The Catholic University of America

Faculty Handbook - Part III: Policies, Procedures and Services - Faculty Duties

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Responsible Official: Provost tel. (202) 319-5244

III-A-1 General Obligations

A member of a Faculty is immediately responsible to the cognizant Chair and Dean and, according to enactments of the Academic Senate, must:

1. Teach and examine effectively and with due awareness of developments in the field; advise students; supervise students in the conduct of research and/or professional practice;

2. Conduct and publish research (or its equivalent in the professions), report scholarly activities to the Dean and the Provost, and provide copies of published books and monographs to the University Archives;

3. Observe the appropriate norms of ethical conduct expected of teachers, researchers, and other professionals;

4. Attend and participate in departmental and school faculty meetings;

5. Serve on committees and assist in administrative work as needed;

6. Undertake no activities or responsibilities that may interfere with the proper fulfillment of the duties of a faculty member.

In addition, a faculty member is also expected to:

1.  Attend University-wide faculty meetings;

2.  Be present, in proper academic apparel, at the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit officially inaugurating the academic year and at the annual commencement exercises;

3.  Take part in campus activities and events that contribute to the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the University;

4.  Participate in the activities and meetings of professional associations.

Faculty members must also observe the following rules governing external University relations:

1.  Make no public statement that might be interpreted as an official statement of the University;

2.  Consult the Office of Institutional Advancement before any solicitation of funds from past, present or potential benefactor(s), including members of the hierarchy;

3.  Apart from personal or social relationships or obligations, consult the President's Office prior to any contact or correspondence with members of the Board of Trustees on any University matter;

4.  Notify the President's Office of any invitation to the campus of a government official, or a foreign or ecclesiastical dignitary.

III-A-2 Work Load

The full-time duties of a member of a Faculty comprise teaching, research, and service.

The normal teaching load is three 3-credit courses per semester, to the extent this measure applies to the academic discipline. The mode of delivery of instruction varies widely among and within the disciplines and according to level of instruction (graduate vs. undergraduate; lecture vs. seminar vs. laboratory vs. individual tutoring). The time required to prepare for a given teaching assignment also varies (new or repeated course; duplicate sections of the same course; class small or large).

Accordingly, the appropriate workload and the proportions of time allocated to formal classroom teaching, to student advising and other teaching (e.g. direction of dissertations, independent study), to research, and to administration can vary according to individual circumstances.

The responsibility for the determination of an individual workload rests with the Chair of the Department or, in non-departmentalized schools, the Dean of the School. The determination of an appropriate workload is subject to review by the academic administrator to whom the Chair or the Dean reports.

III-A-3 Obligations to Students

The faculty member is expected to meet a class punctually and regularly and to notify the Chair or Dean when unable to do so. Only those students who have completed registration for the course are to be admitted to class or to dissertation guidance. A faculty member may not reschedule the regular time or place of classes without authorization from the Registrar (cf. III A 7, Class Schedule).

The faculty member is expected to assess the quality of the students' work by examination at the scheduled time and place, or by other appropriate means. The faculty member is responsible for preparing and monitoring examinations. When requested, a faculty member must serve as an examiner at oral examinations required for advanced degrees.

The faculty member must submit grades earned in courses according to the announced schedule. A grade that has been reported may not be changed except for a valid reason stated in writing to the Dean. Explanations of grading systems are found in the Announcements and the Student Handbook, as are regulations governing incomplete work in course and appeals of failing grades.

The faculty member is expected to report to the Chair or the Dean instances of academic dishonesty (cf. Student Handbook).

The faculty member must observe the privacy and confidentiality of all student records (cf. Student Handbook).

III-A-4 Familiarity with University Rules

A faculty member must be familiar with the University's policies and procedures insofar as they apply to faculty rights and obligations, in particular with respect to students, as well as those rules of the University that apply to all personnel. In addition to policies and procedures explicitly defined in the Faculty Handbook, every faculty member is also bound by the rules promulgated in the Announcements of academic programs and the Student Handbook, which are updated and published annually, and by any other rules and regulations issued from time to time through recognized University channels.

III-A-5 Service on Dissertations

Every faculty member shares in the institutional obligation to extend to each student those academic services to which the student is entitled by virtue of matriculation and progress in the course of studies. The direction and supervision of graduate students in their research is a teaching responsibility explicitly prescribed (Cf. III-A-1, General Obligations). The faculty member is accountable in that respect to the Chair of the department and to the Dean. The choice of the major professor is subject to mutual agreement between the student and the professor. The choice must then be approved by the faculty of the cognizant academic unit, in departmentalized schools the Chair of the department, the Dean of the school, and the Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Studies. The readers of the dissertation or thesis and any subsequent changes in the composition of the dissertation or thesis committee must be similarly approved.

The responsibility of a faculty member to direct or supervise a student's research is circumscribed by three considerations: 1) competence to provide such direction or supervision; 2) reasonable limits of workload of the faculty member; and 3) compelling circumstances that abridge the faculty member's ability to serve in a particular instance.

Inasmuch as each faculty member shares in the collective responsibilities of the academic department, no faculty member is entitled to unilateral self-exemption from those responsibilities. A faculty member may decline to serve as a major professor on a dissertation of a given student, for reasons stated above, but the faculty member cannot be the sole judge of those considerations. Therefore, a faculty member who has reservations about serving as major professor in a given instance must consult with the chair of the department as to reasons for the reservations and as to alternatives available to the department for discharging its obligations to the student.

III-A-6 Assistance in Graduate Student Research

The guidelines below refer to academic assistance given to graduate students by persons other than their faculty advisors or, in the case of candidates for the doctorate, their major professors and other dissertation committee members. Approval given for legitimate assistance referred to below should be in writing so that it will be available to the members of an oral examination board or to other members of the faculty who may review the work of the student.

Utilization of assistance in the preparation of term papers and dissertations refers not only to the writing of such papers and dissertations, but also to the design and execution of the work on which the writing is based.

Routine assistance that is strictly technical, mechanical or clerical, i.e., that is subsidiary in level and scope to the work itself, is permitted. Examples of such legitimate assistance include: typing, coding, rating, proofreading, search for specific bibliographical materials, computer programming, and computer operation.

The following types of assistance may or may not be permitted:

1. Relegation of specific and circumscribed tasks in the execution of the project (e.g., interviewing subjects; organization or pre?processing of data for the application of a particular statistical procedure).

2. Limited editorial help in the writing of the dissertation.

3. Consultation with an outside expert for the improvement of analysis and interpretation of the results.

In determining the legitimacy of assistance in such or similar cases three governing principles should be observed:

1. Specific approval of the major professor or of the faculty advisor is to be secured in advance, as to both the nature and source of such assistance.

2. Whenever called upon, the student must demonstrate his or her complete and full command, in substance and in reasonable detail, of any aspect of the paper or dissertation. Request for such demonstration is not limited to formal examinations. This means that the student ordinarily should not use instruments, procedures, or methods beyond the scope or level at which he or she is formally trained in course work or which, to the satisfaction of cognizant faculty, he or she has acquired through self-study.

3. While particular instances of assistance may be legitimate individually (e.g. minor text editing or some help with data processing or relegation of some phases of data collection), they may not be legitimate in the aggregate (text editing and help in data processing and help with data collection).

These guidelines are applicable whether assistance is secured gratis or for payment. For their own protection, however, whenever students engage technical or other legitimate assistance for payment, they should seek competent guidance as to the quality and reasonable cost of such services.

III-A-7 Class Schedule

The Registrar prepares a preliminary schedule for pre-registration and the final class schedule for each semester of the academic year. Class schedules list the time and place of each course, the instructor, and the time and place of the final examination.

Individual instructors may not unilaterally change the schedule of courses to which they have been assigned. Requests for changes must be made to the Department Chair or the Dean according to the following procedure:

1. The request must be accompanied by a written statement of reasons;

2. In the departmentalized schools, the Chair must forward the request to the Dean of the School;

3. If the Dean approves, the request is forwarded to the Registrar;

4. The Registrar will review the request to assure that it conforms to the policies and procedures for the scheduling of classes and to determine if classroom space is available;

5. If the change is made after the publication of the Final Class Schedule but before the opening of the registration period, the Registrar will inform the registrants of the change;

6. If the change is made after the registration period opens, the Dean or, in departmentalized schools, the Chair who initiates the request for the change is responsible for notifying affected students.

Without the approval of the Provost, faculty may not schedule or require attendance in classes on days on which the University is closed.

III-A-8 Final Examinations

Final examinations are not to be conducted before the final examination period begins. The final examination period for each semester and examination times for individual courses are published in the Class Schedule.

Examinations are held in the regular classroom. Information and forms for requesting an assignment or change of rooms will be distributed to members of the faculty approximately one month before the final examination period. All requests for changes should be returned to the Office of the Registrar no later than two weeks before the examination period.

If additional proctors are needed to supervise examinations, faculty members should consult with the Chair of the Department or the Dean of the School.

Any student reporting two examinations scheduled for the same time should be referred to the Registrar.







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