Last updated August, 2022.
The following represents the university’s unique perspective on the classroom and related responsibilities of the faculty that have been developed by the faculty independent of the USM and as an expression of faculty commitment to the university as a teaching institution.
Contractual obligations for faculty on 10-month or regular session (semester) contracts with the University begin on or around August 15 each year and extend until June 15 of the succeeding year, and faculty should be available from that time until the first day of classes to attend workshops and department and campus meetings. Also, during this period, faculty members should be ready to assist the Admissions Office, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the Student Affairs Office in conducting orientation programs for new students. Attendance at the opening workshops sponsored by the Faculty Development Committee is expected of all full-time faculty and part-time faculty are welcome to participate.
See Chapter 11: Curriculum and Curriculum Process for the Undergraduate Curriculum Approval Guide and Chapter 8: Graduate Education regarding graduate curriculum approval.
Faculty members who wish to delete a course or create a new one; to change a course number, level, title, credit, or description; or to revise a current program or develop a new program, must follow guidelines published in the University’s Curriculum Approval Guide. Curriculog serves as the University’s main tool in guiding curriculum through the approval process. Faculty/Staff may access Curriculog here and sign on by using their Duo-Protected SU username and password.
Once the course proposal/changes are submitted by faculty or staff, the curriculum changes will go through review by the department/school curriculum committee, department chair/school director, school/CHHS curriculum committee, dean, Undergraduate/Graduate Curriculum Committee, Provost, and any additional external oversight review bodies if applicable. Policies and procedures for school curriculum committees appear in Section 11 of the University’s Curriculum Guide.
Class schedules are drawn up by the program director or department chair/school director in consultation with faculty. Class schedules, including proposed courses, meeting times, instructors, and room specifications are then submitted to the dean of the school/college. The Registrar, deans, and the department chairs/school directors use this information to develop a final “master schedule” each semester.
Faculty members may not change the scheduled course’s time, meeting place, or modality without the approval of the department chair/school director and dean. The Registrar must be made aware of all approved changes.
Faculty absences and rescheduling: Classroom teaching is the most important activity in which faculty engage, and it is expected that all scheduled classes will meet for the full class period. If a faculty member knows in advance that they will be unable to teach a class, approval must first be obtained from the department chair/school director, and then students in the class must be notified regarding activities to be carried on during the instructor’s absence or of plans for makeup classes. In case of illness or other emergencies, the faculty member must notify the department chair/school director immediately and arrange to have the students notified if the class is to be canceled. If possible, any special instructions which may be needed for missed classes should be provided. Classrooms for makeup classes should be scheduled through the Facilities Reservations Office.
Should inclement weather result in classes being canceled, information will be communicated via 1) email, 2) text, 3) the SU website and, 4) local radio and television.
The institutional policy with regard to closing is that unless there are the direst circumstances, the institution will remain open. Students, staff, and faculty members must exercise their best judgment about whether they attend class or report to work. Different conditions prevail for each individual under inclement weather situations, so the decision should be essentially an independent one.
If you do not hear an announcement about the cancellation of classes, then classes and events will be held as scheduled. Please do not call the Salisbury University Police Department about cancellation notices so that office can assist with emergency needs.
A course syllabus must be provided for each course by the first class meeting or first week of the session. The syllabus should include the following information:
- University name; Department name; Course title and course number and section;
- Course catalog description including pre- or co-requisites; whether or not the course satisfies a General Education requirement and if so, in which group;
- Course learning outcomes or objectives written to describe what learners will learn and be able to do if they successfully complete the course;
- Instructor name; office location; office hours and methods for students to communicate (e.g. phone and/or email);
- Required and optional course materials such as textbook(s), publisher courseware, Open Education Resources (OER) etc.;
- Course policies and procedures related to class attendance, late submission of assignments, tests and quizzes;
- Grading policy which clearly explains how grades will be calculated;
- Topics to be covered; and schedules of major projects and assessments.
The University provides a central course-related policies website which includes institutional policies and procedures related to academic misconduct, misappropriation of course-based intellectual property, emergency absence policy, registration add/drop/withdraw period; student accommodations and resources; etc. A link to the SU Course-Related Policies and Resources is included on every course menu within the MyClasses learning management system.
Salisbury University expects that all students have read and understood all of the Course-Related University Policies and Resources and thereby agree to honor these standards. Important course-related policies and resources include, but are not limited to:
- Course registration add/drop/withdraw period
- University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement
- Academic Misconduct Policy
- University resources such as the Academic Advising Center, SU Cares, SU Libraries, Disability Resource Center, Center for Student Achievement, and University Writing Center.
These policies and procedures constitute a commitment by the faculty member to students and must be followed throughout the semester. Faculty should reference the compiled list of university course-related policies and resources in their syllabus along with academic unit policies and procedures. If you include direct policies and procedures in your syllabus, please review the Course-Related University Policies and Resources site each semester to ensure the accuracy of the information provided to students. All University course-related policies and procedures are approved by the faculty senate.
Faculty teaching online and hybrid courses should include additional sections to their syllabus related to technology requirements and support services; communication expectations for online discussions, email and other forms of interaction; instructor feedback to students on learning activities and support services available to support the learner. Contact the Office of Instructional Design & Delivery for examples and templates.
Salisbury University is required by BOR policy as well as Federal and/or state law to ensure that faculty are aware of the federal and/or state requirements of faculty to take steps to avoid the excessive cost of course materials. Therefore, when faculty order course materials for their courses, they will be presented with a summary of the applicable regulations and will need to acknowledge that they are aware of the requirements of the law. A copy of the summary can be found on the Course Requisitions web page.
Two ways to lower the cost of course materials are through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), and inclusive access materials provided through most textbook publishers.
Inclusive Access (IA): Inclusive Access courses are courses where digital content for the course is loaded into MyClasses and available to the student approximately 1 week prior to the start of classes. Students will be charged the price shown via their student account unless they opt out by the date indicated. This ensures all students have course material at the onset of the semester.
Open Educational Resources (OER): Please see SU’s OER library guide and the resources available through the Kirwan Center for more information about OER.
Deregistrations are performed to allow other students access to filled courses. During the drop/add period, instructors of courses that have reached maximum enrollment may drop from their rosters any student if:
- The student misses two consecutive class sessions of a course that meets at least twice during the drop/add periods and fails to notify the instructor of their desire to remain in the course.
- The student misses the first class session of a course that meets only once during the drop/add period and fails to notify the instructor of their desire to remain in the course.
During the drop/add period of the winter, summer I, and summer II sessions, an instructor may drop from a course roster any student who misses the first class session of the term and fails to notify the instructor of their desire to remain in the course.
Instructors initiate this “Ghost Policy” by notifying the Registrar’s Office in writing of students who are dropped from a roster. This written notification must include the student’s name and SU identification number as well as the course name and number, its section number, and the department in which the course is taught.
Roster verification is separate and distinct from SU’s Ghost Policy. Verification of class rosters is completed after the end of drop/add and serves many purposes. These include reporting requirements, student advisement, and retention.
Roster verification is required for compliance with federal and state reporting regulations. Its primary purpose is to ensure that all students are correctly registered for the courses that they are attending and, ultimately, that all grade rosters will be correct.
Full- and part-time faculty have the obligation to provide students with adequate notice of their academic progress. Students who are performing unsatisfactorily in any course at mid-semester should be notified of inadequate performance by the course instructor. Failure to do so is not only unfair to the students but may place the faculty member at risk with respect to student grievances about grades.
Faculty may not publicly post grades but may inform students of final grades before grades are sent out by the Registrar. The preferred method of posting grades is through the university learning management system, MyClasses. To assist students and faculty members in cases of disputes over grades, all grades and final examinations should be kept for one calendar year. Faculty members who leave the university should turn in exams and grade books to the department chair/school director.
The undergraduate and graduate grading systems can be found in the Registration and Student Records section of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.
Information on classroom and extracurricular needs of students with documented disabilities should be obtained from the Disability Resource Center. Materials and aids for working with students with documented disabilities are available there, along with resources to help faculty best support student accommodations.
Suggestions for inclusion of culturally diverse students can be found in department-level resources, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Teaching and Learning Resources webpage, and Multicultural Student Services.
Faculty who seek student subjects for research in their classrooms and who offer some form of academic credit to students in exchange for their involvement must secure approval to do so from the University’s Institutional Review Board. Application for review and approval can be obtained on the IRB’s website. To secure this approval, faculty must demonstrate that student involvement in the research protocol is academically valid and relevant to the course in which the credit will be given. Faculty are expected to explain the specific steps they will use to ensure that students receive academic benefit from their involvement as research subjects. Any time faculty members either solicit student volunteers for their own research or supervise student research, they should consult the procedures established by the Institutional Review Board. Faculty members are ethically and legally responsible for research done to, with, or by their students.
Faculty must give alternative, credit-bearing experiences to students who do not choose to participate in the research protocol. These experiences should be generally equivalent in time and effort to those in which the student research volunteers are involved.
Plans for field trips related to the instructional program should be made in advance of the anticipated trip and are not to be scheduled during the last two weeks of classes prior to the semester examinations. Please check with your chair/school director regarding any releases that may be needed for course activities.
Courses at Salisbury University are normally culminated by final examinations. These examinations are to be given during the time reserved by the Registrar’s Office. Final examinations are not to be given during the last scheduled week of classes. If an exam or test is given during the last week of classes, a final exam must also be given during exam week. For courses with projects instead of exams, you must meet during the allotted final exam time in compliance with COMAR regulations.
A student who has more than two final examinations scheduled for the same day need not take more than two of these exams on that day. A student must abide by the following procedures when requesting to reschedule examinations; requests for rescheduling must occur no later than one full week before the final examinations begin, and the student must provide each of the professors involved with a written copy of their complete examination schedule, including course numbers, sections numbers, and name of professors. In rescheduling examinations, the following guidelines must be followed:
- The first exam cannot be rescheduled.
- Any common exam (ENGL 103) cannot be rescheduled.
- When possible, reschedule the middle exam when it is not a common exam.
The professors of courses whose examinations are not scheduled in the first time slot and are not common exams will reschedule their examinations within the final examination period on a day in which the student has fewer than two scheduled examinations. The professor will notify the student when and where the examination will be given. In the event the professor contacts the other professors involved and makes alternate arrangements for the student to take no more than two examinations in a day, the professor will inform the student of those arrangements prior to the last day of classes.
A student who has more than one examination scheduled for the same time period should contact the professors involved to make alternate arrangements.
Students are expected to attend all class meetings and complete all work in courses for which they are registered. However, Salisbury University recognizes that students may experience serious medical issues, the death of a loved one, or other significant and unexpected life events during the course of an academic term. The Emergency Absence Policy aims to minimize the impact of serious life events upon students’ academic progress. The policy balances supporting students in achieving their educational goals with the academic integrity of the curriculum and the principles of faculty academic freedom. Please refer to the policy for additional details.
Salisbury University assumes the right, under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or FERPA, to provide student directory information without prior consent of the student. Directory information is defined as a student’s name, local address (if listed), date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of an athletic team member, dates of attendance degrees and awards received, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, listing of officers of student organizations (including names and addresses).
Students who want more or less than directory information released should notify the Office of the Registrar and the Student Affairs Office.
Faculty are expected to complete FERPA training on an annual basis (link available in Gullnet).
Students are not to be penalized because of observances of their religious holidays and are to be given an opportunity, wherever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignments missed due to individual participation in religious observances.
As possible, please provide materials in a digital form via MyClasses or other means. The policy on faculty producing, creating, or assembling class materials can be found in the SU Libraries’ Copyright Guide. See Section V.D.3. of the Intellectual Property Policy
Integrity is a principle that permeates all activities of the University and guides the behavior of faculty, students, and staff. Salisbury University manifests the principle of academic integrity by the spirit in which truth is pursued. The University further demonstrates the principle by establishing processes that enable students to learn about the concept of integrity and that determine individual accountability for standards of integrity.
The spirit of academic integrity denotes adherence to the precept that one’s work is one’s own. The process by which integrity is upheld assumes clear communication of university expectations, standards, and policies as well as clear communication of students’ and faculty’s rights and responsibilities. The procedure is grounded in the commitment to the protection of individuals’ rights.
Policies listed below that specifically mention SU represent the University’s unique perspective on the classroom and related responsibilities of the faculty. These SU-specific policies have been developed by the faculty independent of the University System of Maryland as an expression of faculty commitment to the University as a teaching institution.
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty members share with students and administrators the responsibility of academic integrity. Faculty members enjoy freedom in the classroom to discuss all subject matter reasonably related to the course. In turn, they have a responsibility to encourage students’ free and honest inquiry and expression. Consistent with the principles of academic freedom, faculty are responsible for presenting courses that are consistent with their descriptions in the Salisbury University catalog.
Faculty members are obligated to evaluate students fairly, equitably, and in a manner appropriate to the course and its objectives. Grades must be assigned without prejudice or bias. If there is a need to change a grade, a faculty member submits a Change of Grade form (see instructions) to the Registrar.
Faculty members shall make all reasonable efforts to prevent the occurrence of academic dishonesty by appropriately designing and administering assignments and examinations, carefully safeguarding course materials and examinations, and regularly reassessing evaluation procedures. If faculty suspect instances of academic dishonesty, they have a responsibility to take appropriate action in accordance with Salisbury University’s Student Academic Misconduct Policy.
Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
Students share responsibility with faculty members and administrators for academic integrity. They have the right to free and honest inquiry and expression in their courses, and the right to know course requirements, evaluation, and grading procedures. Students have an obligation to complete course requirements in the time and manner prescribed by their faculty and to submit their work for evaluation.
Students have the right to be evaluated fairly, equitably, and in a timely manner appropriate to the course and its objectives. In addition, faculty members have the obligation to make students aware of the expectations in the course, the evaluation procedures, and the grading policy. When students believe they have not been fairly evaluated, they may appeal such evaluations according to the procedures detailed in Salisbury University’s Student Grievance Policy.
Students must not submit as their own work any which has been prepared by others. Students may have appropriate assistance in the preparation of their work from librarians, tutors, or others as specified or approved by the appropriate faculty member.
Students may not resubmit work they have done in a previous course, regardless if they earned a passing grade (repeating a course).
At Salisbury University, academic misconduct, a breach of academic integrity, may include but is not limited to the following:
- Plagiarism: presenting as one’s own work, whether literally or in paraphrase, the work of another.
- Cheating on exams, tests, and quizzes: the wrongful giving or accepting of unauthorized assistance, the giving or taking of unauthorized exam material, and/or the use of illegitimate sources of information.
- Illicit collaboration with other individuals in the completion of course assignments.
- The use of fraudulent methods in laboratory, studio, fieldwork, or computer work.
- Other acts generally recognized as dishonorable or dishonest which bear upon academic endeavors.
Students shall make all reasonable efforts to prevent academic dishonesty. They shall encourage academic integrity by their own example and shall not engage in acts of academic misconduct. When students suspect instances of academic dishonesty, they have the right and responsibility to bring this to the attention of the faculty or other appropriate authority.
Salisbury University is committed to fostering academic integrity by ensuring the implementation of the procedures described in this policy.
Students who are expelled or suspended from Salisbury University for reasons of academic dishonesty are not admissible to any other University System of Maryland if expelled or during any period of suspension.
In the matter of alleged, arbitrary, and capricious grading, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy III-1.20. The SU guidelines and procedures are outlined in the SU’s Student Grievance Policy document.
Integrity is a principle that permeates all the activities of the University and guides the behavior of faculty, students, and staff. The spirit of academic integrity denotes adherence to the precept that “one’s work is one’s own.” The process by which integrity is upheld assumes clear communication of university expectations, standards, and policies and clear communication of students’ and faculty’s rights and responsibilities. The Student Academic Misconduct Policy is intended to foster student academic integrity and address cases of student academic misconduct which includes, but is not limited to, lying/fabrication, cheating, plagiarism, and misappropriation of intellectual property. This policy, and related procedures, apply to both undergraduate and graduate students and can be found here in its entirety.
Salisbury University Faculty Handbook ©