210 Academic Freedom and Responsibility of Faculty
210.01 Academic Freedom
- The SUNY Policy of the Board of Trustees, Article XI, Title I states:
"It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full
freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching, and research. In the
exercise of this freedom the faculty member may, without limitation,
discuss his/her own subject in the classroom; he/she may not, however,
claim as his/her right the privilege of discussing in his/her classroom
controversial matter that has no relation to his/her subject. In his/her
role as citizen, the faculty member has the same freedom as other citizens.
However, in his/her extramural utterances he/she has an obligation to
indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson."
- The Brockport Faculty Senate passed the following resolution concerning
academic freedom on March 6, 1967.
- "Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate affirms the necessity
for safeguarding national security through legally constituted means
and, further, affirms the responsibility of staff members, as citizens,
to testify concerning unlawful activities. The Faculty Senate, however,
opposes the practices of any member of the academic community, of
indiscriminate surveillance or reporting of the activities of colleagues,
including activities involving expression of unorthodox or unpopular
- Article 9 of the collective bargaining agreement between the United
University Professions and the State of New York provides:
Academic Freedom: It is the policy of the University to maintain and
encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research.
In the exercise of this freedom faculty members may, without limitation,
discuss their own subject in the classroom; they may not, however, claim
as their right the privilege of discussing in their classroom controversial
matter which has no relation to their subject. The principle of academic
freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility.
In their role as citizens, employees have the same freedoms as other citizens.
However, in their extramural utterances employees have an obligation to
indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons.
"Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate views the University as
a community in which there must be no threat to the free expression and
examination of ideas and issues, including those considered controversial
in nature. The responsibility to assist in the search for reasoned solutions
too academic and social problems rests with every individual who accepts
appointment to membership in the academic community. In the exercise of
his responsibilities to institutions or agencies other than the University,
it is conceivable that a staff member might be tempted to act in a manner
reflecting something less than full dedication to the principles of academic
freedom and responsibility. The decision to be made under such circumstances
rests with the individual. The Senate reminds every staff member of his
obligation in this regard and holds him liable to faculty censure if proper
investigation and hearing give evidence that, as a consequence of his
action, the personal, professional, or academic freedoms of others have
been threatened or inhibited. The Faculty Senate would regret the continuance
within the academic community of any staff member thus censured."
210.02 Workload Policy
- The SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees defines the academic year
as up to 10 months (e.g., approximately September 1 through June 30),
but note that an "academic year employee may be required to commence
the...professional obligation date reasonably prior to September 1 as
may be necessitated by...operating requirements." In practice,
the College expects faculty to participate in events such as Faculty
and Staff Convocation, Academic Convocation, student registration, and
to meet other responsibilities (e.g., advisement, course preparation,
departmental retreats) that may fall prior to or after the actual meeting
of classes. The dates for the formal academic year at Brockport are
available on the Office of Human Resources web site.
- Workload - The Faculty Roles and Rewards Committee's final report
(11/98) recommends the following policy: "The normal expectation
(for full-time faculty) is a 3/3 course load or its equivalent for faculty
demonstrating an active program for scholarship as defined by individual
departments and/or with major or multiple service responsibilities."
However, current practice carries the expectation that activity appropriate
to rank in all three areas should be the norm (i.e., no "and/or"
tradeoff between Service and Scholarship). Furthermore, current practice
utilizes a model in which faculty who are not performing to expectation
in all three areas receive a compensatory workload adjustment in one
of the two remaining areas. Historically, this has almost always happened
where scholarly activity has not met expectation and has resulted in
a 4/4 course-teaching load instead of 3/3 (in such cases the faculty
member is still expected to perform at rank in service.
- Decisions regarding teaching load adjustments are made by the faculty
member's department chair in consultation with the appropriate school
dean. In all cases, such decisions are made in the context of the Faculty
Roles and Rewards Committee final report recommendation the "consideration
in granting faculty release time should ensure that total departmental
effort is not compromised and that other faculty within the department
are not required to take on an unfair load." In making such decisions,
current practice also includes the following considerations.
- For reduction from a four course-teaching load to a nominal three
- For faculty whose performance record would otherwise justify
a four course teaching load, a lecture section enrollment of
about 120 students or more (and with no adjunct or graduate
student assistants in that lecture section) may by counted as
two courses to three). There is no comparable reduction in teaching
load for faculty whose performance record normally qualifies
for three courses (i.e., they remain at three courses).
- For faculty whose performance record would otherwise justify
a four course teaching load, a total overall enrollment of about
180 students across three lecture sections (and with no adjunct
or graduate student assistants in any of these lecture sections)
may satisfy the teaching load requirement for that semester
(i.e., effectively reducing the load from four courses to three).
There is no comparable reduction in teaching load for faculty
whose performance record normally qualifies them for three courses
(i.e., they remain at three courses).
- For faculty whose performance record would otherwise justify
a four course-teaching load, significant service responsibilities
(those that are tantamount to an official administrative position)
may, in unusual circumstances and with approval of the dean,
be considered in lieu of a course (i.e., effectively reduce
the load from four courses to three). There is no comparable
reduction in teaching load for faculty whose performance record
normally qualifies them for three courses (i.e., they remain
at three courses).
- For reduction below a nominal three course load:
- For any faculty whose teaching assignments include both (a)
an enrollment of at least 120 students in one lecture section
and (b) a total enrollment of 180 students across two lecture
sections (with no adjunct or graduate assistants in those lecture
sections), these two sections alone may suffice as the teaching
load for that semester.
- Official administrative positions (e.g., department chair,
associate dean, ad hoc administrative appointments, etc.) and
extramural grants that provide for release time may result in
a teaching load below the nominal 3/3.
- Workload assignments are determined on the basis of a faculty
member's anticipated activities during the coming year. They
are not rewards for past activity.
- Departments versus College obligations - Faculty appointments
generally carry with them an understanding of the faculty member's
teaching responsibilities to his/her home department. However, many
responsibilities (e.g., APS sections, honors, courses, and interdisciplinary
programs with no assigned faculty lines) transcend specific departments
and represent campus-wide obligations to be shared across existing
academic units. Similarly, certain advisement responsibilities (e.g.,
CSTEP, McNair) are also outside any existing department. For this
reason, faculty (and their department chairs) must by responsive
to these needs as well as those uniquely associated with their own
210.03 Orientation Programs
- For new undergraduate students, a period of time prior to registration
and the beginning of semester instruction is scheduled so that freshmen
and transfer students may be introduced to a variety of aspects of the
College. New graduate students are oriented individually. Faculty is
called upon to participate in various phases of these programs, and
participation in such programs is a part of the professional obligation.
210.04 Academic Advising by Faculty
- The academic advising of students is an integral part of the faculty's
teaching obligation. Faculty members advise both undergraduate pre-majors
and majors, as well as graduate students as an important part of their
professional obligation and are expected to be able to interpret College
degree requirements as well as requirements for the major.
- The advising of undergraduate majors and graduate students is arranged
by the chairperson of the department having jurisdiction over the students'
plans of study. Department chairpersons are responsible for seeing that
all declared majors have faculty advisors and for the monitoring of
departmental advising activities. The advising of pre-major, primarily
freshmen, sophomores, and new transfers who have yet not declared a
major, is coordinated by the Director of Academic Advisement, who relies
on the assistance of both faculty and professional staff.
- In all cases, once a student has declared a major, the responsibility
for academic advising lies with the student's major department.
210.05 Advising and Student Services
A faculty member should refer a student to any of the College's specialized
services when it is felt to be necessary or appropriate. The most frequently
used services are listed below. If faculty or staff need assistance in
identifying an appropriate service, or if there are other questions concerning
students, they should call the Office of the Vice
President for Student Affairs or the Family/Student Helpline (395-2796)
located in the central Student Affairs offices.
Concern Service Location
Academic programs/policies Academic Advisement Hazen
Medical, health concerns Health Center Rakov
Emotional/psychological + + Counseling Center Hazen
Part-time employment Career Services Rakov
Career choice/major selection Career Services Rakov
Establishing credentials file Registration and Records Rakov
Financial aid Financial Aid Rakov
Veterans assistance Financial Aid Rakov
Students with disabilities Cultural Center College Union
International students Cultural Center College Union
Academic support/tutoring Ctr. For Academic Improvement Cooper
Overseas program International Education Rakov
++ If a student with emotional problems refuses to seek assistance, faculty/staff
are encouraged to consult with a Counseling Center professional regarding
210.06 Faculty Meetings
All members of the faculty are expected to attend faculty meetings as
called by the President of the College or the Faculty Senate President.
Additionally, faculty members are expected to attend all meetings called
by the department chairperson.
210.07 Schedule of Classes
Department chairpersons and the deans are responsible for making class
schedules in consultation with members of the department or with a departmental
210.08 Office Hours
- All faculty are expected to maintain a regular schedule of office
hours. Full-time faculty should be available in their office for a minimum
of four regularly scheduled office hours per week. Part-time faculty
are encouraged to be available before and after class for at least one
hour per week, per course or otherwise schedule equivalent office hours
coverage. Faculty should also make sure that information regarding their
office hours is easily accessible to their students. Accordingly, it
is the instructor's responsibility to notify their department chairperson
or secretary of their office hours and to provide this information on
their course syllabus. It is also customary to post office hours on
the office door. Faculty may also want to consider using various electronic
formats (e.g., e-mail, web sites) to increase their access to students.
- At the beginning of each semester or summer session, the members of
a department must notify the department chairperson of their office
hours so that the chairperson may assure that his/ her faculty are keeping
their office hours, and so that inquiries about office hours made to
the department office can be handled by the department secretary.
210.09 Course Objectives and Evaluation Of Students
Faculty is required to provide a course syllabus for all their students
and to provide a file copy by the first day of class for their academic
department office (this is also a Middle States requirement). In preparing
the syllabus, it should be kept in mind that a failure "to make the
standards and expectations for the grade known" and/or failure to
"apply the announced standards and expectations of the course"
are considered legitimate grounds for grade appeal (See "Your Right
to Know"). Accordingly, the syllabus should be very clear about the
grading system and any changes from your syllabus during the semester
should be announced and distributed to the students in writing.
- All syllabi should contain (at minimum) the following information:
- Course objectives, requirements, texts, and readings
- Examination/Assignment Schedule (or explanation of policy if dates
are subject to alteration)
- Description of reading methodology (factors evaluated, weighting
- Instructor's office location, office hours, campus telephone and
- Statement regarding academic integrity and consequences of violations
- College's Attendance Policy
- Disability Policy Statement (See Section 200.19)
- Student objections to course requirements:
- Students are expected to meet all course requirements. In some
instances, a student might find some requirements objectionable
(e.g., laboratory work with animals, discussion of controversial
matter, etc.) To be fair to students, faculty should be mindful
of such potential requirements, making them clear to students at
the beginning of the course and affording them the opportunity to
drop the course without prejudice if they should find such requirements
- Evaluating (Grading) Students:
- In addition to providing instruction, faculty also have an obligation
to (a) fairly and meaningfully evaluate student performance (the
College uses the plus and minus grading system and faculty may not
arbitrarily choose to ignore this and (b) provide useful feedback
to students regarding their performance. This responsibility carries
with it the expectations that (a) student performance will be measured
across the entire semester, (b) graded assignments/examinations
will be returned or made available to students in a timely manner
and (c) for all assignments and exams, a record of each student's
grades and their derivation be maintained for at least one subsequent
academic year and made available to each student upon request.
- Mid-Term Grade:
- Specific policies also exist for mid-term grades and final exams.
In regard to mid-term grades, faculty are required to provide "Mid-Term
Progress Reports" for all their students. This requires that
at least one graded assignment, examination or performance measure
be completed prior to the deadline set for submission to the Mid-Term
Progress Report (to insure a meaningful basis for the reported grade).
Issuing a common grade for all students, failure to provide a graded
assignment or exam or any other failure to meaningfully evaluate
students prior to the Mid-Term Progress Report deadlines is a violation
of this policy. Any justifiable exception to this rule must be approved
by the department chair and the Dean (in such cases the chair will
notify the Registrar of this fact).
- Final Grade:
- Course final grades should be submitted by the due date specified
in the College calendar and should, whether by final exam, term
paper or some other means, reflect an evaluation of student performance
through the end of the semester (failure to do so effectively shortens
a faculty member's period of instructional obligation). College
policy requires that all end-of-semester examinations of either
the comprehensive "final" or "last unit" type
be given during the formal final exam period. Take home examination,
term papers and term projects may, at the instructor's discretion,
be due the last week of classes or the formal final exam period.
- Grade Appeals:
- Students have the right to appeal grades if they feel that the
course instructor has failed to make the standards and expectations
for the grade known in a reasonable manner or that the course instructor
has not fairly applied the announced standards and expectations
of the course. The procedures for treating such grade appeals have
been codified and involve a set of reviews at the departmental and
210.10 Meeting/Cancelling Classes
Faculty is expected to be present at all classes for which they are scheduled.
A faculty member, who cannot meet class because of illness or other extraordinary
circumstances, must notify his/her chairperson as soon as possible prior
to the scheduled class. In consultation with the chair, a decision will
then be made to provide alternative coverage for the class or for make
up of the missed class at another time. In the case of an anticipated
absence from class (e.g., for religious holiday observance, presentation
of paper at a professional conference), the chair must be notified at
the start of the semester (or as soon as possible thereafter) so that
an alternative learning experience can be developed. Department chairs
should be notified when instructor absence is planned in relation to any
class to be conducted by a guest lecturer.
Some faculty expands the learning process through the scheduling of additional
class activities. In such cases, the instructor must excuse without penalty,
or arrange an alternative activity for students who must be absent from
such required additional activities because of conflicts with previously
schedule classes or events/activities in which the student is officially
representing the College (you may expect the student to provide you with
documentation from the supervising official).
In the case of cancelled classes, the department chair should provide
the information to the campus switchboard operator and to the Brockport's
radio station WBSU.
210.11 Use of Community Resources for Teaching
Faculty who assign projects to students which may involve contacts with
private, voluntary, or governmental agencies are expected first to establish
with the administration of the given agency the feasibility and acceptability
of the contacts.
210.12 Reporting Absences, Verification of Class Rosters, and Unregistered
- Faculty members must be sure that preliminary and final class rosters
are accurate because these data form the basis for student records and
for assigning FTE generation to the departments. Detailed instructions
are sent to each instructor with both preliminary and final class rosters.
The verified rosters are returned to the department chairperson who
will forward them to Registration and Records.
- Faculty noting excessive numbers of absences by student(s) is urged
to report this fact to the Office of the Vice President for Student
Affairs so that the student's whereabouts and circumstances can be ascertained.
Faculty may, of course, establish their own attendance requirements
provided that they are clearly stated (preferably in writing) at the
beginning of each semester.
- Under no circumstances will a course instructor at SUNY College at
Brockport knowingly allow an unregistered student to continue attending
a class. Instructors must check their class lists at the beginning of
each semester and immediately inform any unregistered student(s) that
they may not return to class without proof of current enrollment, and
that the student(s) will not receive any credit for the course without
prompt registration. Instructors may not make any informal arrangements
by which a student would be allowed to continue to participate in a
course and register at a later date. The student may confirm his/her
registration by obtaining a current schedule showing registration in
the course from the Office of Registration and Records. Instructors
having access to EAGLE may confirm the registration by this means. Student(s)
may have their registration revoked at later times during a semester
for non-payment or failure to comply with the MMR policy. Instructors
may not allow these student(s) to continue in class until they can offer
proof of registration.
210.13 Student Discipline
- The faculty member ordinarily handles minor infractions of conduct
at the time. Any disciplinary problems not so handled should be reported
immediately to the (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs)
Campus Judicial Coordinator. Instructors who discover cases of theft,
vandalism, or other serious offenses by students should report them
to (Student Affairs) University Police. (See Chapter 520 of this volume.)
- A faculty member may exclude from attendance any student who, in the
instructor's judgment, has seriously impaired the class' ability to
achieve the objectives of the course. On the other hand, the student
may appeal a disciplinary action by a faculty member, which the student
considers arbitrary or unjust.
210.14 Academic Integrity
Faculty is urged to discuss the issue of academic honesty with students
at the beginning of each semester. The academic integrity policy and its
procedures are contained in Chapter 540 of this volume.
210.15 Advising Student Organizations
Students may ask members of the faculty and professional staff to be
advisers to approved student groups from time to time. Faculty and professional
staff should discuss proposed advisory responsibilities with department
chairpersons/directors before accepting any assignments. Faculty and staff
are invited to discuss matters relating to their advising functions with
the Director of Campus Life.
Tutoring of College students for pay by College faculty is prohibited.
210.17 Sexual Harassment and Personal Relations with Students
- It is the intent of the College that students be secure from any
sexual harassment by faculty, staff, and administrators. (See Chapter
285 of this volume).
- It is the sense of the Faculty Senate that it is inappropriate for
a member of the faculty/staff to engage in consensual romantic or sexual
relations with any student over whom he/she holds a position of authority
with regard to academic or administrative judgements or decisions.
210.18 Academic Community and Intelligence Agencies
The University Senate has provided "Guidelines Governing Relationships
Between the Academic Community and United States intelligence agencies."
- The College may enter into research contracts with the Central Intelligence
Agency or other United States intelligence agencies provided that such
contracts conform with the University's normal rules governing contracting
with outside sponsors, and that the existence of a contract is made
known to the academic community by University officials.
- Individual members of the academic community may enter into direct
or indirect consulting arrangements for United States intelligence agencies
to provide research and analytical services. The individual should report,
in writing, the existence of such an arrangement to the President.
- Any member of the academic community who has an ongoing relationship
with United States intelligence agencies as a recruiter should report
that fact, in writing, to the President. Such a recruiter should not
give any intelligence agency the name of another member of the academic
community without prior consent of the individual. Members of the academic
community whose advice is sought on a one-time or occasional basis should
carefully consider whether, under the circumstances, it is appropriate
to give the name of another member of the academic community without
prior consent of the individual.
- Members of the academic community should not undertake intelligence
operations for United States intelligence agencies. They should not
participate in propaganda activities if the activities involve lending
their names and positions to gain public acceptance for materials they
know to be misleading or untrue. Before undertaking any other propaganda
activities, an individual should consider whether the task is consistent
with scholarly and professional obligations.
- No member of the academic community should assist United States intelligence
agencies in obtaining the unwitting services of another member of the
academic community. United States intelligence agencies should not employ
members of the academic community in an unwitting manner.
- Questions concerning the interpretation and application of these guidelines
should be discussed with the President.
Note: While these "guidelines" apply to "United States
intelligence agencies," the intent is that they apply to all intelligence
agencies of whatever country.
210.19 Disability Statement
Students with Disabilities - The Federal Civil Rights Law protects the
rights of students with disabilities. Faculty are obligated to comply
with whatever accommodations are determined by the Office for Students
with Disabilities (OSD). You are also obliged to read and distribute in
writing (as part of your course syllabus) the following statement:
"I would appreciate hearing from anyone in this class who has a
special need that my be the result of a disability. I am reasonable sure
we can work out whatever arrangement is necessary, be it special seating,
testing or other accommodations. See me after class or during my office
hours, as soon as possible."
Students who have been determined to require such accommodations must
present a form to you from OSD that will specify exactly what accommodations
are required. You should also keep in mind that proving special accommodations
to students without disabilities certified by OSD gives those students
and advantage not made available to the other students in the course,
creating yet another inequity. For this reason, in the absence of an official
not from OSD accommodations that are not made available to all students
must not be provided to any student.
210.20 Patents and Copy Rights
It is the policy of SUNY and the Research Foundation of SUNY to get inventions
into the marketplace for the benefits of the inventor, the inventor's
campus, the University, industry, and the public. This policy is implemented
through the Research Foundation's Technology/Transfer Offices. The following
provisions (among others) relate to any faculty member who, in using SUNY
owned or controlled facilities, discovers and idea, process or device
or develop software that may be patentable (SUNY makes no claim to ownership
to the inventions or software developed wholly on the faculty member's
own time without using SUNY facilities):
- Faculty are required to disclose such results "promptly and completely."
SUNY then has six months to decide whether or not to pursue patent or
marketing of the invention.
- If the decision is to pursue patenting or marketing, the Technology
Transfer Office assists in this process.
- SUNY, or the Research Foundation of SUNY, retains ownership of all
inventions and software that are made using SUNY facilities
- An inventor receives 40% of the gross royalty received by SUNY or
the Research Foundation.
- The remaining royalties are returned to the inventor's campus to be
distributed according to the campus' own guidelines.
The following provisions (among others) apply to copyright work (including
- For works produced as a requirement of a grant or contact administration
by the Research Foundation, the copyright belongs to the Research Foundation
(unless different terms are agreed to with the sponsor)
- For works produced incidentally to the primary research conducted
on a grant or contract, the copyright resides with the creator.
For more information about patents and copyrights, the Office of Faculty
Research and Sponsored Programs should be consulted.
210.21 Policy on Examination at End of Semester
- Each member of the faculty shall have the right and the responsibility
to determine the form and content of end-of-the-semester examinations
(whether of the comprehensive "final" type or of the "last
unit" type), subject to departmental regulation. Specifically,
he/she may determine that some other form of evaluation is more appropriate.
- All end-of-the-semester examinations of the comprehensive "final"
or "last unit" type shall be given during the period designated
in the academic calendar for examinations according to a schedule published
no later than mid-semester by the Office of Registration and Records.
- Take-home examinations, term papers, and term projects may be scheduled
with a due date during the last week of classes or during the examination
- The periods designated for examinations shall be spread over a period
of at least five days. Each examination period shall be two hours in
length. There shall be at least 15 minutes (and, if possible, 30 minutes)
between examination periods.
- Examinations for single section courses will be scheduled according
to normal class meeting times, and places.
- Multiple section courses having a common class meeting will be
examined during the examination period assigned for the common meeting
- Multiple section courses for which a single examination is required
of all sections may be examined according to the meeting times of
the several sections, or a request may be made for special scheduling
at the time the course is requested to be listed in the class schedule.
Five examination periods will be reserved for the scheduling of
such multiple section courses. Preference will be given to courses
with large enrollments.
- The Office of Registration and Records shall have the responsibility
to permute the end-of-the-semester examination schedule so that no particular
class meeting time is continually assigned to any one-examination period.
- Changes from the published schedule may be made only under extremely
unusual circumstances, and with the approval of the appropriate dean.
Clearance for the physical arrangements will be made with the appropriate
administrative officer. The instructor is obliged to notify his/her
students of such re-scheduling at least three weeks prior to the examination.
- Students with more than two examinations in one day or with more than
one examination scheduled during the same time shall have the right
to request re-scheduling. The scheduling difficulty must be verified
by the appropriate administrative officer, after which the examination
will be re-scheduled for a time mutually agreeable to the instructor
and the student. At least one period on the last day of the end-of-the-semester
examination period shall be reserved for the resolution of conflicts,
which cannot otherwise be resolved.
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