WCSU Covid-19 Information Fall 2021

WCSU New Employee Guide

Frequently Asked Questions – Faculty

Q.  Where can I find the Faculty Handbook and CELT’s New Faculty Orientation Manual?

A.  The Faculty Handbook can be accessed here and CELT’s New Faculty Orientation Manual can be accessed from the CELT website by clicking here.


Q.  What is my role as a faculty advisor? 

A.   A faculty member’s role as an academic advisor has been broadly defined in the 2017 – 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement, which can be found on the Human Resources Website under Labor Relations: https://www.wcsu.edu/hr/policies-procedures/labor-relations/

“The Board and CSU-AAUP agree that all students will be given adequate advising by members during registration and throughout the school year to assure the pursuit of sound educational objectives. Part-time faculty shall make reasonable efforts to advise and counsel their students as needed.”

In addition, the responsibilities of a faculty advisor have been delineated in the Faculty Handbook (University Policy and Procedures: Instructional Departments – Department Bylaws: Section IV. Faculty and Department Responsibility for Student Advisement). https://www.wcsu.edu/faculty-handbook/

To properly advise students during their academic tenure, the Faculty Handbook states that Faculty Advisors are responsible for the following:

1.  To know the program requirements and University regulations with which the student must comply.
2.  To assist each student in planning his/her sequence of courses to meet graduation requirements.
3.  To approve, semester by semester, the specific program of courses which the student takes.
4.  To refer students to appropriate University staff in matters which are outside the area of the faculty
member’s competence (e.g., Health Service, Counseling, Academic Deans, Graduate Dean, etc.)
5.  To recommend to the Department Chair and to the appropriate dean any waivers or exceptions to the
program requirements which he/she judges to be essential for the student’s best academic interests.
6.  To advise the department on the status of each advisee as he/she reaches various stages in his/her
program (e.g., admission to standing as upper class major, approval of application for independent Study or
Student Developed Study, etc.).

The following information was taken from the 2016-2017 New Faculty Orientation Manual, which is published by WCSU’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. The original document can be accessed using the following link: wcsu.edu/celt

“WCSU has two systems for providing academic advisement to students. Students who have declared a major are assigned to a full-time faculty member in their department. Students who have not declared a major receive advisement from the Academic Advisement Center. The AAC is located on the Midtown Campus in Higgins Hall, Room 214, and on the Westside Campus in the Campus Center, Room 300. The Director of the AAC is Isabel Carvalho, and she can be reached at 203-837-8411 or carvalhoi@wcsu.edu. All students should meet with their advisor at least once per semester to discuss their academic progress and plan for the following semester(s). Students must obtain their PIN (the 6-digit number needed to register) from their advisor. Students who do not know who their advisor is can find this information in their Banner account. For more information, please go to https://www.wcsu.edu/advising/ for information about the Academic Advisement Center.”

DegreeWorks was rolled out to faculty during the Fall 2016 semester and it is to be used by faculty in the advisement of their students. Keith Gauvin (Registrar) and Carla Netto (Associate Registrar) should be contacted with all questions related to DegreeWorks. Keith Gauvin and Carla Netto are willing to train new
faculty members on how to use DegreeWorks.

Q.  What is the process that I must follow to give a student an “incomplete?”

A.  A grade of incomplete can be given to any student who has reasonable justification for why they are unable to complete the course material within the confines of the normal semester timeframe. A step-by-step guide for assigning a grade of “incomplete” can be accessed via the following link: https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/wp-content/uploads/sites/99/2018/11/Faculty-Incomplete-Grades-Instructions-Undergraduate-Updated-November-2018-with-email-link-TS.pdf

Q. What is the process that I must follow for “overrides?”

A.  A student can request an override into a course section that 1) has closed and/or 2) has pre-requisites that the student does not meet by filling out an override request form and then submitting this form to the chair of the appropriate department. The override request form can be accessed via the following link:https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/add-drop.pdf

Q.  What are the University Senate committees and what is their function? What university committees can a new faculty member join? How do I get on a Senate Standing Committee?

A.  The list of Senate Standing Committees can be found in the Faculty Handbook (University Senate Bylaws: Section E. Committees). The function of each Standing Committee (and their bylaws) can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

1. Academic Leave Committee
2. Assessment Committee
3. Committee on Academic Advisement and Registration
4. Committee on Distance Education
5. Committee on General Education
6. Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum & Academic Standards
7. Educational Achievement and Access Program
8. Enrollment Management Committee
9. Faculty Development & Recognition Committee
10. Graduate Council
11. Information Technology Committee
12. Media & Library Services Policy Committee
13. Mediation Committee
14. Physical Working Conditions Committee
15. Promotion & Tenure Committee
16. Research & Development Committee
17. Student Life Committee
18. Termination Hearing Committee
19. University Planning & Budgeting Committee

The process by which a faculty member is elected to a Senate Standing Committee has been defined in the Faculty Handbook. A portion of the Faculty Handbook that describes this process has been included below. The Nominations and Elections Committee (referred to as “Committee” below) is the committee responsible for handling the election process.

The Committee shall conduct elections in the following manner:
a. A notice shall be circulated to all faculty members informing them of an approaching election. If the Faculty Handbook does not contain a description of the function of any committee for which elections are to be held, then the Nominations and Elections Committee shall publicize such committee’s function;
b. There shall be no distinction in rank and tenure status of faculty for eligibility for committee service, with the exception of any committee in whose establishment rank and tenure were expressly stated to be a requirement for membership.
c. The election shall be conducted in three steps:
1. The Committee shall first request faculty members to inform them of those committees on which they are interested in serving.
2. For those committees where the number of candidates is more than double the elective vacancies, the committee shall hold a preferential primary. In each such case, voters may select no more than twice as many candidates as there are elective vacancies.
3. For each committee to which members are to be elected, the Committee shall provide the faculty with a final list of candidates containing approximately twice as many candidates for each committee as there are elective vacancies, if possible.

Q.  What are the requirements for tenure/promotion? 

A.  Article 4.11.9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement delineates the criteria that are used to evaluate a full-time teaching faculty for renewal, promotion, or tenure. Load credit activity for which the member receives load credit or the equivalent, e.g. one or more of the following: teaching, coaching, counseling, department chairperson, division director, library service, research, student supervision, or any other function specified in the letter of appointment or subsequent extension or modifications of such appointment (see Article 4.7), or identified in a letter of agreement (see Article 10.4). Creative activity appropriate to one’s field, such as delivering papers at professional conferences, production/performance of artistic works, research, study, and publication. Productive service to the department and university. Professional activity, such as attendance and participation in conferences and workshops, membership and service in appropriate professional organizations and other professional activities. Years in rank. Record of any disciplinary action in the member’s personnel file at the time of the evaluation

Q.  When is the earliest time that I can go up for tenure/promotion?

A.  According to Article of the Collective Bargaining Agreement any full-time member “may be considered for tenure in any year of the probationary period if the member so requests. Denial of tenure prior to the sixth (6th) year of service shall not prejudice subsequent applications for tenure and in no case shall be construed as a ground for termination of employment, but the evaluatory material shall be available as part of the record. The DEC must evaluate a non-tenured full-time member for tenure in the member’s sixth (6th) year of credited service.”
According to Articles 5.3.2 – 5.3.4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement the following criteria are used when considering a full-time member for promotion.
5.3.2 Assistant Professor, Assistant Librarian, Assistant Counselor
(A) An earned doctorate or a terminal degree appropriate to the field from an accredited college or university, or
(B) At least three (3) years of full-time service in a college or university at a rank of Instructor or above, plus
1. A master’s degree, plus
2. An additional full year of study above the master’s level.
5.3.3 Associate Professor, Associate Librarian, Associate Counselor
An earned doctorate or a terminal degree appropriate to the field from an accredited college or university plus at least five (5) years of full-time service in a college or university in a rank of Assistant Professor or above.
5.3.4 Professor, Librarian, Counselor
An earned doctorate or a terminal degree appropriate to the field from an accredited college or university plus at least eight (8) years of full-time service in a college or university including at least five (5) years at a rank of Associate Professor or above.
Therefore, an assistant professor who has no prior full-time teaching experience at the assistant professor level will be able to go up for promotion at the start of their 5th year, at the earliest. The promotion process for an assistant professor can be initiated at the start of their 5th year (September 15) since the result of the promotion evaluation will not be realized until the end of their 5th year (April 15). Speak with your department chairperson for accepted department-specific details for the tenure/promotion process, if any.

Q.  What is a DEC? What is the timeline for submitting my annual DEC Report? 

A.  According to Article 4.11.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the evaluation of a full-time member for promotion, tenure, and renewal is to be performed by a Department Evaluation Committee. The membership of a Department Evaluation Committee has been clearly defined in Article 4.11.4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Committee membership is limited to tenured faculty members only. The full-time member who is being evaluated will submit all relevant materials that meet the evaluation criteria described in Articles – to their DEC according to the timeline described in Article 4.11 (Table 1) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Q. What are the rules regarding final exams?

A. Connecticut State University System rules state that final examinations (cumulative examinations) may be given only in the time period scheduled for such tests. The final exam schedule is posted online by the Registrar’s office each semester.

Q. Are there resources available to do research?

A. CSU-AAUP Research Grant: Article 9.10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement describes money that is available to faculty for the purpose of performing research. This money can be used to purchase equipment and supplies, fund support services, and provide a stipend (no more than $2500 of the maximum $5000 can be used as a stipend).
Faculty Development Funds: Articles 9.6 and 12.10.1 describe funds that are to be used for faculty development, “which shall be construed broadly to mean activities by and for members that enhance their ability to be productive and innovative professionals.”

Travel Funds: Article 9.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement describes funds that are available to faculty for the purpose of attending conferences and workshops.

Q.  How do I place an order for textbooks? Who do I contact? 

A.  The phone number for the WCSU Bookstore is (203) 837-8464. The website for the WCSU Bookstore is the following: http://www.bkstr.com/wcsustore/home.
Online order submissions can be made by using the Online Adoption tool:https://adoptions.efollett.com/OnlineAdoptionsWeb/onlineAdoptions.html?storeNumber=1801&langId=en_US  (copy and paste the link into a web browser)
A tutorial on submitting an order for course materials online can be accessed using the following link:http://content.efollett.com/OnlineAdoptions/oademo/Online%20Adoption%20Demo%20Video.html

Q. What are the Guidelines on Classes Missed Because of University-Sponsored Events?

A. Guidelines by the University Senate:

Each semester students and professors must deal with the inevitable conflict between class and university-sponsored co-curricular activities. As the university grows and the student body becomes more diverse, it is clear that student activities outside the classroom will continue to increase. It is the purpose of these guidelines to spell out the relationship between the two activities, and to suggest a way of accommodating any potential conflict between the two.

It is the responsibility of all students to recognize that meeting the requirements of all classes is their first priority. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with their professors before a conflict occurs, if possible, to ensure that all classroom work is properly made up. It is also the student’s responsibility to make up all required work as well as to become familiar with the material presented in the class that was missed.

By definition, university-sponsored events are legitimate, co-curricular events that are scheduled through a university department or entity, with adequate notice to all parties. For example, participation in a sports contest or a museum trip for the university would be such an event, but attending a practice session would not. It is requested that faculty members understand the depth of the students’ commitment, allow reasonable accommodation of student activities, and permit work missed because of legitimate university events to be made up. To download the Missed Classes Formgo to: https://www.wcsu.edu/student-affairs/forms/. This form was approved by the University Senate at the 10/20/2004 Senate meeting and is the correct form to use.

Q.  What is the difference between a ‘Leave of Absence’ and a ‘Withdrawal’ if a student can no longer finish the semester?

A.  If one of your students has to leave school for a period of no more than one year, he or she can apply for a leave of absence. It’s similar to withdrawing from the university, but it means the student may return and resume his or her studies without having to formally re-enter the university. Students interested in applying for a Leave of Absence can complete the forms online. One-semester leaves may be extended but approval of the extension must be secured before the original leave time has lapsed.

Q.  Is there a centralized location for all of the forms that we use as faculty? 

A. Although there is not a single centralized location for all of the forms that faculty use, forms have been grouped by the department that requires their use. Follow the links below to access the form(s) that you need.

Accessibility Office: https://www.wcsu.edu/accessability/forms/

Human Resources: https://www.wcsu.edu/hr/human-resources-forms/

Registrar’s Office: https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/forms/

Table of Forms: https://www.wcsu.edu/faculty-handbook/appendices-all-forms/

Q.  Do I have to enter midterm grades?

A.  Midterm grades are required for all Freshmen and recommended for all other students.  It helps students to gauge how they are doing, and a C, D, or F may prompt them to seek additional help. Please encourage them to go to the Tutoring Resource Center, the Math Clinic, or the Writing Center if they need help.

Q.  How do I handle Academic Honesty Violations?

A. In the event that an academic honesty violation has occurred, the University Senate and Administration has approved a set of guidelines so that the violation in question can be remedied in a fair and timely manner.
The policy can be accessed from the Faculty Handbook or by following this link:https://www.wcsu.edu/faculty-handbook/policies-pertaining-to-students/academic-honesty-policy/

The forms that need to be submitted by the Faculty Member, Student, Department Chair, School Dean, Senate Ad Hoc Committee, and Provost can be found by following the “Table of Forms” links above.  For more information, see the Academic Honesty Policy.

Q.  What do I need to do if I use sick leave?

A.  According to Article 13.2.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement if a faculty member requires the use of sick leave the following should be strictly adhered to: “Use of sick leave shall be measured and recorded in increments of half-days or blocks of 3.5 hours for teaching faculty. A member who, for appropriate reasons as identified in Article 13.1, misses one or more assigned responsibilities (classes or other primary work responsibilities, committee assignments, office hours, etc.) within one 3.5 hour span of time shall be charged one half-day of leave. A member who misses one or more assigned responsibilities in a day over a span of time longer than 3.5 hours shall be charged two half-days of leave. Members who are charged sick leave for missed responsibilities on two separate days shall also be charged sick leave for any intervening period on which they have no assigned responsibilities. Non-teaching members shall be charged sick leave in increments of one (1) hour. Members on partial medical leaves may charge sick leave in increments required by the conditions stated on the medical certificate.”

To report the use of sick leave, contact your department chair to inform them of your absence and then notify your department’s administrative assistant so that they can record the use of your sick leave.  If you are teaching that day, remember to email your students and ask the department secretary to place a note on the door.

Q.  How do I request that my prior full-time service in another college or university be applied toward my probationary period here at WCSU?

A.  According to Article 4.4.2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “Up to three years’ full-time service in other accredited colleges and universities may be applied toward the probationary period by written agreement of the concerned parties at the time of the member’s initial appointment, or not later than the end of the first semester of a member’s probationary service. Such credit for prior service shall not affect notice requirements under Article 4.9.”

The initial request by the incoming faculty MUST BE submitted to the Provost’s Office before the end of the first semester here at WCSU.

Q. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

A. Satisfactory academic progress is generally a measurement of successful completion of coursework (GPA) and completion of credits within a defined time period. There are several areas on campus for which Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is important and they include financial aid, housing, and athletics. Please tell your advisees to familiarize themselves with each area’s individual SAP requirements by looking at the relevant webpages.

Q. My students’ study skills are not great. They’re not good at note-taking and clueless about math – how do I advise them?

A. There are three professionally-staffed centers that provide guidance and instruction to students who need help in specific subjects or who just want to get some really effective studying techniques.

The centers are located in the Haas Library (Writing Center and Tutoring Resource Center) and Higgins Hall (Math Clinic) and are open weekdays, selected evenings and, when possible, weekends.

The Math Clinic (Higgins Hall 105A; 203-837-9244) is run by the mathematics department. The Math Clinic works on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis and is free of charge. Appointments cannot be made. The tutors in the clinic are there to support the needs of students taking undergraduate mathematics courses. Occasionally tutors will try to help students with general math questions in non-mathematics classes, but this is not their primary purpose or expertise. In general, the tutors will be helping groups of students in a variety of courses. There is no extended one-on-one tutoring in the Math Clinic; students interested in extended one-on-one tutoring are directed to the Tutoring Resource Center. Note that tutors will not help with take-home exams, and other forms of assessments that must be completed by the individual student.

The Tutoring Resource Center (TRC) in the Haas Library, 2nd floor; 203-837-9245 provides assistance to students who need one-on-one tutoring, free of charge, in any academic discipline taught on both WCSU campuses. Students also may participate in the TRC sponsored workshops, which cover concepts such as note-taking, test-taking, time management, research and other relevant topics. Students may choose to work one-on-one with WCSU professor-recommended student tutors in a friendly, supportive atmosphere, or they may choose to work independently on the TRC computers or to form small study groups. This center is an important hub for students to maintain their academic success. Details of current TRC activity are on the website at wcsu.edu/trc.

In the Writing Center (Haas Library 302; 203-837-8728) students get free tutoring. The Center’s writing consultants, mostly graduate students, offer guidance in all aspects of writing, from development and organization to editing and proofreading. An interested student should make an appointment for a tutorial session at least a week before the deadline on the writing assignment. The writing consultant may recommend a follow-up appointment. Undergraduates may use WCSU’s online Writing Lab at eTutoring.org. All services are free to registered students.