- On-Campus Teaching
- Off-Campus Teaching and Distance Learning Off-campus teaching and distance learning are both administered through WVU Online in conjunction with the deans of the colleges and schools of the University. Participation in off-campus credit programs or in distance learning courses may be arranged as part of a faculty member's full-time teaching assignments, or may be contracted as an overload assignment. If resident faculty members are not available, assignments may be offered to other qualified personnel who are authorized to teach off campus courses with the approval of the chairperson and the dean.
- Overload Teaching The University compensates faculty members with full-time salaries for full-time service. If there is a shortage of faculty and an off-campus graduate course needs to be taught, and ifall other means of teaching the course are exhausted, faculty members may be asked tot each an off-campus graduate course, or rarely, an undergraduate course, on an overload basis for which they will be additionally compensated.
Academic Programs, Policies, and Procedures
- Program and Course Approval The University maintains a roster of officially authorized courses. The addition, modification, or deletion of an authorized course or program is initiated by the program unit and requires the approval of the dean of the school or college that administers the course or program unit. The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee reviews new course proposals, course changes, and course deletion proposals at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as new program and curriculum modifications in undergraduate programs. Any proposal to change or initiate a graduate program must have the approval of the University Graduate Council. Since new courses or programs may entail a commitment of University resources, they must also be approved by either the provost or the chancellor for health sciences, as appropriate.
Schedules, Office Hours, and Course Syllabus
Each semester, faculty members should provide their departmental offices with copies
of their schedules of classes and office hours. Where possible, they should also
post this information. Each semester all teachers or coordinators of undergraduate
or graduate courses should distribute to their students, within the first week
of class, a syllabus for each course that includes the academic requirements; a
summary or outline of the course;and attendance expectations, grading policies
and standards, and any other requirements. A statement that includes the faculty
member’s views on Academic Integrity is recommended for inclusion of all syllabi.
A statement that reflects the University's Faculty Teaching, Research, and Service
commitment to social justice.
- Days of Special Concern. Faculty members are required to make reasonable accommodation for students observing Days of Special Concern, which are listed in the Schedule of Courses. They may choose to excuse absences resulting from these observances. Alternatively, they may choose to cover all reasons for student absences with a blanket absence policy. If this blanket absence policy is meant to extend to Days of Special Concern, the instructor must state this clearly on the syllabus at the beginning of the term. The Student Instruction Committee of the Faculty Senate with the support of the Office of the Provost recommends that faculty, on a voluntary basis, consider including an inclusivity statement in each course syllabus:
- Last Week of Classes. Practical laboratory tests, make-up examinations, and regularly scheduled short quizzes are the only tests permitted for day classes during the week of classes preceding final examination week. Instructors are allowed to submit a petition to the chair of their department or division requesting a test to be given during the week before finals (commonly referred to as “dead week” or the“last week of classes”). Without exception, this petition must be submitted to and approved by the chair of the department on division prior to the end of the first week of classes, and, if approved, the examination must be indicated in the syllabus. Any tests given during the last week of classes are not permitted as a substitute for a final exam and/or project as described in the Office of the University Registrar’s Academic Progress website.
- Final Examinations. All final examinations must be given according to the schedule published in the Schedule of Courses, unless otherwise approved by the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs or the associate provost for graduate academic affairs.
West Virginia Board of Governors Board of Governors Academics Rule 2.2 - Program Creation and Review outlines the rule for reviewing academic programs offered at West Virginia University.
The University Calendar is prepared in accordance with guidelines established by the University Faculty Senate and is subject to its approval. The calendar indicates dates for freshman orientation, registration, classes,the last week of classes, examinations, the meeting of the Faculty Assembly,Commencement, and official holidays. The academic year has two semesters of sixteen to seventeen weeks each, the first lasting from late August to about mid-December, and the second from early January to early May.
Evaluation of Faculty Teaching
- Faculty members are encouraged to have their teaching regularly evaluated. Evaluation can take several forms:
- WVU Student Evaluation of Instruction
- Evaluation by other faculty members
- Evaluation of teaching materials
- The Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) Committee recommends that instructors
consider the inclusion of the statement below in their syllabi or communicate
this statement prior to the conduct of evaluations. No single statement or its
timing in the evaluation process can satisfy everyone. However, the Committee
feels that faculty must express the importance of the SEI process to students
taking WVU classes in order to elevate their participation rate.
Student Evaluation of Instruction Statement: “Effective teaching is
a primary mission of West Virginia University. Student evaluation of instruction
provides the university and the instructor with feedback about your experiences
in the course for review and course improvement. Your participation in the evaluation
of course instruction is both strongly encouraged and highly valued. Results
are strictly confidential, anonymous, and not available to the instructor until
after final grades are released by the Office of Admissions and Records. Information
about how you can complete this evaluation will be provided later.”
- For more information on evaluation of teaching, refer to
WVU Policies and Procedures for Annual Faculty Evaluation, Promotion, and Tenure.
Faculty members should also consult the faculty evaluation guidelines for their
own colleges and departments.
- Textbooks The University's bookstores are located on each campus (downtown, Evansdale Crossing, and Health Sciences Center). Orders for textbooks and supplies required for courses are processed through the chairpersons, deans, or appointed liaisons in each college, and then must be reported to all local bookstores. Faculty members should check in their departmental offices for the specific procedures to be followed. Additional references regarding textbooks are the Textbook Selection Guidelines, Board of Governors Policy 48, and Board of Governors Policy 17.
Copyrighted Material in the Classrooms
Federal copyright law governs the use of copyrighted material. Faculty members who
wish to use such material may do so for educational purposes, but they should request
permission of the writer or publisher, or they should abide by the fair-use guidelines.
Selected Student Policies and Procedures
Along with the traditional grades A through F, the University uses a number of special
grades that meet particular needs. All are listed and explained on the grade sheets
that are issued each semester and also in each of the
- Attendance The Faculty Senate attendance policy states that instructors must set attendance policies that are appropriate for the goals and instructional strategies of their courses. The instructor’s attendance policy must be clearly conveyed to the students in the course syllabus. Instructors may include attendance records in determining the final course grade.All attendance policies that affect students' grades must be announced in writing within the first week of class. Instructors cannot require documentation of student illness from any medical provider as part of an attendance policy, since medical conditions are confidential and frequently not verifiable.
- Grading Procedures In the seventh week of classes of each semester, faculty members who teach undergraduate courses report students who are earning D's or F's on their work. The grades are used for counseling and are not part of the student's permanent record. Faculty members report final grades to the Office of Admissions and Records. More information is available in the University's catalogs.
- FERPA/Confidentiality and Student Records The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) ensures that a student's educational record will be treated as confidential. Grades should not be posted publicly, whether physically or electronically, by name, Social Security number (even partial Social Security number) or other personal information that can be identified with an individual student by anyone other than the professor and that student. Within the University, only those with a "need to know," that is, those for whom the information is necessary to conduct official business, will have access to student educational records.
Maintenance of Academic Integrity of Student Grades
Faculty, students, and administrators share the responsibility to maintain the University's
academic integrity. From the perspective of academic integrity of grades, it is
essential that the process of faculty issuance of student grades measure the achievement
of the individual student. Student academic dishonesty may impede the accurate
measurement of student achievement, and thus violate the standards of academic
integrity on the part of the student. Student academic dishonesty includes the
following:plagiarism; cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations,
papers, and projects; and forgery, misrepresentation, and fraud. Cheating and plagiarism
are condemned at all levels of University life. Refer to the official University
policy on cheating and plagiarism available in the
University's catalogs, and the
Academic Integrity/Dishonesty Policy. If a faculty member has adequate reason
to proceed with a sanction of a student grade as defined in WVU Student Conduct
Code, Article 3, B1, the faculty member is to fill out an Academic Dishonesty Form.
There is a flowchart associated with the academic dishonesty policy with respect
to student grading, refer to the Academic Dishonesty Reporting Procedure.
- Grade Appeals Just as faculty must uphold the standards of academic integrity in the process of issuing grades, students also have a process with which to appeal grades via an ombudsman procedure described in the Student Conduct Code, West Virginia University Board of Governors Policy 31. Students have the right to appeal final course grades that they believe reflect capricious, arbitrary, or prejudiced academic evaluation, or reflect discrimination based on race or color, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, age, disability, national origin, creed, ancestry, or political affiliation. The grade appealed remains in effect until the appeal procedure is completed, or the problem is resolved. The Student Grade Appeals policy is located under “Appeals” on the Student Conduct Code website.
- Changing Grades A faculty member designs syllabi, teaches courses, and assigns grades, for which he or she must have a rationale. Under normal circumstances, the assigned grade is the final grade astudent receives.
Rule for Recording Last Day of Participation in Course
US Department of Education compliance regulations state that a student who does not
earn any passing grades within a term is considered to have
from the institution and a return of federal funds to aid programs is required. In
order to evaluate the return of funds accurately, it is necessary to determine
the date that the student last participated in an academic activity.
Confidentiality and Student Records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) ensures that a student's
educational record will be treated as confidential. Therefore, student grades and
test scores may be posted only according to a random code, but not by the student's
identifying numbers. Within the University, only those with a "need to know," that
is, those for whom the information is necessary to conduct official business, will
have access to student educational records. The full text of the University's policy
on student grades is available at the Registrar’s website.
- Military Leave Policy (students)
Administrative actions can, however, affect a grade. For example, under special circumstances, the appropriate administrator may approve a retroactive withdrawal from a course. Moreover, in the case of a formal grade appeal made by the student via the appropriate application of West Virginia University Board of Governors Policy 31, Article IV, Section D, the administrator may adjudicate a case and change a student's grade. In the case of a grade appeal from a student made of a faculty member who is no longer in the employ of the institution, the administrator may give or change a grade in adherence with the general principles of Academic Integrity as contained in the Office of Academic Integrity’s Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Academic Misconduct at West Virginia University.
Academic dishonesty charges have their own procedure, however, which is outlined in the catalog and faculty handbook. The faculty member has every right to collect evidence,charge a student with academic dishonesty, and award an "F" (including an unforgivable"F"), if that is the consequence he or she has chosen. If the student wants to appeal, he or she has every right to appeal the grade to the Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities, and the faculty member has the opportunity to respond. If the Committee finds in favor of the student, then the grade is changed by the appropriate administrator in strict accordance with the procedure. Therefore, in cases of academic dishonesty, the process to handle that infraction must be followed, and neither the faculty member nor an administrator may impede the process.
Finally, if a situation arises in which a grade is challenged through the legal system, it is possible that an administrator may be directed to change a grade either as part of a verdict or as part of a legal settlement. Thus, in the great majority of circumstances, faculty assign the grades that appear on student transcripts according to the tenets of Academic Integrity as espoused in Section 4.1.3. There are, however, circumstances when the assigned grades may be altered by application of the formal grade appeal procedure, as indicated by the above examples.
Participation is defined as any work or materials received from the student, such as exams, quizzes, projects, homework, etc. It can include an annotation by the instructor that the student physically attended class or a class-assigned study group or conference; or otherwise participated in the course through tutorials, computer-assisted instruction, academic advising or counseling. Therefore, in cases where the student did not officially withdraw from the course but failed to participate (as defined above) through the end of the course, faculty will assign a grade of "F" unless eligible for an incomplete. Since grades will be entered online, faculty should indicate a last date of participation in the field labeled "Last Attend Date mm/dd/yyyy" to the right of the student grade. For faculty who record attendance, this will be the last date attended. For faculty who do not record attendance, this will be the date of the last test taken by the student or the date of the last recorded participation in a class activity.
The date is not required if the student completed the course but earned an "F" through normal evaluation of academic performance.
Academic Student Support
- Student Advising The Center for Learning, Advising and Student Success (CLASS) provides centralized academic advising services to a diverse group that includes exploratory/undecided students as well as students who were not directly admitted to a specific major.lower-division students in general studies and students in pre-major programs leading to degrees in arts and sciences, business and economics, medical technology, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy. Students who have not selected a major are also advised at the CLASS. Advisors are also available in each individual college or school.
- Student Support Office of Accessibility Services
Best Practices for Faculty in a Student-Centered Learning Environment
Faculty members at a student-centered institution have a professional obligation
to work with their students year-round. The University endorses this belief and
thus gives faculty access to university facilities, such as the library, office
services, and institutional support, throughout the year. As members of the University
community engaged in student learning, faculty are encouraged to respond in a timely
fashion to student requests.
- University Police
- Counseling and Psychological Services WVU operates a Student Center of Health called WELLWVU, with a focus on prevention and wellness. A part of WELLWVU, the Carruth Center, Student Health/Psychiatry and Health Promotions (CCCPS) focuses on mental health. The CCCPS is located at the Health & Education Building on the Evansdale campus. Hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., weekdays. For information call 304-293-4431.
The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) is dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities for students with temporary or permanent disabilities.
Faculty members may wish to refer students to a variety of student support services. For more details and additional student information, consult the Office of the Vice President for Student Life.
In an Emergency - An after-hours telephone crisis consultation service for psychological emergencies is available. Call 304-293-4431 after regular hours, and the WVU Department of Public Safety will answer your call, take your phone number, and immediately contact the Carruth Center staff member on call, who will respond.
Student Health Service - Student Health Psychiatry offers outpatient evaluation and treatment of problems such as depression, anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, panic, obsessive-compulsive, social, post traumatic stress disorder), bipolar disorder, and attention deficit disorder. For more information call 304-293-6972 for a Mental Health appointment.