FACULTY/STAFF POLICY & PROCEDURE MANUAL

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2.7.1. Performance of Faculty Activities


2.7.1.1 Teaching Activities

2.7.1.1.1 Curriculum Development

2.7.1.1.2 Course Offerings and Content

2.7.1.1.3 Absence and Class–related Duties

2.7.1.1.4 Availability and Office Hours

2.7.1.1.5 Responsibilities of Faculty Teaching Graduate Courses

2.7.1.1.6 Faculty Responsibilities Regarding Use of the University-Designated Electronic Delivery System and Electronic-Learning

2.7.1.2 Scholarly Activities

2.7.1.3 Service Activities

2.7.1.3.1 Academic Advising

2.7.1.3.2 Share in Governance

2.7.1.3.3 Recruitment of Prospective Students

2.7.1.3.4 Academic Community Cooperation

2.7.1.3.5 Committee Membership

2.7.1.3.6 Mentoring

2.7.1.3.7 Student Organization Advising

2.7.1.3.8 Meetings and University Functions

2.7.1.3.9 Attendance at Commencement

2.7.1.3.10 Deadlines

Faculty members shall be expected to fulfill basic responsibilities in teaching, scholarly activity, and service in accordance with principles of academic freedom and professional ethics as described in Chapter 2 of this Manual. Specific basic responsibilities include the following, together with other such responsibilities appropriate to and approved by individual Colleges or agreed to by mutual consent of faculty members and their Department Heads and Deans.

2.7.1.1 Teaching Activities

A definition of teaching activities for faculty includes but is not limited to the following areas:

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2.7.1.1.1 Curriculum Development

Although administrative faculty and students may make proposals, the primary responsibility for the development of new courses, deletion or changes in existing courses, the initiation of new programs, the discontinuance of existing programs, or other program modifications lies with the faculty.

All proposals concerning curricula, regardless of the source of initiation, shall be reviewed by the appropriate University governance units in accordance with established procedures.

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2.7.1.1.2 Course Offerings and Content

Faculty members are responsible for planning and presenting course material; establishing course objectives and requirements in accordance with University policy and making them known to students; selecting and ordering texts and supplemental materials in accordance with University policy; preparing, administering, and grading assignments; and assigning grades.

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2.7.1.1.3 Absence and Class–related Duties

a. Class Cancellation, Rescheduling. Faculty members shall meet their classes unless the Department Head has approved a substitute, class cancellation, reschedule, or replacement by a substitute activity. This obligation extends from the first day of classes through the end of final examination week.

b. Class Meeting, Punctuality, Alternate Instruction. Faculty members shall meet their classes punctually. If for some valid reason faculty members are unable to meet a class, arrangements shall be made to offer alternate instruction as approved by the Department Head.

c. Evaluation of Student Work. Faculty members shall report evaluation of student work to students with appropriate comments and/or grades. All courses shall have appropriate evaluations of student performance. Where applicable, departments and colleges may have specific guidelines for the number and scope of these student evaluations. A final examination is required in all classes. The method of grading used for a class is to be explained to the students at the beginning of the course. Each faculty member is expected to post a grade reflecting each student’s standing to date in each undergraduate course by the seventh (7th) week of each regular semester and submit a final grade at the end of the semester. Blanket grades (giving the same grade to each student for the sake of expediency) are specifically prohibited. Seventh week grades are not permanently recorded on the student’s official academic record. Final grades are due in the dean’s offices on or before the day following final examinations. Faculty will be notified of specific times or changes in procedure. (See the Nicholls State University Catalog for information on grading system, quality points and averages)

d. The Grade of I (Incomplete). The incomplete (I) grade should only be used when, due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the student is unable to complete all requirements for a course. The grade of I will not be given to a student doing unsatisfactory work. If an “I” is deemed appropriate by the instructor of record, a course completion plan (located on the internal administrators’ drive—V drive) shall be filed with the Department Head. The course completion plan shall outline work completed with an evaluation and an outline of the work to be completed. This plan shall be signed by the instructor of record and the Department Head and a copy shall be sent to the student at the student’s address of record. (See the Nicholls State University Catalog section on I grades). Section below titled Maintaining Records contains information about keeping records for the I grade.

e. Grade Accuracy. When grades are turned in to the Registrar’s Office, they should be accurate and final. If faculty members discover that a clerical error has been made, they will be given permission to change a grade. Faculty members, however, should give sufficient time and care to the grading and recording process so that there will be no mistakes. (See also the Nicholls State University Catalog sections on grade changes and course repeats).

f. Also, concerning the grade of F: The federal government requires schools to determine the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned when he or she has ceased attendance in all courses by “officially”or “unofficially”withdrawing from the school. Official withdrawals occur when the student notifies the school through the resignation process. Unofficial withdrawals occur when the student stops attending classes but does not notify the school through the official resignation process. The amount of Title IV assistance earned is determined by the amount of time the student spent in academic attendance. The school and the student are both responsible for returning portions of the unearned aid to the appropriate programs.

g. The University currently has a procedure in place to calculate the refund policy on students who officially withdraw; however, the university does not have a policy for those students who unofficially withdraw. The requirement for unofficial withdrawals is not new, but it has recently become a huge audit issue.

h. To do the refund calculation, the student’s last date of attendance needs to be determined at an academically related activity. Examples of academically related activities are: an exam, a tutorial, computer–assisted instruction, academic counseling, academic advisement, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group that is assigned by the school, or attending a class meeting.

i. Thus, as grade sheets are completed, if a student is issued a grade of “F,” the Comment column on the grade sheet (same column for “I” and “X” comments) should indicate the student’s last date of attendance in that course by following the procedure listed below:

o   If the student took the final exam, faculty shall write, “took final” in the column.
o   If the student did not take the final exam, faculty shall indicate the last documented date of attendance (using month, date, and year) in an academically related activity in that course.

j. Pressure on Faculty Concerning Grading. Faculty members are not to be subjected to or yield to pressure from anyone concerning grades. Any form of pressure is a violation of Academic Freedom as described in Section titled Academic Freedom in this Manual.

k. Student Appeals. The faculty should be aware that a student has a right to appeal a grade according to the process described in the University Catalog and the Student Policies and Procedure Manual, Standards of Conduct. The student has 6 months to initiate the appeal. (Section below titled Maintaining Records contains information about keeping records.)

l. Student Evaluations of Faculty. Faculty members shall participate in the approved college program for collecting data regarding students’ perceptions of teaching and learning.

m. Course Syllabi. On the first day of class, faculty are required to have available course syllabi for all students in each course being taught. These syllabi must then be filed with the department. The following information is required in all syllabi:

o    The course description exactly as it appears in the current Catalog.
o    Instructor’s name (rank and title are optional)
o    Instructor’s office location and telephone number
o    Required textbook(s), materials, supplies (Provide detailed bibliographic information for texts and indicate if copies are on reserve in the library.)
o    Student Outcome Objectives**) and requirements of the course (See University Assessment website for examples of Student Outcome Objectives.)
o    Tentative outline of course content.
o    Methods of evaluation.
o    Required supplementary readings.
o    A statement that indicates compliance with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act: “ If you have a documented disability that requires assistance, you will need to register with the Office of Disability Services for coordination of your academic accommodations. The Office of Disability Services is located in Shaver Gym, Room 158–A. The phone number is (985) 448–4430 (TDD 449–7002)
o    A statement regarding student academic grievances: “The proper procedure for filing grade appeals or grievances related to academic matters is listed in the Student Policies and Procedure Manual, Standards of Conduct.
o    A statement regarding student responsibilities for continued learning following an extreme emergency. (See Section 2.7.1.1.6 for exact wording to be used.)
o    **Student Outcome Objectives are learning objectives that can be measured. (For example, “Upon completion of this course, students will be able to (1) distinguish… (2) demonstrate… (3) apply… (4) develop… (5) solve… (6) create”) See guidelines for writing Student Learning Outcomes on Assessment and Institutional Research Web Page and on V Drive.

n. The following information is strongly recommended for all syllabi. However, if any of the following are a part of evaluation, they must be included:

o    Field trips (If a field trip is a course requirement, this stipulation must be stated.)
o    A notice of the last day that students are allowed to drop the class with the grade of W
o    The class meeting days, hours, classroom location
o    Department’s location and telephone number
o    Attendance/Punctuality (If part of evaluation, this stipulation must be stated.)
o    Class participation and how it will be graded (If part of evaluation, this stipulation must be stated.)
o    Make–up policy
o    Extra credit policy
o    Applicable safety rules
o    Academic dishonesty policy (By taking this course, students agree that all assignments are subject to submission to a plagiarism detection software provided through Moodle. All work submitted will be added to its database of papers. Specifically, this service compares your paper with Internet web pages, articles in databases, and all papers previously submitted. The software then either confirms the originality of your work or gives the source of plagiarism.   In cases of detected plagiarism, the paper and supporting evidence will be handled in compliance with the Student Policies and Procedure Manual, Standards of Conduct.
o    Standards and grading policy for written work and oral presentations (a requirement in classes where students are achieving oral competency as required by SACS)
o    Student conferences (If part of evaluation, this stipulation must be stated.)
o    Disruptions (use of beepers, guests in the classroom) to the learning environment
o    Supplementary readings (Provide detailed bibliographic information and indicate if copies are on reserve in the library.)
o    Attendance Policy. Faculty members are required to include descriptions of their attendance policies in their course syllabi. These descriptions shall be orally explained to students on the day syllabi are distributed. The complete University policy for attendance can be found in the current Catalog on the web.

o. Maintaining Records. Faculty members shall maintain appropriate records of student progress in each course to support final grades: appropriate tests and other manuscripts, roll books, and/or grade lists shall be kept for at least six months following each course. If a student academic grievance is filed, all records shall be maintained until such time as the grievance is settled. In the case of I grades, all records must be kept for 3 semesters following the semester in which the I grade was given. In the event of severance from the University, faculty members shall leave such records with the Department Head, who shall retain them for the proper duration.

p. Final Examinations. A final examination is required in all classes. Faculty members shall administer final examinations at the officially scheduled times during final exam week. There shall be no deviations from the published exam schedule unless, for sound pedagogical reasons, the Department Head and Dean approve alternative arrangements. Arrangements for exam proctors must be approved by the Department Head and Dean.

q. Grade Posting and Record Disclosure. Faculty are allowed to post grades as long as the posting procedure does not violate any student privacy statutes such as the Buckley Amendment. Under the Buckley Amendment, for instance, the posted grade cannot in any way be associated with a student’s name. A Social Security number in place of the student’s name is also a violation because these numbers can be associated with a name. Any faculty system that scrambles student names and then replaces that name with a number (other than the complete Social Security number) would be acceptable. For example, a posting system where the names are scrambled and the last four digits of the Social Security number are used would be acceptable. Faculty members who are not sure about their posting procedures should contact their immediate supervisors.

Under federal law (the “Buckley Amendment” or FERPA), no one other than the student and school officials may have access to the student’s class schedule, grades, or other education records without the student’s expressed, usually written, permission. This prohibition includes parents, even if they claim an emergency. It is suggested that if such a request should be presented to faculty by a parent, an appropriate response would be that we cannot, under Federal law, release the information.

As a reminder, the types of information about a student which may be released without the student’s permission are listed in the current Catalog.

a. Adequate Supervision of Students. Faculty members shall exercise adequate supervision of students in classroom and laboratory activities and officially scheduled related activities, such as field trips.

b. Safety Instructions to Students. Faculty members shall provide instruction in safety procedures to students who are engaged in academic activities where a known potential danger is present, such as in laboratory work where equipment or chemicals are in use.

c. Potential Danger and Unsafe Conditions. Faculty members shall ensure that safe practices are followed by students under their supervision where a known potential danger is present. Faculty members and Department Heads shall report unsafe conditions of equipment or facility to the University Safety Officer.

d. Reporting of Academic Dishonesty. Faculty members are responsible for reporting all cases in which a student has been confronted and/or disciplined for cheating to the Dean of the College even when disciplinary action has been taken at the faculty level. A record of the student’s name, offense, and disciplinary action will be maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs. If a student is recorded as a multiple offender (more than one listing in the data file) of the academic dishonesty policy, the student will brought before the Academic Affairs Integrity Committee for review, and this committee may impose additional sanctions upon the student.

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2.7.1.1.4 Availability and Office Hours

It is important that faculty arrange consultation time for students. Just as important, students need to know when their advisors or instructors will be available. Thus, all faculty shall post their office hours. There should be no fewer than 10 hours a week made available for student consultation during the fall and spring semesters and five (5) hours each week during the summer session. These hours should be spread across the week. Exceptions to having a fair distribution of office hours shall be approved by the Department Head and communicated to the appropriate Dean. Department Heads should be informed of the whereabouts of all faculty members who are not on campus during working hours.

It should be noted that posted consulting hours and assigned teaching hours are not intended to be a description of a faculty member’s total worksite obligation (See Section titled Workload Expectations in this Manual).

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2.7.1.1.5 Responsibilities of Faculty Teaching Graduate Courses

Faculty members who teach graduate courses shall participate in the direction of theses, graduate papers, and comprehensive examinations for graduate students under the direction of the appropriate Dean.

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2.7.1.1.6 Faculty Responsibilities Regarding Use of the University-Designated Electronic Delivery System and Electronic-Learning

Use of the university-designated electronic delivery system [Moodle] is expected of all faculty members as follows:

o    It is expected that the university-designated electronic delivery system shall be used, at a minimum, for posting of course syllabi and announcements, and student grades. In addition, all faculty members should be prepared to post other pertinent course materials during emergency situations which result in University closure, as per the “Guidelines for Continued Learning Following an Extreme Emergency” policy stated below.
o    Faculty members are expected to acquire the skills needed for effective electronic delivery utilization.
o    Each faculty member is expected to post a grade reflecting each student’s standing to date in each undergraduate course by the seventh (7th) week of each regular semester.
o    Use of Electronic Learning in Emergency Situations and Academic Preparedness Plan for Faculty and Students as follows:

o    Guidelines for Continued Learning Following an Extreme Emergency: The following guidelines are meant: to help the business of education continue at Nicholls State University in the aftermath of an extreme emergency situation; to help faculty and students understand their roles in completing education requirements for courses in progress when the emergency began; and to encourage faculty to be imaginative and resourceful in finding ways to continue the education of students and the work of the university.

o Faculty responsibilities:

o    Faculty members are responsible for their development in the use of the course management software, such as Moodle.
o    Faculty members are responsible for having a plan for continuing their courses using only the course management system and email.
o    Faculty members should be allowed to continue their course in whatever way suits the completion of the course best and are encouraged to be creative in the continuation of these courses.
o    Any adjustments or compensations, made to a student’s progress in special programs with labs, clinical sequences (i.e., Culinary, Nursing, etc.), or the like, should be made only in the immediate semester following the emergency.
o    Faculty members are responsible for including these guidelines in all syllabi.

o Student responsibilities:

o    Students are responsible for reading regular emergency notifications on the Nicholls State University website.
o    Students are responsible for knowing how to use and access the course management system, such as Moodle.
o    Students are responsible for being familiar with emergency guidelines.
o    Students are responsible for evacuating textbooks and other course materials.
o    Students are responsible for knowing their course management system student login and password.
o    Students are responsible for contacting faculty regarding their intentions for completing the course.

NOTEFaculty and students should be open, flexible and show compassion in determining the precise course of action.

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2.7.1.2 Scholarly Activities

Faculty members have the basic responsibility to engage in scholarly activities in accordance with the accepted professional practices of their academic disciplines.

Adherence to applicable law and to institutional, state, or federal policies regarding copyright, patent, uses of human or animal subjects, facility use, safety rules and regulations, or other related policies contained in this Policy & Procedure Manual is expected. (See section titled Rights and Patents for Intellectual Property in this Manual.)

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2.7.1.3 Service Activities

Service activities include but are not limited to the following areas:

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2.7.1.3.1 Academic Advising

The University emphasizes the role of its faculty in the academic advising of students. The central element in advising is a genuine and sustained concern for students as persons. Nicholls is committed to the belief that students need not only personal guidance and counsel from faculty members on academic matters such as sequencing courses in the major and meeting University requirements, but also need an enriching advising experience for their personal growth as independent and critical thinkers and as citizens.

The Academic Services Center is responsible for assigning student advisees to faculty members during a student’s first–year experience through the student’s transition into the major academic discipline. The Department Head in each academic discipline assigns student advisees to faculty members once the transition is complete. All faculty members are expected to meet with advisees as the need arises.

The Catalog details policies and procedures that are crucial to successful advising and student/faculty relations.

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2.7.1.3.2 Share in Governance

Faculty members shall attend and take part in meetings of the department, the college, and the University, and shall serve if elected or appointed with their consent to University committees, provided that such service does not require absence from scheduled classes or other work assignments or performance of other assigned and expected duties.

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2.7.1.3.3 Recruitment of Prospective Students

Faculty members are expected to cooperate with the Office of Admissions Information in appropriate ways to recruit prospective students. Furthermore, faculty are expected to share the responsibility for recruiting students in their own disciplines and departments.

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2.7.1.3.4 Academic Community Cooperation

While members of the faculty have a primary responsibility to their own department, they are also members of the larger collegial community and should, therefore, make a demonstrable effort to work cooperatively with members of other departments in matters affecting the overall welfare of the University.

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2.7.1.3.5 Committee Membership

Faculty members are encouraged to take an active part in all levels of the committee system established by the University. The success of governance, academic standards, and the day–to–day workings of the University depend on this participation. Faculty should be advised, however, that this service should not interfere unduly with the effectiveness of other contractual obligations, especially teaching.

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2.7.1.3.6 Mentoring

Faculty mentoring of new appointees and other personnel at the request of the Department Head or Dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs enhances the quality of teaching on a university level.

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2.7.1.3.7 Student Organization Advising

All faculty are encouraged to act as faculty advisors for student organizations and to actively participate in student organization meetings and functions.

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2.7.1.3.8 Meetings and University Functions

Unless excused by the Department Head, faculty members shall attend all regularly scheduled department, academic unit, or University meetings which do not conflict with a scheduled class or other assigned duties. Faculty are encouraged to attend such activities as student and faculty art shows, theater productions, lecture series presentations, Family Day events, and athletic events.

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2.7.1.3.9 Attendance at Commencement

Faculty members are required to attend commencement and be in full academic regalia (unless properly excused by the appropriate Dean) on a rotational basis. Deans and Department Heads must participate in each commencement unless excused by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Approximately one–half of the faculty participates in any commencement. University commencement exercises are held semi–annually at the end of the spring and fall semesters. Responsibility for providing appropriate academic regalia belongs to faculty.

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2.7.1.3.10 Deadlines

Faculty members shall meet appropriate deadlines established by policies contained in this Policy & Procedure Manual, or by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean, the Department Head, and the Registrar.

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Changes to Section of Manual

Section Effective Date Origin Change Form
N/A