Policy Library

310 Faculty Duties and Responsibilities

Authority: Approved by the Board of Trustees
Newly appointed faculty members are expected to attend new faculty professional development sessions. Eligible faculty members are required to participate in any mandatory benefits as described in the University Handbook, Section 500 (Employment). Members of the faculty of Indiana State University are expected to abide by established policies for the operation of the University and the conduct of its instructional programs, to participate in and contribute to the development and improvement of educational services within the scope of the mission of the University, to perform assigned duties to the best of their ability, and to be concerned about the educational welfare and achievement of students. Faculty shall foster a culture of free inquiry, free expression, and intellectual diversity. Each faculty member should continuously endeavor to improve scholarly attainments, to participate in appropriate organized professional activities and, through research and teaching, to contribute to the expansion of knowledge and the advancement of learning. Personal conduct and relationships with students and colleagues should conform to accepted ethics. The benchmarks of any great university are directly related to high standards of academic endeavor by both teachers and students. Truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a university community. The University expects both students and faculty to adhere to and foster the ideals for which the University was founded. Indiana State University subscribes to AAUP guidelines for academic freedom and faculty duties and responsibilities. Faculty members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with these guidelines.
Last updated on: May 10, 2024
Last reviewed on: May 10, 2024

310.1.1 Normal Teaching Load

The normal teaching load for tenured and tenure-track faculty will be 12 semester credit hours of course work per semester or 24 semester credit hours per academic year (or equivalent). The normal teaching load for instructors and senior instructors will be 15 semester credit hours of course work per semester or 30 semester credit hours per academic year (or equivalent). 

310.1.1.1  Overload.  In emergency situations, regular faculty members may agree to teach a course or a section of a course in addition to the regular teaching schedule.  Pay for such extra teaching responsibility is based upon an established overload teaching pay rate approved by the ISU Board of Trustees and available from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. 

310.1.1.2  Per Semester Credit Hour Limit.  Teaching assignments shall not exceed 16 semester credit hours per semester or 12 semester credit hours in a summer, except under exceptional circumstances, with the mutual agreement of the faculty member and the dean. 

310.1.1.3  Release Time.  A faculty member may be released from part or all of the teaching load for research or other professional activities, including significant service or administrative assignments. It is the responsibility of the department chairperson and the academic dean to equate such special assignments to the normal teaching load. 

310.1.1.4  Time for Teaching Assignment.  Regular full-time teaching faculty are expected to be available for assignment on campus, or online, or via other University-recognized formats when classes are normally scheduled. Faculty may also be given assignments on Saturday when mutually agreed to by the department chairperson and the faculty member involved. 

310.1.1.5  Preferential Schedule.  Any preferential assignment schedule arranged for a faculty member by or with the consent of the department chairperson and the academic dean may be superseded by bona fide needs of the University or the department when space or time limitations necessitate changes. 

310.1.1.6  Class Meeting Times.  All regularly-scheduled classes of the University are to meet according to the time schedule published in the official schedule of classes.  Exceptions to class meeting times may be arranged with the approval of the department chairperson and unanimous concurrence of the students in the class.

310.1.2 Course Outlines and Syllabi

Faculty members are required to prepare course outlines or syllabi for their courses.  Two (2) or more faculty teaching the same course may use the same outline or syllabus.  An outline of each course shall be available to students from the beginning of each term.  Course outlines and syllabi should be published and accessible to students throughout the term.  Faculty are expected to inform students of revisions to the information provided in course outlines and syllabi when they are made. 

310.1.2.1  Required Elements.  Each outline and syllabus shall provide information that facilitates communication and promotes student success.  This shall include:  University contact information for the faculty member and the department in which the course is offered; faculty office hours; a list of required course texts and materials and how they will be used in the course; an explanation of how course grades will be determined; and an explanation for assignments requiring more than two weeks for grading.  Faculty are encouraged to review department and College guidelines for preparation of course outlines and syllabi. 

310.1.2.2  College and Departmental Required Elements.  Colleges and/or departments may establish additional required elements on course outlines and syllabi through appropriate governance processes.

310.1.3 Methods of Instruction

Specific or uniform methods of instruction are not prescribed. Faculty are expected to adapt their methods to the nature and content of each course.  Selection and organization of content of particular courses and the development of departmental curricula are faculty responsibilities.  Teaching methods are the responsibility of the individual faculty member. 

310.1.3.1 Instructional Evaluation.  The quality of teaching will be given high priority in performance evaluations. Evidence of teaching effectiveness is required in the review of Regular Faculty. Faculty are encouraged to include peer and chairperson evaluations in their review documents as well as other evidence of student success. Student evaluations as referenced below (Section 310.1.3.2) must also be included.  Similarly, department assessments of student course evaluations shall be submitted and considered in the annual review of Temporary Faculty (i.e. full- and part-time Lecturers, including those also holding an EAP or other staff position).

310. Student Course Evaluations. Multiple methods of evaluation are appropriate, but all courses must be evaluated by students using a common pool of items selected by the university, and if appropriate, the college and department; faculty are encouraged to supplement with items that assess the unique characteristics of their courses. Results of course evaluations will be made available to the faculty member; summary results of the evaluations for each section will be made available to the appropriate Department Chair and academic Dean(s). (Note: Effective Fall 2015). 

310.1.3.3 Faculty are further encouraged to avail themselves of the services of the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence, which provides an array of opportunities to facilitate professional development of teachers.


310.1.4 Final Examinations

The final examination schedule is prepared by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office.  The two-hour final examination period assigned is part of the total commitment required for completion of a course, and it is scheduled to provide a longer class period for the administration of a comprehensive examination.  Exceptions may be made in courses in which student projects, term papers, demonstrations, or performances are more suitable measures of achievement.

310.1.4.1  Missed Final Examination.  No student shall be excused except for illness or a conflict with a legitimate University activity, in which case the faculty member may require that the excuse be approved by the appropriate academic dean.  Students are required to make up a missed final examination before the course grade is given.  Other examinations and quizzes are given at the discretion of the faculty member.  A faculty member may elect not to require a final written examination but is obligated to hold the class in session during the scheduled final examination time period. 

310.1.4.2  Schedule of Final Examinations.  All final examinations are to be administered according to the schedule published by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Exceptions to the final examination schedule may be arranged with the approval of the department chairperson and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, provided that such changes do not conflict with other examinations of members of said classes, and provided that the students involved are notified at least two (2) weeks in advance.  

310.1.4.3  Study Week.  Study week is intended to encourage student preparation for final examinations given during the final examination week.  Class attendance, however, is expected.  No examination of any kind, including quizzes that count over four percent of the grade, can be given during Study Week.  Assignments due during Study Week must be specified in the class syllabus handed out to students at the beginning of each semester.  Online courses are treated, for the purpose of this policy, like all other courses.  Courses of 11 weeks' duration or less are exempt from this policy.  Examinations for laboratory, practicum, or clinical courses are permitted. * Effective for the 2016-2017 review cycle.

310.  Notification of Violation of Study Week Policy.  The student is responsible for notifying the Student Government Association of a violation of any of the above terms.  The Student Government Association will take the correct procedures for informing the faculty member and the academic department chairperson of the failure to comply with the terms of the Study Week Policy.  The student's name will be confidential to the Student Government Association.

310.1.4.4  Final Grades.  Final grades are due in the Registration and Records Office 48 hours after the end of the final examination period.

310.1.5 Grades and Standards

Setting standards and grading in classes is the responsibility of the faculty, and individual faculty members should be in a position to justify their grades.  The basis of course grades shall be outlined in the syllabus as specified in  Section 310.1.2.1 (above).  Grades on all assignments will be posted in the time-frame specified in the syllabus (normally not to exceed two weeks unless otherwise specified, see Section 310.1.2.1) on the university’s instructional computer system (currently Blackboard).  Feedback other than grades (comments, notes, qualitative assessments) will be available to students along a similar timeline.  Final grade distributions for all academic departments are available each semester.  (Note:  Effective Fall 2015).

310.1.5.1  Change of Grade.  Faculty members may request a change of grade using a process established by the Registrar. A Change of Grade must be signed by the department chairperson and academic dean. Change of grades for graduate students are signed by the department chairperson and the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Change of grades cannot be processed for students whose degrees have been conferred. In the event that the instructor from whom students receive an IN or an IP grade is no longer employed by Indiana State University, cannot be contacted or is incapable of performance due to medical conditions, the disposition of students’ eventual grades resides with the appropriate department chairperson.

310.1.6 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades

Undergraduate courses in which the primary requirements are professional practice may employ satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades designation.  Appropriate courses for these grades will be determined by the school/college.  When a course is so designated, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office will be informed, an announcement will be placed in “Academic Notes,” and a statement that a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade will be given for the course will be inserted in the course description in the “Academic Notes.”

310.1.7 Mid-Semester Change-of-Faculty

Occasionally, due to death, illness, or other unforeseen events, faculty may find themselves taking over instructional responsibility for a course after a class has already begun. In such instances, it is important that faculty respect the prior faculty member’s syllabus as much as possible. While new faculty may add additional readings, they should not change the overall topic(s) covered in the class nor add additional costs for the students (i.e., requesting a change in textbook). New faculty may change the modes of assessment (e.g., essay vs multiple-choice exams) but must garner the approval of the department chair to make changes to the: 1. way(s) grades will be computed (e.g., the number and weighting of assignments and the grading scale), except as it might benefit the students’ final grades (e.g., addition of extra-credit opportunities); and, 2. changes to rubrics for major assignments (e.g., term papers). Chairs will consider the academic integrity of the course when making this decision.

310.1.8 Graduate Committees

Candidates for various graduate degrees may elect or be required to complete a scholarly or creative project, thesis or dissertation.

310.1.8.1  Scholarly or Creative Project, Thesis, or Dissertation Committee.  The chairperson or supervisor of the student’s scholarly or creative project, thesis, or dissertation committee will be chosen under policies set by the departmental graduate faculty, by the joint action of the student, the department chairperson, and the appointee with the approval of the appropriate academic dean and will be formally appointed by the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.  Only faculty with graduate faculty status are eligible to chair, supervise or serve on scholarly project, thesis, or dissertation committees.  Complete details for the preparation of the scholarly or creative projects, theses, and dissertations appear on the College of Graduate and Professional Studies website and are outlined in brief in the Graduate Catalog.

310.1.9 Student Academic Advising

Student academic advising is one of the regularly-assigned duties of many of the faculty.  Academic deans are responsible for assigning advisors according to procedures established for each college.

310.1.9.1  Role of Academic Advisors.  Students are urged to discuss academic problems with their academic advisors.  Academic advisors assist in planning students’ programs each semester and provide the advisement personal identification number (PIN) required to complete the registration process.  Students are responsible for becoming familiar with the requirements of degree programs and to seek help from academic advisors whenever necessary.  Faculty advisors provide information about the curricula of their departments as well as the general education program and graduation requirements of the University.  Faculty advisors may review grade reports, keep records of the progress of their advisees, and alert advisees of deficiencies.  Advisors arrange for conferences as needed with students having academic difficulties.  Faculty office hours for advising appointments must be posted by advisors and recorded in their departmental offices.

310.1.10 Deleted December 16, 2016

310.1.11 Deleted December 16, 2016

310.1.12 Textbooks

Textbooks and other materials are selected by the faculty primarily to promote student learning.  Because there are affordability and course outcome issues that must be considered, the selection of textbooks and other materials must be selected in accordance with the foregoing policies as well as departmentally-approved policies. The departmental chairperson is responsible for selection facilitation and implementation in accordance with the provisions of this section.  The goals of these textbook policies are to comply with applicable laws, facilitate student procurement of textbooks, address textbook affordability, and ensure instructional quality.

310.1.12.1 Definition, Selection, Ordering, & Conflict of Interest.

a. The course schedule for a term will be published by October 1 and March 1; and Textbook and non-sharable required materials selection deadlines will be October 15 and March 15 (for Spring; and Summer and Fall terms respectively). 

b. It is the responsibility of administrators and department chairpersons to make resource allocations and course assignments so as to facilitate timely adoptions.

c. All textbook and materials orders will be placed through the academic department. The chairperson will review for compliance with these policies and supervise the placing of orders.

d. For the purposes of this policy the term “textbook” shall be defined as the central text associated with significant expense and shall not include readings or other ancillary and inexpensive texts.

e. Department chairpersons shall consult with appropriate faculty (ordinarily those most responsible for teaching a course or subsequent courses in a sequence) to select a “default” text. Default texts will be ordered by chairpersons in cases of late decisions, resignations, illnesses, and late faculty appointments and/or assignments. Chairpersons shall select a text for sections with no assigned instructors when no default has been identified. It is expected that the default textbook will be among those used for another section of the course if any. Faculty shall be precluded from changing textbooks orders for that term.

f. Except in cases where a department has an approved policy regarding a common textbook for a multi-section course, individual faculty who are deemed by the Chairperson likely to teach a section of a multi-section course for every term of the selection period may choose alternative textbook(s) and materials as long as they do not exceed the cost of the default selection(s) and the order is made by the deadline.

g. To minimize possible conflict of economic interest in textbook selection, recommendations for selection of basic or supplementary textbooks authored by ISU faculty must include the approval of the department chairperson or the responsible dean, if appropriate. A statement must accompany such recommendation indicating (a) that no other textbooks containing material appropriate to the course are available, or (b) that if other textbooks are available, the textbook selected is deemed most appropriate.

310.1.12.2  Other (non-sharable) Required Materials. 

a. Non-sharable required materials include products or services that;

1. Students must purchase as a required element in the course.

2. Cannot be shared by students nor, once used, transferred to another student.

3. Cannot be accessed through a shared university system or license.

4. Cannot be purchased except through the bookstore or other specified provider.

b.  Costs of required purchases of non-sharable materials must be justified and reported to the chairperson and approved by the Provost.  Once approved, such materials may continue to be used in subsequent semesters as long as the cost remains at or below 125% of the initially-approved amount.

c. The process and timeline for selection of non-sharable resources shall follow that of textbooks.

310.1.12.3 Appeals. Appeals by faculty under this policy will be adjudicated by the Student Affairs Committee of the faculty member’s college or the appropriate committee designated by the governing body of the college to handle student issues.

310.1.13 Faculty Absences

Any faculty member who cannot meet a scheduled class or laboratory period must notify the department chairperson concerning the absence before the class is to meet.  It is necessary that proper arrangements be made for class work to continue.  For payroll purposes all absences are to be reported on the Time Recap Sheet.

310.1.14 Class Attendance and Reporting

Faculty members are expected to assume the following responsibilities:

a.  Publish attendance requirements to each class and inform students of consequences of absences from class. 

b.  Give students an opportunity to meet class obligations, based upon the faculty member’s evaluation of the student’s reason for absences.

1. Excuse absences that are a consequence of civic or other mandates (e.g. jury duty, court subpoena, military obligations) or, when appropriate documentation is provided, absences associated with academic requirements of other departments (e.g. participation in a conference) or university-sponsored athletic events in which the student is a participant (faculty should expect that other departments will consider the impact on other faculty’s class when requiring absences).

2. Make arrangements with students who request them to accept graded assignments that are or will be missed.  Faculty may require that assignments be turned in prior to any excused, planned absence; faculty may deduct attendance or participation points from students’ whose absence is not excused. 

c.  Permit only those students who are officially enrolled to attend class.

d.  Keep students on class listings unless officially dropped; retain sufficient record of performance to assign grade to any student who ceases attending but does not officially drop/withdraw from the course.

e.  Report nonattendance of any student as required by institutional policy and state/ federal regulations (e.g., 3-week attendance reports; interim or final grade reports). Last date of attendance will be required for any failing or incomplete/in progress grade.

310.1.15 Field Trips

Field trips can be an integral part of the course requirements and may enhance students' education.  To avoid undue conflicts and interruptions in other classes, faculty members are urged to follow procedures: 

a.  Inform the students of the field trip(s) early in the semester so that they may plan for their absence(s). 

b.  Provide students with forms containing destinations, purpose of the trip, dates, hours leaving from and returning to the campus, and the faculty member’s signature. 

c.  Send list of students’ names with the information in b. above to the appropriate dean and publicize information concerning the field trip at least one (1) week before the trip. 

d.  It is further suggested that faculty members should not arrange a field trip during the last five (5) class days of the semester or during finals week.  Students on field trips are not excused from assigned work in other courses and are responsible for consulting with faculty members before the planned trip.

310.1.16 Office Hours

Faculty shall be regularly available in their departmental/program offices for consultation with students, colleagues, or chairs according to the needs of department/program, courses of instruction, and academic advising.  Faculty members shall notify the department chair of their office hours and shall post their hours on or near their office doors.  Faculty teaching only distance courses should make themselves available to their students regularly through electronic means and notify students of their availability.  Academic department offices shall normally be open each weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding a break for lunch.

310.1.17 Telephone/Email

To facilitate their academic duties, ISU provides all faculty members with email and telephone access.  Faculty are encouraged to inform students of their preferred method of communication.  Faculty shall use their official University email address when conducting official ISU business.  During academic terms in which they are under contract, faculty are expected to respond to inquiries by students or others in a timely fashion except on weekends, university holidays, or when other duties (e.g. contracted reassignment or leave, university-recognized travel) or exceptional circumstances prevent.  When they are not under contract, faculty shall relay inquiries relating to their professional duties to the Chair or other designee as soon as feasible (unless they choose to respond themselves).

310.2.1 Commencement Ceremonies

All faculty members are expected to participate in the commencement ceremonies and shall wear the appropriate academic apparel.  Academic robes, caps and hoods may be rented through the University Bookstore.  Commencement ceremonies are scheduled at the end of the fall and spring semesters (December and May).

310.2.2 Faculty Reports

Faculty members are responsible for reporting to their deans significant activities concerning teaching, research, publications, service to the University, and professional or community and public service.  Deans will request this information be submitted through department chairpersons at appropriate intervals.  The Faculty Report of Professional Activities form is to be used for this purpose with reporting based on the calendar year.

310.2.3 Sponsoring Student Organizations

All student organizations are required by the Student Government Association and the University to have faculty/staff sponsors.  The sponsors are chosen by the organizations.  The sponsor is required to endorse vouchers in accordance with the fiscal policies of the University and should sign, or permit his/her name to appear as sponsor on official room request forms. 

310.2.3.1  University Insurance.  Faculty/staff sponsors of student organizations are protected by university insurance in the event of suit for personal injury or property damage as long as the faculty/staff members are working within their responsibilities as sponsors.  However, faculty/staff members may be held personally liable if they assume a role that is outside of the normal course of business of the student organization.

310.2.4 Committees

Faculty members are appointed by the University Faculty Senate to its standing committees.  Faculty membership on administrative committees and committees designed to deal with special problems may be by appointment or by election.  Service on such committees is generally considered to be a part of the regular duty and responsibility of the faculty member.

310.2.5 Community/School Services

Faculty members frequently are asked to participate in various community/school activities as speakers or resource specialists.  The University encourages such participation, which is at the discretion of the faculty member. 

310.2.5.1  Leaves.  When time is taken for these activities, the departmental chairperson should be informed so that proper arrangements can be made for any missed classes. (See Policy 336, Leaves Without Pay)

310.2.6 Alumni Services

The Alumni Affairs Office, in cooperation with the ISU Alumni Association, provides a variety of programs to interest, inform, and involve alumni of the University.  Regional alumni clubs, school and departmental alumni organizations, homecoming, Founders Day, reunions, group travel, preparation and distribution of newsletters, and soliciting for the ISU Fund are among the programs to maintain and attract alumni interest and support.  Essential to all programs is the maintenance of adequate biographical records of former students.  University faculty and staff are encouraged to share in all areas of alumni relations and to utilize the records of the Alumni Affairs Office to maintain communication and to seek involvement of former students.

310.2.7 Professional Activities and Organizations

Recognizing that membership and participation in professional organizations and associations affords faculty members opportunities to contribute to the development of their disciplines, the University encourages all faculty members to be active in the professional organizations of their choice.  Fees for individual memberships are not paid by the University.

310.2.7.1  Conferences and Workshops.  For special conferences, institutes, and workshops for University faculty and administrative staff, the University may pay travel expenses, per diem, and fee charges for individuals.  In some instances, individual faculty members or administrative staff are requested to attend if topics under discussion or consideration are of special interest to the University or if the University should be officially represented.

Related Information

Policy Administrator:
Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact:
Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rankin Hall 200
(812) 237-2304
Procedures and Standards:
Policy History:
Policy 310 was included in the 2001 University Handbook revision and was amended by the ISU Board of Trustees as follows: Section 310.1.1.1 amended on July 16, 2004 and Section 310.1.5.1 amended November 1, 2006; amended 310.1.1.4 on December 17, 2011; amended on September 6, 2013 Section 310.1.13, 310.1.12.1, 310.1.12.2, 310.1.12.3, and 310.1.12.4; Sections 310.1.2; 310.1.2.1; 310.1.2.2; and 310.1.3 amended on May 2, 2014; amended Sections 310.1, 310.1.3, 310.1.3.1, 310.1.3.2, 310.1.3.3, 310.1.5, 310.1.14, 310.1.16, and added 310.1.17 on December 12, 2014; amended Section 310.1.8 on May 12, 2017. Sections 310.1.7 and 310.1.12 were amended by the Board of Trustees on May 10, 2019. Sections 310.1.1 Normal Teaching Load and 310.1.1.4 Time for Teaching Assignment were amended by the Board of Trustees on December 13, 2019. Sections 310.1.3.1 and 310.1.3.2 was amended by the Board of Trustees on July 30, 2021. A minor change was made on August 23, 2021 to move 310.1.3.2 Student Course Evaluation to a subsection under 310.1.3.1 Instructional Evaluation and is numbered 310. On May 10, 2024, the ISU Board of Trustees approved a modification to the Preamble to bring it into compliance with newly enacted legislation. *Policy 399 Interpretation applies to interpretations of Policies 300 to 399 of the Policy Library.