Faculty Handbook 2023-2024

I.6. Student and Faculty Issues

Department and Program Meetings

Each department and program has its own tradition of meetings.  Generally departments meet more frequently than programs.  The only meetings that are required are at least two hours of meetings devoted to department and program assessment.  Many departments meet to determine senior capstone grades and department awards and honors.  In general departments should try to meet at least four times each academic year and programs should try to meet as least twice each academic year.


Student Complaints

A student who has an academic grievance should discuss the concern with the faculty member in charge of the course in which the concern has arisen. If a mutually satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student should confer with the student's academic advisor and should take the matter to the relevant department chair. If no resolution occurs at this level or if the department chair is the faculty member in question in the first instance, then the student should take the concern to the relevant Area Chair. Concerns remaining unresolved at this level should be taken to the Provost. Students shall take all concerns regarding graduation requirements and their fulfillment to the Registrar.

  • When talking to students the chair needs to be aware of the official class attendance and classroom conduct policies as they appear in the Faculty Handbook.  If the faculty member is not following these policies, then the chair should remind the faculty member of the policy in question.  The chair should attempt to resolve any problems by talking to the student and faculty member and facilitating discussion between them.  The chair’s presence may or may not be needed in these discussions.  If the problems cannot be resolved, the student should be referred to the appropriate Area Chair.

Remember that student complaints can be helpful in at least two ways.  First, the student may simply need to vent and by doing so with the chair, the problem may resolve itself.  Second, student complaints can be valuable information for the department’s assessment and program planning.


Faculty Complaints

            At times the department chair will need to mediate faculty disagreements within the department.  Many issues can be resolved through face-to-face conversations with the appropriate faculty.  If this does not work, the chair should consult the Area Chair and perhaps remind the faculty member of the grievance policies outlined in Section F of the Faculty Handbook.


Harassment Policy 

            As described in the Faculty Handbook, a chair may be approached by a faculty member about a harassment issue.  At this point it is most critical for the chair to re-read and carefully follow the policy as written.