Chapter 6: Faculty Responsibilities with Respect to Students
Faculty Responsibilities to Students
The Duke University faculty takes its teaching very seriously. Members of the faculty expect Duke students to meet high standards of performance and behavior. It is only appropriate, therefore, that the faculty adheres to comparably high standards in dealing with students. The following list of specific faculty responsibilities to students is predicated on the fact that students are fellow members of the university community, deserving of respect and consideration in their dealings with the faculty. At the same time, faculty can expect to be treated with respect and consideration in their dealings with students.
In accordance with the Faculty Handbook, instructors are expected to attend all class meetings. (For more information on attendance expectations, see section on “Scheduling of Classes and Attendance Regulations”) In times of extraordinary circumstances, faculty may consider providing a virtual option for students to attend class, or for faculty to hold class if an in-person option is unavailable.
Instructors will update their courses periodically to reflect the latest scholarship in the fields they teach.
Letters of Recommendation
Students depend upon faculty recommendations when applying for jobs or graduate school. If a faculty member agrees to write such a letter, it will be prepared promptly, accurately, and thoroughly.
Faculty members, including part-time faculty, will be available for regularly scheduled office hours, least two hours per week when teaching classes. If unable to keep those hours, a faculty member will notify students to that effect.
Scheduling of Field Trips
Faculty may not schedule required field trips on days that other classes are in session. The dates and times of any field trips, whether required or optional, should be published in the course syllabus and made known to students on the first day of class. If faculty include embedded travel in their courses, they should take steps to work alongside the Office of Global Health & Safety (OGHS) in Office of Undergraduate Education’s division of Experiential Education to mitigate risk, enhance safety, and ensure that issues related to financial aid are fully considered and managed.
Funding Field Trips
Faculty must receive approval from the Dean of Academic Affairs for any fee associated with a trip. These fees can have implications for financial aid. If approved, the dean will help coordinate with the bursar’s office and the financial aid office to charge and allocate funds back to the program.
Scheduling of Examinations, Papers, and Other Exercises
Examination schedules and deadlines for assignments will be established early in the semester and kept. Ideally, these should be published in the course syllabus.
At the beginning of each semester, faculty members will post or distribute course syllabi to their classes to provide students with a clear prospectus on their attendance and grading policies, and their schedules and deadlines for assignments and exams. Ideally, faculty will post their syllabi, or Directors of Undergraduate Studies will gather their department colleagues’ semester course syllabi and post them to the Syllabus Bank with faculty permission.
Per the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, all institutions must post textbook and other course materials in the schedule of classes prior to the start of registration each semester. Faculty can provide this information directly to the bookstore via an order form or may enter this information through DukeHub. In either case it will then be processed by the bookstore and posted on the schedule of classes, and made available to all students. Keeping in mind the cost of textbooks and course materials, faculty are recommended to consider the use of lower cost/open access/free options when available. Faculty are recommended to partner with Duke libraries to put materials on course reserve.
Faculty members have a responsibility to promote a climate of academic integrity. This includes talking with students about the importance of academic integrity, being guided by the institutional statement of values and culture, role modeling for students, creating an environment that promotes trust and making clear expectations for the class, including appropriate attribution and the extent to which collaboration is permitted.
Faculty members have a responsibility to follow requirements by the Student Disability and Access Office (SDAO) regarding student accommodation needs. Letters provided by the SDAO are provided to faculty on a semester-by-semester basis. The letter provides all necessary information needed for the faculty to initiate the outlined accommodations within the course.
Exclusion of Disruptive Students – Trinity College and Pratt School of Engineering
The successful conduct of courses depends upon a basic spirit of mutual respect and cooperation among the participants. If a student disrupts a class in such a way that it seriously compromises the educational experience of the course for the students and/or prevents the instructor from accomplishing the goals of the course as outlined in the syllabus the instructor may require the student to leave the class meeting. The student’s academic dean will be notified of this action. Subsequent to this action, as necessary and appropriate, the following process will be implemented.
It is expected that the instructor and the student will meet to discuss and agree in writing the conditions under which the student may return to the course. The student may not return to the course until the matter has been resolved. The student’s academic dean will receive a copy of this written agreement. If the instructor and the student fail to reach an agreement, then the matter is referred to the student’s academic dean who will begin the process of removing the student from the course. If the student is permanently excluded from the course, a grade of W will be assigned.
If an agreement is reached but the disruptive behavior continues, the instructor may again require the student to leave the class meeting and refer the matter to the student’s academic dean who will begin the process of removing the student from the course. If the student is permanently excluded from the course, a grade of W will be assigned.
If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the permanent removal, an appeal is to be directed to the academic appellate officer of Trinity College or the Pratt School of Engineering. The decision of the senior associate dean in such a case is final.
In addition, the academic dean may determine that the matter should also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for consideration of formal charges in violation of university policies including “Classroom Disruption,” “Disorderly Conduct,” and/or “Failure to Comply.”
Approved by the Arts and Sciences Council, September 14, 2006.
Students at Duke University are responsible for maintaining high standards of academic honesty and personal integrity in all matters, including reporting the results of their studies and research, and in taking quizzes, tests, and examinations.
Trinity College and Pratt School of Engineering
Duke undergraduates are expected to adhere to the Duke Community Standard that states:
Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Citizens of this community commit to reflect upon and uphold these principles in all academic and non-academic endeavors, and to protect and promote a culture of integrity.
To uphold the Duke Community Standard:
- I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;
- I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and
- I will act if the Standard is compromised.
When a faculty member makes an academic dishonesty allegation, the faculty member should contact the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (OSCCS) for advice and guidance on how to proceed. If consultation with the Office of Student Conduct reveals that the offense is minor and that the student has no past record of academic dishonesty, faculty may choose to resolve the matter through a faculty-student resolution, which gives the faculty flexibility in how to sanction students and will not become part of the student's disciplinary record unless there is a second violation.
If, however, after consultation with OSCCS it is deemed that the alleged offense is more serious or the student has a pattern of integrity violations, the Office of Student Conduct will initiate the disciplinary process. Contact the Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Conduct, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 684-6938.
An established, centralized procedure ensures that a student who commits repeated academic dishonesty violations will not go undiscovered as a result of being dealt with by independent faculty members in isolation. The Office of Student Conduct is charged with handling cases in a manner that balances students’ educational interests with the university’s interests in maintaining consistent and high standards.
The university’s disciplinary process is independent of, and in addition to, an instructor’s decision on how to grade academically dishonest work. Instructors are expected to communicate with students their policy regarding grading of an academically dishonest assignment (e.g., zero on the assignment, reduced/failing grade for the course, or other approach). An instructor may only implement this penalty if the student has accepted responsibility for academic dishonesty or has been found responsible for such through the Office of Student Conduct.
Additional guidance regarding academic integrity can be found on the Academic Integrity Council’s website: https://integrity.duke.edu/faculty/index.html).
Resources for promoting academic integrity and dealing with a possible case of academic dishonesty can be found at the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (OSCCS) web site, https://students.duke.edu/get-assistance/community-standard/osccs/.
Sanford School of Public Policy
The Sanford School Code of Professional Conduct requires students to abide by the Duke Community Standard and provides an Honor Code for graduate and professional students. The code is published on the school website: https://sanford.duke.edu/.
Graduate and Professional Schools
A separate Graduate School Judicial Code and Judicial Board have been established to govern situations of academic dishonesty in the Graduate School. A full description appears in the Bulletin of the Graduate School. Professional schools have their own policies governing academic dishonesty that appear in their respective bulletins.
School of Medicine Code of Professional Conduct
All entering health professional students are provided at orientation with the Code of Professional Conduct attesting to high ethical standards in school performance. The rights and responsibilities of students with regard to university-wide regulations pertaining to student conduct can be found in the current School of Medicine Bulletin, https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine.
There also exists a compact between teachers and learners of medicine. Preparation for a career in medicine demands the acquisition of a large fund of knowledge and a host of special skills. It also demands the strengthening of those virtues that undergird the doctor/patient relationship and that sustain the profession of medicine as a moral enterprise. This compact serves both as a pledge and as a reminder to teachers and learners that their conduct in fulfilling their mutual obligations is the medium through which the profession inculcates its ethical values. In this document, the resident is considered a teacher as well as a learner. For more information, please refer to the School of Medicine bulletin, https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine.
School of Nursing
The School of Nursing has established a Personal Integrity Policy and Guidelines for academic and personal integrity that are intended to guide the professional behavior of School of Nursing students. The policy and guidelines are available at:
Academic Freedom of Students
When and if a complaint is lodged against any faculty member asserting that they have abridged an individual's academic freedom, the dean of the appropriate school or college shall receive that written complaint and use their offices to resolve the matter in an agreeable fashion. If the dean wishes faculty aid in establishing the merits or extent of the complaint, the dean should appoint a disinterested two-person subcommittee of the Faculty Hearing Committee to provide advice. Cases not resolved by the dean may be brought to the attention of the provost.
Class Changes: Withdrawals and Additions, Academic Year
Policies concerning registration, changes thereof, refunds, withdrawals from single courses, and withdrawal from school are outlined in the Bulletin of Duke University, Divinity School at:
Before the final deadline for the drop/add period set by the University Schedule Committee each semester, graduate students may change their course registration choices in DukeHub. If a student wishes to withdraw after the drop/add deadline, the student must obtain permission from the director of graduate studies (DGS) and the instructor before the Graduate School can process the withdrawal. Any withdrawal after the drop/add deadline will result in a grade of W. Note for master’s students: the student is responsible for paying any charges incurred for courses from which a student withdraws after the drop/add deadline.
Sanford School of Public Policy
Policies concerning registration, changes thereof, refunds, withdrawals from single courses for master’s programs in public policy, and withdrawal from the school are found in the Bulletin of Duke University, Sanford School at https://sanford.bulletins.duke.edu.
School of Medicine
Policies concerning registration, changes thereof, refunds, withdrawals from single courses, and withdrawal from school are outlined in the School of Medicine Bulletin, https://medicine.bulletins.duke.edu/.
School of Law
All students are required to register on the dates prescribed by the School of Law, at which time class schedules must be completed. A student's registration for any semester is not complete until all indebtedness is settled with the Office of the Bursar. Students are not eligible to attend classes or make use of university facilities if they have any outstanding debt to the university.
Students may alter their registration by adding or dropping courses prior to the end of the seventh-class day of a semester, except that in specified seminars in which enrollment is limited, no withdrawals will be permitted without the permission of the instructor and dean. Withdrawals after the seventh-class day of a semester are permitted only with the permission of the instructor and dean.
School of Nursing--Graduate
The decision to withdraw from a course after the scheduled Drop/Add period requires the student to meet with their faculty advisor and the faculty of the respective course(s). If the faculty of the respective course(s) agree to the withdrawal, the student completes the Course Withdrawal Form and:
- obtains the signature of the faculty advisor,
- obtains the signature of the faculty member teaching the course.
The faculty member teaching the course then forwards the signed form to the appropriate Program Director for approval. The withdrawal will be indicated on the student’s transcript as a Withdrew (W). If the withdrawal is denied, the student must complete the course and will receive the final earned grade on their official academic transcript. When a withdrawal is approved, the student should be aware that the Duke University School of Nursing cannot guarantee registration in the course the next time it is offered. Consequently, the student may be delayed in completing the respective program for which they are matriculated. The student may be required to take a leave of absence from the respective program since required courses are not taught each semester. Students who find it necessary to interrupt their program of study should formally request in writing a leave of absence following the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and utilizing the form available online through the Office of Admissions and Student Services. A maximum of one calendar year’s leave may be granted. Please refer to the section below on Leaves of Absence for further details. Refunds of tuition and fees will not be made except as applicable within the established parameter of a total withdrawal from the program after the Drop/Add period. The Course Withdrawal Form may be obtained via the School of Nursing website, or in the Office of Admissions and Student Services.
Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering
All students are expected to carry a normal load of four courses in each semester of enrollment unless an underload is authorized by their academic deans. Any enrollment above four is considered an overload. Students may drop/add courses, as desired, until the beginning of the second week of classes. While students may add at their discretion in the first week, a permission number from the appropriate instructor must be obtained during the second week. After the first two weeks no course may be added and, in order to withdraw from a course, the student must obtain permission from the appropriate academic dean. After the drop/add period but prior to the last class day preceding the final four weeks of classes, students taking a course overload, i.e., more than four semester courses, may by course withdrawal reduce their schedule to four courses with the permission of the academic dean. With the permission of their academic dean, students enrolled in four full-credit semester courses may for compelling reasons withdraw from one course after the drop/add period but prior to the last class day preceding the final four weeks of classes. During the last four weeks of classes in any semester, or its equivalent in summer terms, a student may withdraw from a course if, in the judgment of the student's dean, compelling and extraordinary circumstances make it necessary for the student to discontinue the course; otherwise, the course is continued to the end of the semester. Whenever a student is permitted to withdraw from a course (no matter the time or circumstances), a grade of W will be recorded on the student’s academic record. A course discontinued without approval results in a grade of F.
Note that detailed policies for undergraduates in Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering can be found online (Trinity) at https://trinity.duke.edu/undergraduate/academic-policies and (Pratt) at https://pratt.duke.edu/undergrad/students/policies
Prior to or during the first three days of classes in a summer term, a student may add or drop a course by using DukeHub. Financial penalties may apply. After the third day of class, no course may be added without permission from the student’s academic dean. With permission of the academic dean (the director of the summer session serves as dean for all non-Duke students) or director of graduate studies, students may withdraw from a course until the end of the twentieth-class day of a regular summer term, in which case a grade of W will be recorded on the student’s academic record. Course work discontinued without the approval of the dean or director of graduate studies will result in a grade of F.
Updated class rosters are available to faculty, at any time, via DukeHub. Contact the Office of the University Registrar for access to DukeHub, the faculty/staff student records website.
Trinity College, Sanford School of Public Policy, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Graduate School Instructors for courses offered in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Pratt School of Engineering must announce during the first week of classes the form of the final exercise, if any. Unless departmental or school policy stipulates otherwise, the form of the final exercise is determined by the instructor. Final written examinations may not, however, exceed three hours in length, and final take-home examinations may not require more than three hours of actual writing. A final paper is not an examination. Take-home examinations are due at the regularly scheduled hour of an examination, based on the time period of the class. In courses in which final examinations are not scheduled, an exam that substitutes for a final examination may not be given in the last week of classes. Hourly tests may be given in the last week of classes, whether or not a final examination is administered during the exam period.
Instructors must retain all final examination papers for at least one year. They should be available for reference in instances where a grade is questioned.
The official schedule of final semester examinations for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment, and the Graduate School is prepared and distributed by the University Schedule Committee, and is available on the Office of the University Registrar website (https://registrar.duke.edu/), and no changes may be made in it without the committee's approval. Generally, final examinations are scheduled according to the day and hour at which the course meets during the semester. The Registrar’s Office will contact instructors when students are authorized to reschedule a final examination because they have three examinations within a 24-hour period.
When a department offers six or more sections of a course, OR multiple sections with a total enrollment of at least 300 students, and when the instructor in each of those sections agrees to give a uniformly graded common examination, a written request for a block final examination time period may be made to the University Registrar and chair of the University Schedule Committee. Such requests must be made by the end of the second week of classes in the previous semester, in order that the Schedule Committee can attempt to meet the request while it is establishing the final examination schedule.
Tests to be given during the regular semester also may be scheduled on a block basis when as many as six or more sections of a course with 100 students are being offered, and when the instructors in those sections agree to give a uniformly graded common examination. Block tests must be approved by the University Schedule Committee. Such tests are scheduled on Tuesday or Thursday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.
School of Law
A final examination will be required in every regular course, and no final examination will be required in any seminar, unless the instructor announces to the contrary before the end of the second week of the semester. No student may take a final examination in a course at a time other than the regularly scheduled time without the permission of the dean's office. Such permission normally shall be granted only in cases of illness or extreme personal hardship; direct conflicts in the scheduling of examinations; or in certain cases where a student has three scheduled examinations within a 36-hour period of time. No exams shall be rescheduled at a time prior to the regularly scheduled examination.
If a student has been excused from taking a final examination in a course at the regularly scheduled time, the instructor may require the student to take a special final examination or submit a special paper. In such a case, the student shall be graded in the course on a credit/no credit basis. If the student takes the regular examination, but it cannot be read together with the examinations taken by other students in the same course, the instructor may, in their discretion, grade the examination numerically or on a credit/no credit basis. If a student has been excused from taking a final examination at the regularly scheduled time, and the examination has not been taken within 28 days after the last regularly scheduled examination for that semester, a mark of incomplete will be entered on the student's record.
Computers and word processors may be used for taking examinations, unless prohibited by the individual instructor(s). Computer use is subject to the Law School’s honor code.
All final examination papers shall be preserved for a period of two years by the instructor or the Registrar's Office. All examination papers, including questions, student answers and related materials are the property of the instructor and/or the Law School. Students shall comply with the instructor's requirements concerning retention of exam papers and shall not retain copies, digital or otherwise, of exam questions, answers or related materials unless retention is specifically permitted by the instructor.
School of Medicine
Retesting, Absences, and Testing Policy: The Duke University School of Medicine curriculum is an intense, fast-paced curriculum designed to provide students with the core knowledge and skills necessary for early clinical exposure, for a productive year of individual scholarly activity in the third year, and for success in the transition to graduate medical education. The School of Medicine has established policies and procedures to guide students and faculty regarding the issues of absence, testing, retesting, and remediation in core elements of the curriculum. For more information, please refer to the School of Medicine bulletin, https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine/.
Faculty, at the outset of the term, will make clear on their syllabi how grades will be determined, what work in the course will be graded, and what standards will be applied. As required by the University, both midterm grades as well as final grades should be provided in a timely manner.
The grading symbols used at Duke at the undergraduate level are as follows:
Satisfactory (issued when a course is completed on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis, equivalent to a letter grade of C- or better)
Unsatisfactory (issued when a course is completed on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis, equivalent to a letter grade of D+ or worse)
Absence from final exam (+/- additional work)
Withdrawal from an audited course
Grades of A, B, C, and D may be modified by a plus (+) or a minus (-). Although the D grade represents low pass, in Trinity College not more than two courses passed with a D grade may be counted among those required for graduation or annual continuation. Courses for which a D grade is earned do, however, satisfy all other requirements.
The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option is intended to encourage students to explore courses they might not otherwise take. S/U courses can count towards general education requirements. When a student elects this option, a grade of S will be recorded when the student earns a grade equivalent to a C- or better and a U grade if the student earns a grade equivalent to a D+ or worse.
Undergraduate students may count no more than 4 courses taken on a voluntary S/U basis toward the 34 courses required for graduation. Note: students enrolled in a course on the S/U basis may subsequently change to a letter grade basis by filing a request with the registrar’s office up to the first day of the final four weeks of classes. Students may not change from a letter grade basis to an S/U option after the end of the correction period (end of third week of the semester).
A grade of F or U indicates that the student has failed the course and does not receive credit. The course must be repeated and a passing grade earned in order for credit to be awarded. The letter N indicates no grade was assigned. A grade of W indicates the student officially withdrew from the course.
Graduate and Professional School Symbols
At the graduate and professional school level, various systems of symbols are used:
A, B, C, D, F, P, NC, I, W
Fuqua School of Business
SP, HP, P, LP, F, I
A, B, C, F, I, W, Z, CR, NC
Numerical grades from 1.5 to 4.3, I, W, WP, WF; single course uses P, LP, F
H, HP, P, F, I, W
A, B, C, F, I, W, Z
A, B, C, F, I, W, X, Z
School of Nursing
A, B, C, F, CR (credit), NC (no credit), W
Within the Divinity School, the Graduate School, the School of Nursing, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Nicholas School of the Environment, all grades except F may be modified with plus (+) or minus (-). Such modifications are entered on the permanent record.
Repetition of Courses: Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering
A Trinity College student who receives a grade of D-, D, or D+ in any course will be allowed to repeat the course at Duke with permission of their academic dean. Forms to request permission are available on T-Reqs, the Trinity Requirement website. A Pratt student who has earned a grade of D-, D, or D+ in a required mathematics, science, or engineering course may, with permission of their adviser, director of undergraduate studies (DUS), and academic dean, repeat the course.
The grade earned in the repeated course as well as the grade earned originally will appear on the transcript, the former identified as a repeat; both grades will be computed in the grade point average, but the course credit will be counted only once toward the minimum number of courses for continuation or toward fulfilling graduation requirements.
Repetition of Courses: Sanford School of Public Policy
Students earning a failure (F) in a required course will normally be asked to withdraw from the degree program.
Repetition of Courses: Divinity School
Students earning a failure (F) in a required (core or foundational) course must retake the course. Students earning a D (D+, D, D-) in a core or foundational course shall be obliged to retake a regularly scheduled final examination in that course and pass said examination with a grade of C- or better. The retake does not alter the existing grade.
Repetition of Courses: School of Law
No student may retake for credit a course in which the student was previously enrolled and for which the student received a grade, unless the student receives a failing grade in a required course. Any student receiving a failing grade in a required course shall be required to retake the course, or, with permission of the instructor and the dean, to submit to a re-examination in the course, until credit is received. A student receiving a failing grade in an elective course may retake the course for credit only with the permission of the instructor. Once a previously failed course is retaken for credit and passed, the grade earned when the student retook the course shall appear on the student's transcript but no additional credit shall be awarded for the course, and the passing grade shall not be factored into the student's grade-point average. The original failing grade shall also remain on the transcript and shall be factored into the student's grade-point average.
No student may retake for credit a course in which the student was previously enrolled and from which the student withdrew after the halfway point of the course unless the student has obtained the permission of the instructor. If a student is permitted to retake for credit a course in which the student was previously enrolled for more than half of a course and ultimately withdrew, the student shall be graded in that retaken course on a credit/no credit basis.
A student may take for credit a course in which the student was previously enrolled and from which the student withdrew before the end of the seventh calendar week of the semester.
School of Medicine Grading
A grading basis is established for each course with Curriculum Committee approval. Currently there are three grading schemes established: Pass/Fail; Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail; and Credit/No Credit. Where appropriate, certification by the individual faculty person or by the delegated representative of each departmental chairman that a student has satisfactorily completed requirements for a course shall constitute grounds for a grade of Pass (P), High Pass (HP), or Honors (H). Honors are reserved for those students who have performed in an exemplary manner in the opinion of the faculty. For more information concerning the Grading policies, please refer to the School of Medicine bulletin, https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine.
With the instructor's permission, students may register to audit no more than one course in a semester except those classified as physical education activity, dance activity, applied music, and studio art. Auditors are not required to submit assignments or take examinations and receive no credit for audited courses. Once audited, a course cannot be repeated for credit. The record shows AD to indicate that a course has been audited. Students may not change a course to or from audit after the end of drop/add. Students must follow the procedures described on DukeHub for recording the grading status by the published deadline. If a student fails to attend an audited course regularly or abandons it midway, the instructor is expected to submit a grade of WA at the end of the semester.
School of Medicine course audit
Courses in the Doctor of Medicine program at the School of Medicine may be audited, with approval and consent of the course director, only by students currently enrolled in the MD program. Students who audit a course do not receive credit for the course. Only those classes offered in a lecture format may be audited with the written permission of the instructor. After the first week of classes in any term, no course taken as an audit can be changed to a credited course and no credited course can be changed to an audit. Further, an audited course may not be repeated for credit.
Z-Satisfactory Work in Progress
The grade Z may be used only in courses that extend beyond one semester to indicate satisfactory work in progress at the end of the first semester when no regular grade is applicable. At the end of the second semester of the course a single grade for the year's work is assigned, and credit added to the cumulative calculation.
X-Absence from Final Examination
Whenever students are absent from a final examination, they receive an X instead of a final grade unless the student's grade in the class is failing, in which case the instructor may submit an F. If no acceptable explanation for the absence has been presented to the appropriate dean's office within forty-eight hours after the scheduled examination time, the X is converted to an F. In extraordinary circumstances, an academic dean may excuse a student's absence from a final examination. It is the responsibility of the student to consult the academic dean within forty-eight hours of the missed exam. However, deferral of a final exam will not be authorized by the academic dean if it is ascertained from the instructor that the student has a history of excessive absence or failure to complete coursework in a timely fashion for the class. If the absence is excused, the student arranges with the dean and the instructor for a makeup examination to be given at the earliest possible time. An undergraduate student’s X not cleared by the end of the fifth week of the following semester (or an earlier date if continuation is at issue) is converted to an F. If not enrolled in the university during that following semester, students are given until the end of the fifth week of the next semester of matriculation to clear the X. The Incapacitation Form procedure cannot be used for final exams. In the School of Law, arrangements for makeup examinations are made with the dean or their designate only.
In Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering, the end of the semester is formally defined as the end of the final examination period. If, due to illness, emergency, or reasonable cause, a student cannot complete work for a course before the end of the semester, the student may request in writing to their academic dean the assignment of an “I” (incomplete) for the course. If the request is approved by the instructor in the course and by the student's academic dean, the “I” is given by the instructor. Although normally a Trinity College of Arts and Sciences student's request for the assignment of an “I” must be approved by the instructor in the course and by the student's academic dean, in certain cases the instructor may elect to assign an “I” without a written request from the student or the approval of the academic dean. When issuing an “I”, the instructor will also issue a reversion grade, i.e., the grade that will be posted to the student’s record if the student does not complete the missing work. In Trinity and Pratt, the student must satisfactorily complete the work prior to the last class day of the fifth week of the subsequent fall or spring semester (or earlier if there is a question of the student's continuation in school). If a grade is not reported by the end of the sixth week, the Office of the University Registrar will post the reversion grade. An “I” taken in the fall semester must be resolved at the latest in the succeeding spring term; an “I” taken in the spring or summer must be completed at the latest in the following fall term. A student not enrolled in the university during that subsequent semester will have until the end of the fifth week of the next semester of matriculation to clear the “I”. Students may not complete work in a course after graduation.
To submit a grade after issuing an “I” (if different than the reversion grade), the instructor sends a grade change letter to the University Registrar on departmental stationery and signed by the instructor. The letter should contain the name of the student, the student’s ID number, the semester, the course and section number, and the final grade. When the course grade is added to the student's official record, a notation of the “I” remains on the record, except in the Graduate School, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Fuqua School of Business.
In the Graduate School, Fuqua, Sanford, the Nicholas School, and the School of Nursing, one year is allowed for completion. When the course grade is added to the student's official record, the “I” is removed from the record. If the course requirements are not completed within one year, the grade of “I” remains permanently on the student's record and no credit is received for that course. In the School of Nursing one year is allowed for completion. If a grade is not reported by the end of that year an F will be recorded for the course. In the School of Medicine, a grade of “I” becomes part of the permanent record. The Grading Policy for each class can be found in the School of Medicine Bulletin https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine.
For the purpose of determining whether a student satisfies continuation requirements, an “I” is counted as failing to achieve satisfactory performance in that course. If at the end of the fall semester or the summer session an incomplete is a factor in determining continuation, it must be satisfactorily completed in time for final grades to be submitted to the registrar no later than the day preceding the first day of classes for the next semester. If the question arises at the end of spring semester, the “I” must be resolved prior to the first day of classes for the second term of summer session, whether or not the student plans to attend any terms of the summer session. No student who has incomplete course work from both the spring semester and the summer session may continue into the fall semester.
W--Withdrawal from a Course
Students withdraw from courses for a variety of reasons, including medical circumstances. Because withdrawal from a course always requires approval by the student’s academic dean, instructors should refer students to their dean to discuss whether a course withdrawal is advisable or permitted. The grade W is used to indicate officially approved withdrawal from a course. In order to withdraw from a course, students must procure a course withdrawal form from their academic dean, secure the signature of the instructor, and return the form to the dean’s office. If a student discontinues a course without the permission of the appropriate dean, a grade of F is recorded. Note: The use of W grades only, instead of WP, WF and WE grades, was approved by the faculty, effective Fall 2008, for Trinity, Pratt, the Nicholas School, the Sanford School, the Graduate School, the School of Nursing, and the Engineering Professional students. At this point, the Law School still uses the WP and WF system. In the School of Medicine, a grade of W becomes part of their permanent record. The Grading Policy and procedures required to withdraw from a course can be found in the School of Medicine Bulletin, https://registrar.duke.edu/university-bulletins/school-medicine.
W—Medical Leave of Absence
A medical leave of absence may be authorized at any time in the semester before the last day of classes and is authorized by the academic dean if, due to personal health problems, it becomes impossible for a student to continue in courses. Grades of W are issued in each of the student’s courses. Medical leaves are not granted once classes have ended. In support of a request to take medical leave, a student must provide a letter from a health professional or therapist.
W, F--Withdrawal from the University
Students who wish to withdraw from the university must give official notification to their academic dean. For students withdrawing from the university on their own initiative prior to specified times (given in the bulletin for each college or school) before the end of the semester, a W is assigned in lieu of a regular grade for each course. Thereafter an F is recorded for each course unless the withdrawal is caused by an emergency beyond the student's control. For additional information, consult the bulletin of the appropriate college or school or the student's academic dean.
Reporting Grades: Trinity College, Pratt School of Engineering, Graduate School, School of Nursing, Nicholas School of the Environment, Divinity School, Fuqua School of Business, Sanford School of Public Policy
At the appropriate times each semester, instructors are notified via email that on-line grading for that semester is open. The instructor submits the grades, via DukeHub, to the Office of the University Registrar. All grades must be submitted within forty-eight hours after the final examination is given. Graduating students' grades are due within twenty-four hours after the final examination is given. Grades are available to students via DukeHub, as soon as they are posted.
Reporting Grades: School of Law
Final grades in all completed courses in the Fall semester shall be recorded by instructors on or before January 15 (or the following Monday should that date fall on a weekend). Final grades in all completed courses in the Spring semester shall be recorded by instructors on or before June 1 (or the following Monday should that date fall on a weekend). In addition, within a reasonable time of receipt of the grades from the instructor and after January 15 for the Fall semester and June 1 for the Spring semester, the Law School will report such grades to the students on the electronic system utilized by the university.
Within a reasonable time after all of the grades for a graduating class have been recorded, usually before September 1st, the following information shall be made available to the graduated students: the GPA cut-off grades to the nearest one hundredth of a point for Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude respectively. No information concerning the class rank or approximate class rank for any student shall be provided.
Reporting Grades: School of Medicine
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) requires that grades be submitted to the Office of the School of Medicine Registrar and made available to students within six weeks of the last day of classes. There is a shorter grade submission period for the last section prior to graduation and for the first section of the fall term for fourth year students, due to the Medical Student Performance Evaluation deadline of October 1.
Midterm Grades for Undergraduates
Midterm grades are required for all first-year students and only those upper-class students who are doing unsatisfactory work (i.e., D or F). Instructors should submit their midterm grades via DukeHub to the registrar by the date listed on the university schedule. Midterm grades are not recorded on transcripts, but midterm grade reports are available to students, advisors, and academic deans on DukeHub.
It is important to note that with the exception of I grades and X grades, changes in grades may be made by the instructor only because of an error in calculation or an error in transcription. Changes in grades may not be based on the late submission of required work, the resubmission of work previously judged unsatisfactory, or on additional work. No changes may be made in a grade after the end of the semester following the one for which the grade was assigned, although cases of error discovered after the deadline may be appealed by the student or the instructor to the Office of the Provost. The purposes of these regulations are to promote accurate record keeping and careful grade reporting, and to protect instructors from student pressure. The procedures vary slightly in the School of Law as governed by Law School Rule 3-20. In the School of Law, in addition to grade changes on the basis of errors in calculation or transcription, with permission of the dean, grade changes also may be made on the basis of a compelling reason.
The university requires that changes in grades other than those designated by I or X be indicated in a letter written on departmental letterhead, signed by the instructor, and mailed or faxed directly to the university registrar. Grade change requests may not be delivered by the student. The letter should contain the name of the student, the student's ID number, the semester, the course and section number, the incorrect grade, and the correct grade. The letter must also state that the reason for the change in grade is either an error in calculation or an error in transcription.
School of Medicine Grade Appeal Process
A student wishing to appeal an official grade or comment must present their appeal to the course director within two calendar weeks of the grade being posted. If requested as part of the appeals process, a student should have access to the actual checklists or comments that have been compiled as part of the grade, though identity of the evaluators submitting these data may be kept confidential. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be accomplished, the student may appeal the grade to the Grade Review Panel within two weeks of the meeting with the course director by completing the “Request for Grade Review” form and submitting it to the Office of Curricular Affairs. The Grade Review Panel, designated by the vice dean will consist of one basic science faculty, one clinical science faculty, and one advisory dean other than the student’s dean, and should be convened ad hoc within one month of receiving the notification of appeal. Both the student and the course director will be asked to present information regarding the appeal.
The Grade Review Panel will review the data related to the student’s performance in the course and the grading criteria for the course and will make a recommendation to the vice dean regarding preserving or changing the grade. At this time, the vice dean will either uphold the decision of the Grade Review Panel or make their independent decision relative to the documentation submitted.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the grade appeal process, s/he may appeal to the Dean of the School of Medicine within two calendar weeks of receiving the decision of the vice dean. An appeal to the dean may be made only upon the grounds of improper procedures in the appeals process rather than continued disagreement about the outcome of the process. The dean will review the data related to the process of the appeal and determine whether the process was valid. If s/he finds the process valid, the decision is final and binding. At this time, the Registrar’s office will be notified of the final grade and it will be reflected on the student’s permanent record. If the dean finds the process invalid, a new Grade Review Panel will be convened.
Undergraduate Grade Review Procedure
A student who questions a final grade received in a course should first contact the instructor within thirty days of receiving the grade to discuss the matter. It is the obligation of the instructor to respond in a timely fashion. After meeting with the instructor, if the student still believes the instructor has assigned an inaccurate or unjustified grade, the student should discuss the matter with the DUS. If no satisfactory resolution is reached, the student may make a formal complaint to the DUS in the department or program concerned.
The DUS will present the case to the Chair of the department or program Director (or, in the Sanford School, the senior associate dean), and the two of them will review the case with the instructor involved. If the Chair or the DUS agrees with the instructor that there are no legitimate grounds for which to change the grade, the grade stands as recorded. If the DUS and Chair believe there are grounds to consider a change and the instructor is unwilling to change the grade, the DUS will notify the student that they may request a review of the case by writing to the dean of Arts and Sciences or the dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, depending on which college or school offered the course in question. A written request must be submitted before the end of the drop-add period of the semester following that for which the instructor recorded the grade.
The dean will review the case and decide whether there are grounds to convene an ad hoc Committee for Review of Grade. If the dean decides there are no grounds, then the grade is not changed.
If the dean decides that there are grounds to proceed, the dean will charge and convene an ad hoc Committee for Review of Grade. The committee shall consist of the dean and two regular rank faculty members from the same division but not the same department (or from different departments in Pratt School of Engineering). The two faculty members of the committee are to be nominated by the appropriate faculty council, either the Executive Committee of the Arts and Sciences Council or the Engineering Faculty Council. This committee will then evaluate and review the case, and the dean may initiate a grade change if that is the recommendation of the committee.
All students must show satisfactory progress toward graduation to remain in good academic standing.
Consult the appropriate Bulletin for specific semester and annual continuation requirements.
Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Duke University continues its efforts to welcome individuals with disabilities. In order for the University to ensure timely exploration of necessary accommodations, academic units have identified individuals to serve as Disability Service Liaisons (DSL) who work in collaboration with the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO). Students with disabilities officially recognized by the University may apply for accommodations, and if they qualify, their instructors will be notified of and are expected to grant them the specific accommodations specified by the Student Disability Access Office.
How Faculty are Informed of Students' Approved Accommodations:
Undergraduate students (Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering) must request a formal Professor Accommodation Letter each semester from the SDAO that lists the student’s approved accommodation(s). The student is responsible for emailing the instructor, forwarding this letter, and requesting a meeting to discuss how the approved accommodations will be implemented in the class.
Graduate and Professional Students
After Graduate and Professional students (Graduate School, Fuqua School of Business, Law School, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Nicholas School of Environment, and Watts School of Nursing) complete the SDAO formal registration process, the DSL and the student receive a Formal Liaison Letter that lists the student’s approved accommodation(s). Students are instructed by the SDAO case manager that they must meet with the designated DSL to discuss how approved accommodations will be implemented. The DSL coordinates the implementation of accommodations according to their program’s policies and procedures. Please see Student Rights and Responsibilities and University Rights and Responsibilities for further information.
The Student Disability Access Office offers guidance for faculty. Current guidance is outlined below, and additional information can be found at the SDAO website: https://access.duke.edu/resources/information-instructors-access/information-instructors
- Include a well-written statement on syllabus that includes contact information for the SDAO
- Always provide and implement approved accommodations
- Do not provide supplemental or “on the fly” accommodations
- Maintain role as an educator-not a medical provider; be mindful not to “diagnose” students
- Assure that students with disabilities are evaluated in line with peers
- Do not refer to accommodations as “special accommodations”
- Collaborate with DSL/Undergraduate Academic Dean, DGS, Registrar and Department Chair to make arrangements for students with disabilities that receive testing accommodations
- Ensure testing/classroom accommodations are in place at the time of the assessment (extended test time, minimal distraction testing, rest breaks, scribe, tests/materials in alternative formats, e.g., enlarged font, etc.)
- Provide students with testing accommodations notification of pertinent information regarding alternate testing location, start time of assessment at least 72 hours in advance of the assessment
- Be mindful to format documents and videos into accessible formats
- Communicate with Teaching Assistants (TA’s) or coordinators to ensure accommodations are properly implemented
- Educate and instruct TA’s and coordinators on appropriate confidentiality
- Respond appropriately to disclosure and do not accept medical documentation. Confer with the DSL as necessary
- Students not registered with the SDAO who request a classroom accommodation should be referred to the SDAO
- Respect students’ privacy
- Discuss accommodations with the student in a private setting
- Do not reveal to the class the student’s name of accommodation(s)
- When sending emails to a group of students with disabilities, blind copy all students.
If faculty have questions about how to implement accommodations, they are empowered to reach out to students’ SDAO case manager, whose name is listed on each student’s Professor Accommodation Letter.
The Testing Center
Here at Duke, instructors choose how they will provide testing accommodations to our students. They may choose to provide accommodations themselves within their department or they may choose to provide accommodations through the Testing Center. To learn more about using the Testing Center to provide testing accommodations, visit https://testingcenter.duke.edu/for-instructors/.
Scheduling of Classes and Attendance Regulations
Deviations from Regularly Scheduled Class Times
Classes must be met only at the times for which they are regularly scheduled unless prior permission is received from the University Schedule Committee. No class time changes can be made after students are enrolled in the course.
In the event that instructors have legitimate professional commitments that result in absence from class, they should notify both the department chair and the students as early as possible. The class time must be made up by appropriate means to be approved by the department chair or academic dean.
The university places the responsibility for class attendance upon the student. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and punctually, and to recognize and accept the consequences of failure to attend. Instructors may refer to the appropriate academic dean those students who are causing their work or that of the class to suffer because of their absence or tardiness.
Approved School of Medicine Holidays for Medical Students
Memorial Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day (and the day after Thanksgiving); Christmas Day (and additional days as outlined on school academic calendar); New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday; Independence Day.
Excused Absences: Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering
Missed work due to absence from class is officially permitted in four circumstances (see below). It is the responsibility of the instructor to determine the arrangements (e.g., early submission of work, an alternative assignment, rescheduling an exam, etc.) to be followed when this occurs.
Students notify instructors and their academic deans by means of the Incapacitation Form when they are temporarily incapacitated and hence are unable to attend class or complete an assignment on time. Students submit the Incapacitation Form on their honor, and are expected to meet with (or otherwise contact) the instructor within 48 hours to discuss how the absence can be accommodated under the circumstances in accordance with the course policy. Instructors are expected to accept their pledge that they are incapacitated.
Long-term or chronic illness: In cases of long-term or chronic illness/injury, a student’s academic dean will send an email notice to their instructors authorizing the absence.
Personal emergencies known to the dean
When extraordinary personal emergencies are brought to the attention of the student’s academic dean, the dean will generally send an email notice to their instructors authorizing the absence.
Religious holidays and observance
In recognition that observances of religious holidays may affect classroom attendance and the submission of graded work, students wishing to observe a specific religious holiday should request their instructors to arrange for a postponement or makeup of work. In Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering, if a student anticipates the need to be absent from class due to observance of a religious holiday, they are expected to submit a Religious Observance Notification Form to the instructor(s) affected no later than one week prior to the date of the holiday. Because religious holidays are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist that course work to be missed should be completed prior to an anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy. Instructors are expected to accommodate students wishing to observe a religious holiday. Dean’s Excuses will not be issued for absences due to observance of religious holidays.
Varsity athletic participation
Varsity athletes, whose athletic travel schedules are governed by strict National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules that apply across all varsity sports and all divisional schools, are recognized as officially representing the University in NCAA varsity athletic competitions away from campus. Accordingly, student athletes are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of the semester of their status and to submit to them a Notification of Varsity Athletic Participation Form no later than one week prior to participation in each varsity athletic competition out of town. Because varsity athletic events out of town are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist that course work to be missed should be completed prior to an anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy.
Missed work associated with any other absence is not covered by this policy. Students are encouraged, however, to discuss any absence planned or unexpected with their instructors to determine whether accommodation is possible. Instructors are not obligated to accommodate such absences but are expected to make clear in their attendance policy the implications of any such absence.
Absence Due to Severe Weather Policy
Duke University is largely a residential campus. It is for this reason that only under extremely critical weather conditions may classes officially be canceled. In some circumstances, certain categories of staff employees will not be expected to report to work even though classes are held. In other circumstances, classes will be cancelled and only the most essential employees for our residential and health care operations will be expected to report to work. The decision to cancel classes will be made only by the president or the provost and will be explicitly communicated as part of media announcements about severe weather closings.
It is understood that weather conditions may make it impossible for an individual faculty member to conduct a specific class meeting even though classes have not been cancelled university-wide. Faculty members should alert their school or departmental administrative office in this case. The university expects individual instructors who are unable to meet scheduled classes to make appropriate alternative arrangements to meet their teaching obligations.
School of Medicine Severe Weather Attendance Policy
The School of Medicine will handle the cancellation of classes in the following manner: All School of Medicine students will follow the provost’s decision in regard to cancellation of classes. If classes are cancelled, students should not report for any medical school activities (classes, labs, clinical assignments, etc.). If students are in classes/rotations when the severe weather policy is implemented, they should leave when classes are cancelled. Course directors, mentors, and faculty are aware of this policy so that individual decisions should not be made. These decisions can be determined by calling 684-INFO or by visiting the School of Medicine Office of the Registrar’s website at https://medschool.duke.edu/education/student-services/office-registrar, https://emergency.duke.edu/, or https://today.duke.edu/. Please note that 684-INFO and https://emergency.duke.edu/ are considered the official communication for inclement weather announcements.
Statement of Harassment of Students Policy
The university has adapted a harassment policy that applies to all members of the university community which can be found on the HR and Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) websites. This policy and the procedures for resolution of harassment claims may be found in Appendix J.
Faculty members wishing to employ undergraduate students as teaching assistants should consult their department chair in Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or dean in other professional schools. This role includes:
- Assisting the course instructor with class preparation and course materials (e.g., setting up AV equipment or lab specimens, maintaining course website, photocopying)
- Assisting students in help rooms or review sessions outside of class time
- Leading discussion sections or labs
- Assisting course instructor with grading (e.g., homework, quizzes, lab reports)
Trinity College has formulated best practices regarding the use of undergraduate teaching assistants, including issues of grading, selection, supervision, and mentoring. These guidelines and best practices can be found at: https://trinity.duke.edu/undergraduate/academic-policies/undergrad-teaching-assistants
Graduate pre-doctoral candidates with special training and qualifications are frequently appointed to serve as either research or teaching assistants to individual faculty members in certain departments and schools. The nature of the work assigned to an assistant and amount of time spent at it vary. Faculty members should consult their chair or dean concerning the expected duties of such assistants.
Employment of students under the federal College Work-Study Program must be arranged through the applicable financial aid office to assure compliance with the regulations governing that program.
Academic Advising, Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering
The undergraduate advising system places responsibility on the students for their academic progress, but the Academic Advising Center, Pratt School of Engineering’s advising system, and faculty across the undergraduate-serving school provide assistance whenever it is needed. The orientation and pre-matriculation advising of undergraduates are handled by the college and school. Subsequent advising differs for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering.
Before declaring a major in Trinity College, students confer regularly in the Academic Advising Center (a division the Office of Undergraduate Education) or with their academic advisers, with the academic deans for pre-major students, and, as needed, with pre-professional advisers. Each student selects a department/ program major, interdepartmental major, or Program II in the second, third, or fourth undergraduate semester. Faculty members may be called upon by the dean of academic affairs, the department chair, or both, to do formal academic advising either in the Trinity College Academic Advising Center or within the department.
After the major is chosen, the responsibility for advising rests with the major department. Departments should ensure that faculty are well-prepared to advise the students who have declared a major in their department. The academic deans for the various divisions, Directors of Academic Engagement, and the Academic Advising Center are also available for consultation.
Within the Pratt School of Engineering, students are assigned to faculty advisers who help them plan a suitable program from the time of entrance to the school. Efforts are made to maintain continuity by assigning the same advisers each year, but changes are possible upon request. Advising appointments are necessary at each registration. The deans of the college and school continuously monitor academic records. They also advise students on their academic progress.
Student Personal and Professional Advisory System for M.D. Program Students
The advisory dean system is the heart of the Office of Student Affairs. Developed in 1986 in response to the need for personal advising in a highly elective curriculum, it is the current mission of the advisory program to:
- help each medical student derive the maximum benefit of their medical school experience and opportunities
- promote the personal, academic, and professional development of each student
- aid each student in making deliberate and thoughtful curricular and career decisions
- promote each student toward their future endeavors, and
- celebrate with students the milestones of personal and professional growth
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), students are given three primary rights. Students have the right to:
- Inspect and review their records.
- Have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records.
- Seek to amend incorrect education records.
Faculty should be aware of these rights and how they pertain to their interactions with students. Care should be taken to protect any student information in their possession. This could be protecting any printed materials with student information from public display. Care should be taken in computer monitor placement when accessing student information in a public or visible area. Faculty should also take care when having verbal conversations that involve students/student information.
Faculty writing letters of recommendations should be aware of FERPA implications. First, if any grade, grade point average (GPA), or any other confidential information is to be included in the letter of recommendation, written permission of the student must be gained. Also, since students have the right to inspect and review their educational records, faculty should be aware that anything written in a letter of recommendation could be viewed, upon request, by the student, unless the student specifically waives the right to view.
For information on Duke University’s policy on student records, see https://registrar.duke.edu/student-resources/family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-ferpa/.
Evaluation of Faculty by Students
The academic administration of the university urges strongly that departments and professional schools garner student evaluations of their faculty.
Trinity College and Pratt School of Engineering
Both Trinity College and Pratt use the Watermark system; though, ABET requires that faculty with primary appointments in Pratt are evaluated by an engineering-oriented evaluation form, but the two systems are well-coordinated and compatible.
Course instructors should encourage students to complete the course evaluation form for their class. Faculty should explain the process to students and encourage them to participate, and whenever possible, it is recommended that faculty ask students to bring a laptop or tablet to class to complete the evaluation at a scheduled time, as return rates are highest when faculty schedule class time for these evaluations. Instructors may add fully customizable questions to their course evaluations or choose from an Item Bank.
Course evaluation reports will be available to instructors and departments when approximately 95% of all final grades have been submitted to the University Registrar. The Office of Assessment generally publishes reports within the Student Accessible Course Evaluation System (SACES) at the start of the “shopping cart” period, to ensure that students have access to publicly-released information when they make enrollment decisions. The Trinity College community has a two-month window between the publications of results to instructors and departments and the opening of the next “shopping cart” period, when students begin to identify possible courses for the following term. In other words, instructors have that time to review their reports and decide whether to withhold evaluation data (i.e., to opt-out). More specifically, the deadline for instructors to indicate the withhold is the first day of the month in which shopping carts open.
If an instructor wishes to withhold their course evaluation results, they must complete the opt-out form by that term’s deadline. This webform is administered and managed by the Office of Assessment, Trinity College, and can be found on our forms page. No Trinity College administrators or department personnel have access to the form or its aggregated submissions. Individual form submissions are considered confidential; the Office of Assessment will not share identifiable information with Chairs, DUSs, other department officers or Trinity College administrators. Information collected from the web form will be used to understand instructors’ motivations and interests, improve course evaluation operations, and guide future programs and services.
If an instructor completes the webform by the process deadline, they will be opted out with no further review. Due to the Office of Assessment work schedule and the timing of SACES updates, in nearly all cases the Office of Assessment will not make post-deadline changes to SACES.
Acronyms Appearing in This Chapter
Director of Graduate Studies
Disability Service Liaisons
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Grade Point Average
Liaison Committee on Medical Education
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Office of Global Health and Safety
Office for Institutional Equity
Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards
Student Accessible Course Evaluation System
Student Disability and Access Office
Student Disability Access Office
Trinity Requirement Website