Appendix 1: Principles of Teaching Responsibility

The following responsibilities apply to faculty and other instructional staff at the University at Albany (referred to below as instructors). These statements are an expression of professional responsibilities on our campus.

The provisions of such a code are so reasonable and the University conceives them to be so important that adherence to them will be taken into consideration as part of the assessment of teaching effectiveness called for in Article XII of the SUNY Board of Trustees' Policies.

Some of the specific provisions below correspond to state law or regulation, or University policy developed through the Senate and its councils. Specific sentences that correspond to previously existing law, regulation, University policy or AAUP Ethics are in italics.

1. Instructors are responsible for ensuring that the content of the courses they teach is consistent with the course descriptions approved by the relevant curriculum committees. Instructors are also responsible for stating clearly to students in each class the educational goals of the course at the beginning of each term (SED). It is expected that the class activities will be directed toward the fulfillment of those goals and that the basis upon which student performance is evaluated will be consistent with those goals.

2. Instructors are responsible at the beginning of each term for informing students in their classes of the attendance policy (UAC/Senate) and methods to be used in determining final course grades (SED). Course grades should be based on student performance, and consistent with announced methods for determining grades (AAUP/Senate).

3. Instructors are responsible for meeting their classes regularly and at scheduled times according to the University calendar. Instructors should notify their department chair or program director if they are to be absent or late and appropriate arrangements have not been made, so that suitable action may be taken. Teaching assistants who will be absent or late are responsible for notifying their course supervisor. Instructors are expected to adhere to University policy regarding scheduling and administration of final examinations (Undergraduate Academic Policy Manual).

4. Instructors are responsible for keeping a reasonable number of office hours for student conferences (Academic Affairs/Faculty Handbook). Office hours should be scheduled at times convenient to both students and instructor, with the option of prearranged appointments for students when there are schedule conflicts. Those who are responsible for academic advising should also be in their offices at appropriate times to accommodate advising and registration needs.

5. Instructors are responsible for providing a makeup exam or alternative or adjusting due dates for submission of work in case of religious observance (SED/Undergraduate Bulletin), participation in authorized intercollegiate events, or a personal emergency (University Senate).

6. Examinations and other assignments submitted for grading during the term should be returned with sufficient promptness to enhance the learning experience. Examination questions are an integral part of course materials, and the decision whether to allow their retention by students is the responsibility of the instructor. Term papers and other comparable projects are the property of students who prepare them. They should be returned to students who ask for them and those that are not returned should be retained by the instructor for at least one term (University Senate).

7. Instructors of courses in which assistants are authorized to perform teaching or grading functions are responsible for acquainting these individuals with the provisions of these principles and for monitoring compliance.

8. At the end of each term, instructors should use some systematic procedure in each of their courses to solicit feedback from the students (University Senate).

University Senate
January 24, 1994