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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Reminders for Instructors for Spring 2024

Dear Colleagues, 

As the start of the new semester comes closer, I wanted to reach out to you all with some timely reminders. These relate to existing Senate or Graduate Faculty Council Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations, academic policies, or other relevant procedures and guidelines. If you will be instructing a course in the coming semester, please be sure to read these reminders carefully.  

Some new policies, procedures, and guidelines have been implemented within the last year, including a new requirement in spring 2024 to provide the last date of academic engagement for students with non-passing grades. Further information can be found at the links provided.  

Reminders for course instructors in spring 2024: 

  • Consistent with our course approval processes and to support consistency across course sections syllabi should include:
  • Approved course-level learning objectives, which should be shared across all sections of the same course. 
  • The course description should quote verbatim the description noted in the undergraduate or graduate catalog. 
  • Instructors are expected to include a link to the Academic, Scholarly, and Professional Integrity and Misconduct Policy (Effective as of July 2023) as part of course syllabi or any other academic/scholarly activity and include any additional unit-specific expectations. 
  • Note: Refer to the Creating your Syllabus page for additional syllabi information.  
  • All courses must be delivered in the modalities as listed in the course schedule. Instructors are not permitted to change the modality in which a course is delivered. If there is a need to change the modality temporarily due to unanticipated circumstances, the course instructor must obtain prior approval from the Department Head and Dean. 
  • Per the Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations of the University Senate (E.6, Mid-Semester and Semester Reports), instructors of 1000 and 2000-level courses must submit midterm grades for all students during the mid-semester grading period which spans the sixth through eighth week of the semester. Instructors of all other courses are encouraged to do the same.  Timely submission of midterm grades is an integral part of our student success initiatives, enabling advisors to identify and support students who may need intervention to achieve satisfactory academic progress.
  • Effective as of Spring 2024, when submitting final grades for students with non-passing grades, instructors will be required to submit the date of last academic engagement. The collection of this information supports institutional compliance with federal financial aid regulations. Failure to provide this information may result in negative financial consequences for students. Please remember that you can take attendance in classes where feasible. 
  • At any time in the semester, students who are not engaging in classes may be in need of support from the Dean of Students Office (Storrs) or Regional Student Services Office (regional campuses). Reach out to or the appropriate regional campus Student Services staff with the name of the student and a brief description of the concern. Staff in those offices will attempt to engage the student in an effort to help get them connected with the appropriate resources.
  • Faculty are expected to make themselves available to students for additional instructional support. The common approach is to hold regularly scheduled office hours. When you identify office hours, ideally these will maximize the likelihood that students can attend them by providing multiple options that include different days and different times of the day. 

To support your role as an instructor, I strongly encourage all faculty to make use of resources provided by the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). This includes ongoing workshops, ranging from the basics of syllabus and course design through to specialist pedagogical approaches to teaching. A list of current workshops can be found here 

CETL also provide a range of web-based resources, including tips for grading without utilizing attendance, which may support the documentation of academic engagement. Faculty Development staff in CETL also provide individual teaching enhancement consultations. New and emerging issues in teaching and learning, such as the impact of ChatGPT are also addressed by CETL.  

I wish you all the best for a productive and enjoyable semester with your students. 

Best wishes,  

Gladis Kersaint, PhD 

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs