating fully in a program or activity may not be imposed. Academic standards should not be compromised, but accommodations must be provided, on a case-by-case basis, to afford qualified students with disabilities an equal – education opportunity. Faculty members should not, however, provide any form of academic accommodations without approval from AccessABILITY Services. Instead, faculty members should refer students who seek accommodations, of any sort, to AccessABILITY Services.

17.     Student Athletes and Student Researchers

Student Athletes. As a result of competition schedules, it may be necessary for student-athletes to miss an occasional (or partial) day of class. On the faculty side, instructors are expected to be sensitive to the pressures on students created by competition schedules, and to accommodate them in ways that do not disadvantage student-athletes vis-à-vis others in their classes. Aside from absences due to competition, student-athletes are expected to attend all classes. They are also expected to make appropriate arrangements with instructors to make up missed tests and other assignments, due to travel.

Student Researchers. As a result of research activities, it may be necessary for a student researcher to miss an occasional class due to travel associated with presenting the results of their research at a conference. Similarly in the Spring, student researchers are expected to participate in the University research day and so will be excused from class to do so. Student researchers must provide documentation from their research supervisor regarding any class period that may be missed due to presentation of their research. Aside from absences due to presentation of research, student researchers are expected to attend all classes. They are also expected to make appropriate arrangements with instructors to make up missed tests and other assignments, due to their presentation schedule.

Resources: regulations

cc: Department Administrators                                                                                                             Version Fall 2022

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