Instructors have a right to access a student's education record only if they are the advisor of record for the student. An instructor who may be deliberating on evaluating a student in his/her course may not have access to a student's record. An instructor concerned about a non-advisee may not have access to a student record. In such cases, guidance can be provided by the Registrar's Office (x2472).
Advisor records kept by a department or individual advisor are considered part of a student's education record and may be accessed by the student. An exception to this would be "desk notes". Desk notes are those items which are kept separate from the student's file and are accessible only to the maker of the note. If others have access to those items, they are considered part of the education record.
Employees of the College who demonstrate a "need to know" in order to accomplish official functions of their jobs (e.g., department chairs, program managers, coaches, certain College committees, etc.), may have access to student record information. If access has not been granted, requests for permission to access such information may be directed to the Registrar's Office (x2472).
It is not uncommon for parents to call a student's instructor or advisor requesting information such as grades, attendance, progress toward degree, etc. And, in some instances, advisors or instructors may wish to contact parents regarding a student. It is a violation of FERPA to discuss or share information contained in a student's record with anyone other than the student, unless you have written permission from that student. If you have a parent on the phone who does not understand this Federal regulation, you may transfer the call to the Registrar's Office (x2472). You may also call the Registrar's Office for advice before returning a call for student information.
(From a Statement on the Role of the Department Chair, dated February 14, 1994)
Within the college governance structures the department chair acts in a unique role. The chair is an integral link between the department and the college administration. He or she serves both as a representative and as an executor for the department, its program and its faculty. As a representative of the department the chair serves as spokesperson (for recommendations, opinions and concerns of department members) and advocate for department interests. As a departmental administrator the chair is accountable for properly managing the department and is responsible to the college president, the Provost, and the appropriate dean. In addition, the chair must maintain ties to his or her discipline by teaching courses and by being a strong advocate for the discipline within and outside the college environment. The Faculty Center site has a section devoted to academic department chairs: Chair Resources.
Expectations of the Chair
The role of the chair includes but is not limited to these primary responsibilities:
- Facilitating the development and implementation of department goals, plans, and programs;
- Facilitating curriculum development (including timely course offerings and schedules, course change requests, new course proposals, changes in major or minor), and assuring quality of curriculum and instruction;
- Facilitating responses to external and internal reports for assessment documents and information; Facilitating development of faculty teaching schedules, office hours and examinations, and supervising same;
- Advising students and acting on student requests such as course waivers, transfer credits, course overloads, and declarations of both majors and minors, certification of minor completion and award of departmental honors;
- Approving department internships, independent studies, individual course enrollments, and grade change requests while assuring academic quality and consistency with college policies and procedures, including transmission of all transactions and summary reports to the appropriate dean;
- Preparing reports as needed, including Annual Reports;
- Processing external department correspondence and requests for information;
- Communicating department needs to the administration in a timely fashion;
- Maintaining appropriate liaison with other academic departments, units, and the administration;
- Facilitating information flow (administrative guidelines, criteria, expectations, etc.) from the administration to the department;
- Representing the department by attending meetings and official functions as the department’s spokesperson and representative;
- Ensuring department representation on college committees, and at other functions; Facilitating relationships between and among faculty/faculty, faculty/administration, faculty/student, and faculty/student/administration;
- Managing the department office, facilities and staff;
- Facilitating personnel actions such as preparation of department recommendations for hiring, contract renewals, promotions, continuing appointments, and discretionary and special awards;
- Administering the departmental account(s);
- Conferring with the dean regarding designation of an acting chair to carry out the duties of the chair during periods of planned absence;
- Recommending approval or disapproval of various faculty requests for travel, absence, reduced teaching loads, sabbatical and other leaves, and reporting faculty absences to the dean; and
- Accepting other responsibilities as assigned.
Chair Selection Process
An appointment as department chair may not exceed 3 years. While the department chair is appointed by the chief administrative officer of the College in accordance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees, the selection process leading to this appointment is normally carried out in the following manner:
- The department will meet, use its internally agreed upon selection process, and present its recommendation for department chair to the dean.
- The department will then present one or more nominees to the dean by the first week of the last semester of the current chair’s appointment.
- The dean will then make a recommendation to the Provost. It is the normal expectation that the dean’s recommendation will support the departmental recommendation. If this is not the case, the dean will meet with the Provost to discuss this situation. The dean is obligated to share the department’s recommendation with the Provost. If the dean still cannot support the department recommendation, the dean and department will submit separate recommendations to the Provost.
SUNY has different types of appointments that are described in Article XI of the Policies of the Board of Trustees listed below. Refer to your appointment letter for your designation.
- Term of Obligation
- Professional Obligation
- Appointment Year
- Other Employment
Classes begin in August. Commencement occurs before Memorial Day weekend. Academic custom and tradition define the normal duties of a faculty member to include participation in regularly scheduled orientation and workshop sessions, student advisement and counseling (both at registration and later during the term), and commencement exercises, the evaluation of student learning (including final examinations except in those courses where other means of evaluation make finals unnecessary), and meeting the normal deadlines for functions related to instruction such as submission of interim grade reports, final grades, class schedules, etc. Although the major task of the faculty is regular class instruction, examinations are a basic part of instruction. A flexible schedule is followed during the last week of each term. Periods of two and one half hours are scheduled and must be used either for final examination or other instructional purposes. Faculty members should be available to students during that period and should not be out of touch with the College in case they need to be contacted.
The following was included in the State University College at Oneonta Faculty Utilization Policy submitted at the request of SUNY System Administration in 1992.
Responsibilities of Full-Time Faculty
To provide a quality undergraduate education as well as create excellence in its graduate programs, SUNY Oneonta encourages all faculty to engage in teaching, scholarship and service activities. SUNY Oneonta recognizes the normal responsibilities for all full time faculty to include instruction, scholarship (research or creative activities), and campus and community service. The specific responsibilities assigned to a faculty member are made by the department chair after review by the division deans. However, the final determination of duties resides with the President of the institution.
The duties assigned to a faculty member are based upon institutional need and the training, interests, and expertise of the individual faculty member. Teaching assignments are determined by division deans, who will take into account the recommendations of the department chair. The appropriate balance among the activities of teaching, scholarship, and service is communicated to faculty in a variety of ways including:
- Statement of Faculty Teaching Responsibilities;
- Preparation and Submission Guidelines for Term Contract Renewal, Continuing Appointment, and Promotion; and
- Faculty Activities Report.
The normal undergraduate teaching commitment for all full time faculty members is 12 or 9 semester hours per semester or 21 semester hours per academic year. In consideration of the diversity of educational needs, as much flexibility as possible will be provided for purposes of departmental scheduling while keeping in mind the general guideline stated above. Reductions in the semester hour commitment may be authorized when recommended by the department chair and approved by the appropriate dean. Reductions may be justified based on alternative assignments or on an exceptionally heavy workload in the remaining teaching assignments. The approval of such reductions must be based on the overall needs of the College. Appropriate justifications for reductions may include but are not limited to the following:
- exceptional involvement in specific instructional activities, such as preparation of a new course, the revision of existing course materials, involvement in the development or instruction of new academic programs, or the instruction of graduate level courses;
- exceptional involvement in a specific program of research and scholarly activity;
- exceptional involvement in specific service activities, such as assignment to special college projects or committees;
- involvement in professional development activities, such as retraining for another specialty area or to address departmental needs;
- administrative assignments, such as service as department chair or designation as program or area director;
- an exceptionally heavy workload in teaching assignment, due to reasons such as participation in courses with large class sizes resulting in unusual time commitments, such as assignments that generate a total of 375 credit hours or more.
- supervision of internship activities for program or department;
- an unusually high teaching load or other assigned professional responsibilities in a previous semester or planned for a subsequent semester;
- other assigned professional responsibilities or scholarly activities as deemed appropriate.
Faculty Activities Reports
The Faculty Activities Report is required of all faculty at the end of each academic year. Forms are available in departmental offices. The Faculty Activities Report, along with a cover page narrative highlighting the faculty member’s contributions over the past year, is submitted to the department chair for use in the department’s annual report and also to the division dean for review.
Along with their Faculty Activities Reports, faculty will be asked to describe any planned changes in their current responsibilities regarding teaching, research, scholarship, or service that are anticipated for the following year. Each faculty member’s teaching assignments for the coming year are determined through the normal process of developing and publishing the College class schedule. This process includes approval of each faculty member’s individual teaching assignments by the appropriate department chair and division dean. Certain non-teaching assignments and other responsibilities are also arranged during the schedule development process.
Responsibility for Instruction
The College Senate passed the following resolution:
The main business of the College is instruction. Instruction takes precedence over vacations, bus schedules, or personal convenience. Classes before and after vacations are a significant part of instructional time. Instructors will include significant materials in these classes, and will at their discretion schedule examinations or other written assignments for these days.
Members of the faculty have the responsibility to attend to the following:
- Teach the topics covered in the Catalog description of the course and in accordance with the course syllabus;
- If the course is a General Education course, it must meet the objectives of the SUNY Learning Outcomes;
- Following the Course Syllabus Checklist (see checklist below), develop and distribute the course syllabus no later than the second class meeting;
- Submit a copy of the course syllabus to their department office by the 2nd class meeting;
- Meet their respective classes at the appointed time, duration, and location as scheduled;
- Obtain permission to change class meeting times and/or location (including time and location of final exam). Changes require prior approval from the department chair, dean and Registrar;
- Meet all classes, including those the day before and following a scheduled college vacation;
- Notify department chair of any absence that would result in a failure to meet a class at the designated time;
- Submit interim progress reports required by the College by the deadline established by the Provost;
- Meet each class at the designated final exam time for the purpose of giving a final exam OR providing instruction;
- Submit final grades within 48 hours of the administration of the final exam;
- Be present in their office during posted weekly office hours. At least one office hour per week for each 3 semester hour class taught on campus is required;
- Be on campus at least 4 days a week;
- Provide effective academic advisement;
- Retain grade books/final exams according to College policy.
Course Syllabus Check List
A course syllabus for each section of courses you teach is required to be distributed to enrolled students by the second class day. One must also be placed on file with the Department Chair.
Please use the checklist below to assure that your syllabi contain all the required elements.
Required Elements for the Course Syllabus
- Course and section number, semester and year
- Course title
- Classroom location (building and room number)
- Class schedule (meeting days and times)
- Faculty name
- Faculty office phone number
- Faculty office location (building and room number)
- Faculty office hours
- The College Catalog description of the course, to include course prerequisites and approved General Education course attributes
- Course goals/objectives, preferably as measurable student learning outcomes.
- SUNY Learning Outcome objectives must be listed if a course is a General Education course.
- Textbook title(s), author(s), publisher(s), date of edition(s)
- Reading list & additional resources to enhance course as applicable (required for graduate courses)
- Order of readings and other assignments, preferably by due dates
- Course activities and teaching strategies as applicable
- Outline listing course content by expected order of coverage, preferably by dates
- Course requirements
- Method of evaluation specifying evaluation procedure
- Test dates and test coverage
- Attendance policy
- Late assignment and make-up test policy
- Emergency Evacuation Procedures
- Additional unique aspects of course
Responsibility for Advisement
Faculty advising is a key aspect of faculty responsibility and is an integral part of the recruitment and retention of students. Faculty members are assigned advisees by their department chair.
The Academic Advisement Center works closely with the academic departments, administrative offices, and faculty to coordinate academic orientation and continuing advisement programs for matriculated undergraduates. In its function as a central clearinghouse of academic information, it provides reliable up-to-date advisement through Advisement Documents and information sheets. The Academic Advisement Center also monitors curriculum declarations and other components of the advisement operation.
Responsibility for Assessment
Along with all other SUNY campuses, the College at Oneonta must address a variety of externally originated expectations. Especially noteworthy among these is the need for assessment. Overarching assessment mandates have arisen from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the entity responsible for periodically reaccrediting the College), the State Education Department, and SUNY Systems Administration. Middle States, for instance, emphasizes “outcomes assessment” which “involves gathering and evaluating quantitative and/or qualitative information that demonstrates congruence between the institution’s mission, goals, and objectives and the actual outcomes of its educational activities.” Presently, external mandates exist related to assessment of all undergraduate and graduate academic majors and the undergraduate general education program. More specific assessment mandates also have arisen within particular academic disciplines (for example, within the School of Education and Human Ecology or the School of Economics & Business). The non-academic areas of the College face parallel assessment expectations tailored for them. Therefore, successfully undertaking meaningful assessment has important implications ranging from the viability and future of the College itself to that of individual academic programs and the participating students. Of course, the process of meeting these expectations provides the College and its components with invaluable opportunities to reflect on its mission, how it is meeting that mission, what modifications and improvements may be undertaken, and planning for the future in a challenging and shifting regional and national environment.
It is vital that faculty, students, and staff meaningfully participate in the assessment process. As noted by Middle States, “…Implemented effectively, the assessment of student learning will involve the shared commitment of students, administrators and academic professionals. The assessment of student learning has the student as its primary focus of inquiry. It is related to the assessment of institutional effectiveness…” Assessment-related expectations typically first are communicated to the College President and Provost. Within the Division of Academic Affairs the Provost and division deans work with the department chairs and program directors and the faculty to implement and monitor the effectiveness of assessment processes. It is very important that this line of communication be maintained to address mandates as they may evolve or to address competing mandates from different external sources. It is equally critical that faculty complete the appropriate assessment-related activities in a timely fashion: setting articulated expectations, undertaking their assessments often using campus forms (for example the “SUNY General Education Course Assessment” form), and using these assessment results to improve teaching and learning (“closing the loop”). Pragmatically, this permits the College to meet formal external expectations and associated deadlines. At the same time, however, the College strongly encourages faculty and staff to embrace the assessment process as an opportunity to effect meaningful improvement in our activities and thus in the outcomes for our students.
Retention of Class Materials and Grade Books
- If an incomplete or pending grade for a student has been assigned or is extended, all course materials should be kept until the final grade for the course has been assigned.
- All graded material not yet returned to students should be kept by instructors for a period of one year beyond the semester in which a course is taught. This is in compliance with College policy that states grades may not be changed after one year has passed.
- Instructors should keep all grade books (hard copy records of attendance, quizzes, exams, papers, etc.) for a period of three years beyond the semester in which a course is taught. This is in compliance with the SUNY Records Retention and Disposition manual.
- All instructors who will not return for the following semester should leave class materials with the department chair at the end of the course, after turning in the grades for the course. This includes faculty who are beginning a sabbatical as well as adjunct instructors hired for one semester. Chairs should maintain records for non-returning instructors in accordance with the above.
When disposing of materials, please note that Federal law requires shredding of any personally identifiable information. Pages with names and/or ID numbers and grades should be shredded. Portions of materials not containing this information may be recycled.
Responsibility for Classroom Environment
Instructors have a responsibility to maintain an effective learning situation in their classrooms and to deal promptly with any disruptions that interfere with the learning situation. The instructor is in charge of the classroom. If it is felt that a student is interfering with the right of other students to profit from attendance in that classroom or if the instructor feels unreasonably hindered in the presentation of subject matter, the instructor has every right to eject the offending student from class and/or notify the Student Development Office of the student’s behavior. Either course of action should be taken with discretion and only for reasonable cause.
If a student is ejected from the class it shall be for that class period only and the instructor should submit immediately a written report of the incident to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Development and a copy to the student and the appropriate division dean. (If the incident involves physical violence, a report should also be made to the University Police.) Upon receipt of the report, the Campus Judicial Officer will immediately schedule an interview with the student to discuss the incident. Any subsequent incident reported to the Vice President for Student Development involving the same student in any class will result in administrative action by the Student Development Office and possible referral to the Standing Disciplinary Board of the College. The consequences of such action may include denying the student further access to the class or other disciplinary action, including dismissal from the College.
Professional Development Opportunities
- Accrual Usage – Faculty
- Sick Leave Accrual and Usage for Faculty
- Absence for Professional Work Off Campus
- Absence for State/College Business
- Short Absences
- Jury Duty
The policies on sabbatical leaves and other leaves are defined in Article XIII, Title E and F of the Policies of the Board of Trustees. Sabbatical leaves are awarded at the discretion of the President and require that the applicant continue as a member of the professional staff for a minimum of one year upon return from sabbatical. Other leaves are awarded by the Chancellor based upon the recommendation of the President.
The merit of a sabbatical leave request is determined by assessing the expected benefit to the College and the faculty member involved.
Applying for a sabbatical leave does not guarantee automatic approval. The department chair generally approves requests that do not adversely affect essential course offerings. The division dean factors in sabbatical replacement costs when reviewing the department’s course schedule. Consequently, sabbatical leave requests and replacement plans must be built into the schedule and budget planning process. The division dean also considers the length of service since the last leave, the quality and appropriateness of the application, and the nature of the anticipated scholarly activity, e.g., the significance of the research.
Leave requests scheduled to begin in the fall semester should be submitted to the division dean no later than November 1st of the preceding year. Leaves that are scheduled to begin in the spring semester should be submitted to the Dean no later than April 1st of the preceding year. Deadlines are published in the Academic Affairs Calendar.
Because budget planning is based upon approved leaves, there is a deadline after which an approved sabbatical plan cannot be changed. The division deans will have detailed information on the deadline dates for the current year.
The following guidelines apply to requests for sabbatical leaves. For Title F leaves, please consult your supervisor.
- Faculty members may request sabbaticals or other leaves of absence consistent with the Board of Trustees’ policies.
- Written request for permission to take a leave should be submitted by the faculty member on the appropriate forms. The department chair, the dean, the Provost and the President must review the application.
- The department chair must complete the Leave Request/Department Replacement Plan form for each faculty member requesting a leave. Both of these forms are available in the dean’s office.
- The purpose of a leave request should be clearly stated on the application. Since a sabbatical leave is a substantial financial commitment on the part of the College, it is incumbent upon the faculty member to demonstrate the potential for significant personal and institutional benefits.
Some factors that will be considered in evaluating the leave are
- indication of the petitioner’s serious interest in research;
- scholarly or creative activity as shown by performance to date;
- length of the petitioner’s service since previous leave;
- value of the petitioner’s project to the College;
- significance of proposed research;
- instructional coverage for essential department offerings.
- The faculty member shall submit a report of sabbatical activities to the Dean, with a copy to the Department Chair. This report should be submitted within one month of the end of the leave. Following the Dean’s review, the faculty member shall submit the final report to the President, with copies to the Chair, Dean and Provost.
Other relevant policies and procedures, such as the Inclement Weather policy can be found in the Policy Library. Others policies or procedures/forms related to leaves, such as for Jury Duty, can be found in the College Handbook or on the Employee Services website. For specific information, contact the Office of Human Resources.
- Academic Staff
- SUNY Tuition & Fee Assistance
Developing New Programs
Curriculum Minors - Development & Revision
- “Special Topics” course designations are used to offer courses on an experimental basis. A particular special topics offering for a semester must be cleared with the appropriate division dean using the new course proposal form. The same special topics course can be offered only twice. A new course proposal creating a regularly offered course must be submitted if the course is to be offered a third time. Deadlines are published in the Academic Affairs Calendar
Liberal Arts Credit
General Policy Statement
Internships must include an academic component such as written papers, journals, portfolios, etc., that are used as part of the evaluation process. To ensure the legitimacy of the educational experience, a description must be attached to the Internship Application that includes student duties and learning outcomes, modes of communication (e.g., site visit, e-mail, telephone), and criteria and methods for evaluations.
Internship issues of stipend and expense reimbursement may vary by sponsor.
Internships may be denied for a number of reasons including but not limited to location, sponsors related to the student, or experiences lacking sufficient academic content.
All terms and conditions must be met and verified before the department chair and division dean approve the internship.
Terms and Conditions
- Completion of 56 semester hours 12 semester hours at the College at Oneonta.
- Under no circumstances may these College eligibility requirements be waived.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00
- A major cumulative average of at least 2.00.
Under no circumstances may these College eligibility requirements be waived.
Registration for internships is accomplished by submitting the completed/approved form to the Registrar’s Office within specified registration deadlines outlined in the College Key dates and Deadlines that are located on the Registrar’s web page.
Interns in health related fields will be billed for Clinical Affiliation Liability Insurance (currently $50 – subject to change).
Successful registration must occur prior to the beginning of any internship. No retroactive award of internship credit will be permitted.
International Internships can be particularly rewarding educational experiences, but academic credit can only be approved for international internships arranged through SUNY-approved agencies. Contact the Office of Career Development for more information.
A maximum of 16 s.h. of internship credit, including student teaching may be applied toward the undergraduate degree. Credit is granted on the basis of 1 s.h. for each full work week (normally 40 hours). Part-time work may be pro-rated over the semester. Students may register for a maximum of 15 s.h. of internship credit during the fall or spring semesters; a maximum of 12 s.h. may be earned during the summer.
On-site visitation will be part of the internship evaluation. All new sites require internship visitation. Continuing sites must have internship visits on a rotating basis such that each site has at least one visit every third time used, and at least once every three years.
Faculty members (or their employees or immediate family) may not serve as internship site supervisors.
Internship supervision by a member of the intern’s immediate family (parent, stepparent, uncle, aunt, sibling, or first cousin) is prohibited. Internships that may be perceived as under the influence of an immediate family member are not permitted.
Each academic department may offer student internships as a part of its approved course offerings. Each department will establish detailed internship guidelines approved by the appropriate division dean. These guidelines must include the College terms and conditions stated above.
The Department Chair will determine the suitability of a sponsor and/or student for an internship experience.
Departments may stipulate a higher overall and/or major grade point average for internship eligibility. The department chair, under special circumstances, may make exceptions to department eligibility requirements.
Under no circumstances may the College eligibility requirements be waived.
Departments may sponsor opportunities for summer internship credits. Summer session fees apply. Summer session internships entail periods of service ranging from three to ten weeks.
In addition to departmental internships, College-wide internships are offered under the PROF 224 course designation. For information about coordination of this program and course availability, contact the supervisor of this program (Netzer 334, x2520).
Non-Degree Undergraduate Student Internships
Students who previously attended SUNY Oneonta, who earned at least 56 semester hours (12 of which were earned at Oneonta) and who had at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, may apply for an internship through the PROF 224 internship program. These internships are restricted to the state of New York. Internships are not available for non-degree (non-matriculated) students through academic departments. Information on the PROF 224 Internship program may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education and Summer Sessions (Netzer 334, x2520).
Liberal Arts Credit
The sponsoring department, in conjunction with the appropriate division dean, will determine whether the internship credits will be designated as liberal arts.
Usually internships are graded on a Pass/Fail basis only. Under certain circumstances, departments have obtained approval for “A-E” grading. The approved grading mode for each internship course is on the College’s Course Master File, available in the Registrar’s Office.