Section 6: Teaching and Student/Faculty Interactions

unh faculty with students

 

 

6.1     Introduction

Curriculum, subject matter, and methods of instruction of students are the primary responsibilities of teaching. While receiving assistance from appropriate University channels is acceptable, the execution of these activities through teaching is the main responsibility of the faculty.

This section regarding teaching and student/faculty interactions provides general information about instruction, advising, the Academic Honesty Policy, dealing with problem situations, resources for students, etc.  The aim is to help faculty members enhance the rewards and minimize the challenges of these faculty/student interactions. More specific information regarding each of these topics is found in the University of New Hampshire’s Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities Handbook (see https://www.unh.edu/student-life).

The following items have been chosen for inclusion in this section because they pertain to how faculty members fulfill their obligation toward students in a course. They are placed in alphabetical order for ease of reference.

6.2     Academic Honesty Policy

Each member of the University is expected to conduct research and academic activities with honesty. The following are examples of dishonesty in academia: cheating by claiming the work of another as one’s own, consulting an outside source on an out-of-class assignment when instructed not to by the professor or instructor, committing plagiarism, and misrepresentation of information. In the case of misconduct, an instructor of the course in which the student has engaged in academic dishonesty will be responsible for determining a penalty. This penalty can be no greater than giving the student a failing grade for the course. The college dean may serve a student further penalty, and a student has the right to appeal any penalties in the presence of an advisor from the University community.  More details on the penalties and procedures for academic misconduct can be found at https://www.unh.edu/student-life.

6.3     Athletics

Student athletes are to notify all instructors of scheduled athletic events in which they are to compete as representatives of the University that includes travel to and from the event. Athletics play a valuable role in the community. UNH faculty are requested to be flexible and offer reasonable accommodations for student athletes whose schedule of intercollegiate athletic contests requires them to be absent from class or miss scheduled quizzes, exams, or assignment due dates. Athletic practices do not qualify a student to be absent from class or miss scheduled assignments without penalty. For more information on what does and does not require faculty accommodations for student athletes, visit https://www.unh.edu/student-life.

 

6.4     Attendance (student)

Every student is responsible for meeting satisfactory attendance as determined by the instructor of each course. Rules for penalties or make-ups in cases of absences from examinations and laboratory periods are under the discretion of the instructor. In general, students may be excused and will not be subject to academic penalty for reasons such as (a) ill health, (b) participation in official intercollegiate events, (c) personal emergencies, and (d) instructional trips. As designated by the University calendar, students should not be required to attend any examinations on the first Tuesday of November due to their constitutional right to vote in New Hampshire state and federal elections.

University “free” hours are reserved for convocations or common exams for multi-section courses. Normally, classes and labs are not scheduled during these hours. The Registrar may allow some exceptions to this policy; however, any classes or labs scheduled during these hours must excuse without penalty all students whose attendance is required for common exams.

More detailed information on different types of absences and the faculty’s role in enforcing University attendance policies in the classroom can be found at https://www.unh.edu/student-life.   

6.5     Center for Academic Resources

The Center for Academic Resources (CFAR) is located on campus at Smith Hall and offers a variety of sources for academic support.  Many services are available to all undergraduate students enrolled in at least one course at UNH. CFAR also assists faculty in improving the academic skills of undergraduate students. For a list of academic support services offered by the Center for Academic Resources, go to https://www.unh.edu/cfar.

6.6     Class Disruption

Faculty may confront disruption or obstruction of teaching and research according to the conduct policies in Article IV of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities handbook (see https://www.unh.edu/student-life).  Charges shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Director of the Office of Conduct and Mediation who is responsible for the administration of the University conduct system.  Charges against a student for misconduct are taken seriously, and the Office of Conduct and Mediation may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Director. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, and if they are found by the Director of the Office of Conduct and Mediation to have merit, a formal conduct hearing shall be scheduled and the Director may later serve in the role of procedural advisor at the conduct hearing.

 

For more details on the procedure for charging a student on the basis of class disruption refer to Article IV of the Student Code of Conduct and Conduct Process in the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook at https://www.unh.edu/student-life

6.7     Copyrighted Materials

Copyright is a limited set of rights granted to authors, artists, and other creators of intellectual works to control the reproduction, creation of derivatives, distribution, performance, or display of those works. Copyright owners may transfer all or some of these rights to someone else, either temporarily or permanently.  For information about fair use of copyright materials, see http://www.library.unh.edu/about-us/policies/copyright

Illegal use of information technology resources and infringement of copyright laws constitutes a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.  UNH follows an established process to respond to complaints from copyright holders about students who allegedly violate the copyright law through electronic means such as peer-to-peer file sharing through personal computers.  More information on the faculty’s role in cases of students misusing copyrighted materials can be found in the OLPM at http://www.usnh.edu/olpm/UNH/VI.Prop/F.htm

6.8     Confidentiality of Student Records

Student records are maintained in the University, and the right of access to these records is provided to the student or other individuals according to the guarantees and limitations specified in the federal government’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232 g). By University policy, no records shall be kept that reflect political or ideological beliefs or associations.

 

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 can be found at https://www.unh.edu/student-life

6.9     Counseling Center

Faculty at times may want to refer students to the counseling center. The Counseling Center is Smith Hall and provides individual and group counseling, and disability resources. The center also offers self-help advice on topics such as eating concerns, depression, anxiety, sexual assault, grief and loss, inspiration, and meditation resources. For links and student resources visit the Counseling Center website at https://www.unh.edu/counseling-center/homepage

6.10    Credit Hour

UNH is in compliance with the federal definition of credit hour. For each credit hour, the university requires, at a minimum, the equivalent of three hours of student academic work each week. Academic work includes, but is not limited to, direct faculty instruction, e-learning, recitation, laboratory work, studio work, field work, performance, internships, and practica. Additional academic activities include, but are not limited to, readings, reflections, essays, reports, inquiry, problem solving, rehearsal, collaborations, theses, and electronic interactions. Student work reflects intended learning outcomes and is verified through evidence of student achievement.

For more information, see the undergraduate catalog at http://www.unh.edu/undergrad-catalog/index.cfm.  

6.11    Disabilities

The goal of disability services is to create an environment that gives all students the opportunity to be viewed on a basis of ability, not disability. To achieve this goal, the responsibility is left to the student to utilize the resources of Disability Services for Students to the extent they deem necessary.

 

The policy and procedure for students registering with DSS to receive academic or non-academic accommodations, including necessary documents and resources for registering can be found at http://www.unh.edu/disabilityservices/.

6.12    Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence

The University allows for an atmosphere of open exchange of ideas that may result in members of the community being exposed to ideas they consider unorthodox. Discrimination and sexual harassment interferes with successfully allowing for this type of open exchange.  From the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook (p. 24):

It is the policy of the University of New Hampshire to uphold the constitutional rights of all members of the university community and to abide by all United States and New Hampshire State laws applicable to discrimination and harassment. In accordance with those laws, all members of the UNH community will be responsible for maintaining a university environment that is free of intimidation and harassment. Therefore, no member of UNH may engage in harassing behavior within the jurisdiction of the university that unjustly interferes with any individual’s required tasks, career opportunities, learning, or participation in university life.

The requirements of federal and state law which determine the definition of discriminatory harassment, the procedure for reporting to and evaluations by the administration on discriminatory harassment, and steps to resolving the matter are described in depth under Affirmative Action and Equity Policies of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities Handbook. Further, details on time limits associated with filing a discriminatory complaint can be found on page 24 of the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook under Affirmative Action and Equity Policies at https://www.unh.edu/student-life.   

Sexual harassment is defined under Section 5.  For how to respond to student disclosures of sexual harassment, please see http://www.unh.edu/sharpp/responding-student-disclosures

6.13    Evaluation of Teaching

Anonymous student evaluations from classes with five or more students are used in the improvement of teaching, promotion and tenure decisions, and annual evaluations. Departments may also use additional methods of teaching evaluation, including peer input and self-development through communication between faculty and students. Departments may supplement the questionnaire with numerical questions and/or narrative questions.  For more information on teaching evaluation, see http://www.unh.edu/institutional-research/student-evaluation-teaching

6.14    Final Exam Schedule

The Final Exam Schedule is posted on the Registrar Office’s website at http://www.unh.edu/registrar/general-information/final-exams.html

6.15    Grades

The University employs a plus/minus grading system in which grades earn the following quality point values:

 

A

(4.00)

excellent

A-

(3.67)

intermediate grade

B+

(3.33)

intermediate grade

B

(3.00)

superior

B-

(2.67)

intermediate grade

C+

(2.33)

intermediate grade

C

(2.00)

satisfactory, competent

C-

(1.67)

intermediate grade

D+

(1.33)

intermediate grade

D

(1.00)

marginal grade

D-

(0.67)

intermediate grade

F

(0.00)

failure: academic performance so deficient in quality as to be unacceptable for credit.

Instructors must explain, in writing, an evaluation (grading) statement that will be used in the process of determining grades in each course. For more information on a student’s right to use the pass/fail grade system, descriptions of various types of failing or incomplete grades, and determining which grades will or will not be considered in determining grade point average, see https://www.unh.edu/student-life.

6.15.1  Posting of Student Grades

Grades are due 72 hours after a final exam; if no final is given, grades are due 72 hours after the last day of classes (see http://www.unh.edu/registrar/grades-transcripts/entering-grades.html).  The final Webcat grade submission deadline will be posted in the Academic Calendar. Changes to grades may be made in Webcat up until the deadline for submitting final grades. No special grade report is required for the changes. However, if a student's grades have migrated to her or his academic history, a special grade report is then required to make a change.

For answers to question regarding posting of student grades including posting grades for students with incomplete coursework, students who have stopped attending classes, etc., see http://www.unh.edu/registrar/grades-transcripts/entering-grades.html.

6.15.2  Grade Appeals

Every instructor must be prepared to discuss and to explain the basis for her or his evaluation of students. If, after consulting the instructor, a student still believes that s/he was treated unfairly, s/he has the right to seek redress from the chairperson of the department or program in which the course is offered. Under exceptional circumstances, a final appeal may be made to the dean of the college in which the program is offered.  More information can be found at https://www.unh.edu/student-life.

6.16    Grievances

All members of the UNH community are encouraged to make efforts to resolve conflicts informally before pursuing grievance procedures. Students are encouraged to talk with faculty or staff members or to write letters to seek resolution of their concerns. When such action proves ineffective or intimidating, grievance procedures may be initiated by any UNH students, including undergraduate or graduate degree candidates. If, after consulting with the faculty member, a student still has a complaint, she or he should talk with the chairperson of the faculty member's department. If no satisfactory resolution results, the student may talk with the dean of the college or school. If the matter is not resolved by the dean, final appeal may be made to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. If this process does not result in a resolution, further steps involve a supervisory review, a hearing, and an appeal. For further information on the procedure a student must take to pursue a grievance against faculty and staff and for a description of the Student Grievance Hearing Board, see https://www.unh.edu/student-life.  

6.17    Libraries

On the Durham campus, the UNH Library includes the main Dimond Library, three branch libraries for the physical sciences and engineering, and a library storage facility.  Dimond Library houses collections in the social sciences, humanities, business, health and human services, education, life and agricultural sciences, earth sciences, US an NH government documents (including maps), special collections, and the university archives. There is also a library on the UNH Manchester campus. 

Course-integrated, hands-on library instruction classes that support students in locating information and developing skills in information literacy, research skills, and critical thinking are available for all faculty on request.  Librarians are also available to help UNH faculty and community members with in-depth research assistance related to course development and individual scholarship. Individual consultations are also available for your students in support of their projects. To request a library instruction session, instructors should call the Reference Desk in Dimond Library at (603) 862-1544 or contact the appropriate science or engineering library. More information is available at https://www.library.unh.edu/faculty/library-instruction

The libraries provide a number of services of special interest to faculty, including course reserves, extended borrowing time, proxy borrowing, the Scholars’ Repository, data services, and more.  To explore these and other services and resources for faculty, visit http://www.library.unh.edu/faculty.

Faculty members are encouraged to become familiar with the services, policies, and procedures of the University Libraries through their main websites at http://www.library.unh.edu/ (Durham campus) and http://manchester.unh.edu/library/ (Manchester campus).   

6.18    Medical “Excuses”

It is the policy of UNH Health Services that individual medical excuses are not provided for students missing classes or exams due to illness. It is the student’s responsibility to inform professors of illness or reasons for absence. This policy is supported by the Academic Standards and Advising Committee. Professors are advised to consult with their Associate Dean.

6.19    Office Hours

Tenure and tenure-track faculty are required to hold specific office hours each semester that are typically scheduled for one hour a week per class though department expectations may vary.  Faculty who meet alone with students should leave their doors open as much as possible.

6.20    Online Learning

eUNH offers a wide array of courses through distance learning, some of which are part of entire degree programs available online. Instructors developing or teaching distance learning courses can find resources at http://www.unh.edu/eunh/.

 

6.21    Student Code of Conduct

The University’s Student Code of Conduct can be found on page four of the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook at:  https://www.unh.edu/student-life.  

 

6.22    Undergraduate Advising Information and Resources

6.22.1        Honors Program

The University Honors Office houses two programs for many of the University’s most talented and motivated students:  the University Honors Program and Honors in Major. For more information on these programs, visit http://www.unh.edu/honors-program/.

6.22.2        Writing Programs

UNH offers students assistance in writing through the Connors Writing Center (CWC), which is an effective resource for all undergraduate students in any discipline of study. Types of writing with which CWC staff can assist students at any stage of the writing process include research papers and proposals, literature reviews, bibliographies, outlines, personal statements, personal narratives, and senior portfolios.

The CWC assistants will not proofread a student’s work. In addition to individual conferences, however, they do supply handouts to assist students in proofreading their own grammar, punctuation, and formal writing conventions.

For more information about how to set up an appointment with the writing center, visit their website at http://www.unh.edu/writing/