Faculty Handbook

Broad Policies | Resource Policies | Teaching-Related Policies | Student-Related Policies

As employees of UM, a state institution, faculty abide by and carry out a number of policies.  Some of the policies pertinent to faculty and students are repeated here.  Policies are the result of the CBA or legislative, Board of Regents, UM administration, Faculty Senate, or COB action, and they can change over time.   Some of the content below reflects the common practice in addition to actual written policy.  This web of policies and practices can be complicated to navigate and multi-layered (e.g., a MUS policy gives rise to a UM policy).  

Broad Policies and Procedures

Academic Rights and Responsibilities – All tenured and untenured faculty have the right to academic freedom, so that all activities related to academic inquiry and expression are protected.  When acting as a private citizen in writing, speech, or actions, the faculty member has an obligation to make it clear that the action, speech, or writing is as an individual and not as a representative of the University of Montana or the Montana University System.  Academic responsibilities include submitting a syllabus for each course that is ultimately filed with the Registrar, teaching classes in accordance with class descriptions, and abiding by the time and location in the published schedule.  Any class meeting not held on campus must be pre-approved by the Dean or his designee.  Faculty should strive to continuously improve their teaching effectiveness and avoid persistent intrusion of totally unrelated material into classroom presentations.  Faculty are expected to equally apply class standards and requirements.  Records supporting student grade computations are to be retained until the end of the fall or spring term after the conclusion of the recorded grade (i.e., spring material retained until the end of fall).  Faculty members have obligations and responsibilities to assist in the proper administration of UM affairs and may be called upon to serve on committees, attend functions, and render public service in the areas of professional competence.

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment – Faculty  must complete an online tutorial regarding the Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policies as well as the Discrimination Grievance Procedures.  In order to enable the University to respond effectively and to stop instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students at the University proactively, all University employees must, within 24 hours of receiving the information, report it to Jessica Weltman, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator at x5710,jessica.weltman@mso.umt.edu, or eoaa@umontana.edu.

Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure – Faculty will complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement and Certification Form at the beginning of each academic year to inform UM of potential conflicts of interest and certain financial relationships.  Conflicts of interest occur when an employee has a personal interest in a matter that could compromise or impinge on his obligation to pursue the best interest of UM and its students.  Such circumstances can occur when a non-UM activity encroaches on an employee’s UM time, loyalty, or commitment to duties or responsibilities.  Consider whether an independent observer might reasonably question whether your professional actions/decisions are influenced by personal gain.  Financial disclosure is required when a UM employee or her immediate family has certain non-UM financial interests or endeavors, including: faculty supplemental salary, royalties, consulting fees, honoraria, and paid authorships that amount to $5,000 or more over a 12-month period; equity interests of $5,000 or more in a public entity; equity interests of any amount in nonpublic entity; and non-UM income from intellectual property rights and interests.  See full Conflict of Interest Policy for more information.

Work-Life Policies – Tenure-track faculty may request a tenure clock extension for certain life events, including birth/adoption of a child, foster care placement of a child, caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, the faculty member’s serious health condition, or other hardship situation.  Faculty can request reduced FTE for similar circumstances, with the approval of the Department Chair, Dean, and Provost.  Returning to 1.0 FTE is not guaranteed, and reductions of FTE below 0.5 result in loss of tenure and tenure-track status.  See details in the CBA.

Promotion, Tenure, and Merit – The CBA governs when and how faculty apply for promotion, tenure, and merit awards.  It also outlines general performance expectations.  Currently, every untenured (probationary) faculty member with a tenure-track appointment is evaluated in the faculty evaluation process (known as FEC) annually, with Associate and full Professors evaluated every 2 and 3 years, respectively.  Non-tenure track adjunct faculty on 0.5 FTE appointment for two consecutive terms or more are also evaluated, but the process is much more succinct.  Faculty create a performance record covering September 1 through August 31 of the prior academic year, and this record is due in mid-October.  From there, the FEC Committee in the department votes on retention, promotion, tenure, and merit decisions.  There may be restrictions on who can vote on which requests, and this will be specified in the department’s Unit Standards.  The Department Chair and Dean then add their own evaluations to the request, with the Provost making the ultimate decision (usually announced near the end of the academic year).  The Unit Standards will also specify the criteria used for promotion and tenure decisions.  Merit award criteria are specified in the CBA.  See specific unit standards for A&FM&M, and MIS

Accreditation and Faculty Qualifications – Because COB is AACSB-accredited, faculty must obtain and maintain certain qualifications to be considered “current” in their teaching field.  COB has an internal Faculty Qualifications Policy guiding that determination.  In general, the requirements to remain “current” in your field are lower than that required for promotion or tenure.  Once becoming a full Professor, faculty are expected to remain current by adhering to COB’s faculty qualification policy.  

Consulting – UM has a very detailed Faculty Consulting Policy.  While consulting is encouraged to leverage and enhance expertise, faculty should report any consulting activities to their Department Chair and Dean at least 14 business days prior to the consulting engagement. 

Faculty Attendance – All faculty are expected to make a significant effort to meet all class periods and office hours at the regularly scheduled time.  In the rare case that you may have to cancel a class unexpectedly, please inform both the Department Chair and Department Assistant.  A sign will be posted outside your classroom to notify students.  Faculty should notify their Department Chair in writing should they have a pre-planned absence that impacts their ability to be present for class or office hours.

Teaching Assignment and Load – The Department Chair assigns courses to faculty and is responsible for the overall department course schedule and faculty loads.  In general, faculty may receive a reduced load (fewer than the usual six sections per year) for 1-2 years after hiring or when assuming significant administrative duties, receiving private or grant monies funding a teaching buyout, or holding certain positions on campus (such as Chair of Faculty Senate).  Please see your Department Chair for questions regarding course assignments and teaching load.

Faculty Works Copyright Policy – MUS and UM have copyright policies covering a myriad of works a faculty member may produce under a variety of conditions.  For example, sponsored research agreements may have special provisions as to ownership of works produced.  Faculty who are specifically tasked with creating copyrightable works for UM (e.g., computer code, public relations material, manuals) do not own the copyright to those works.  The CBA specifically addresses copyrightable works created in delivering courses or course materials electronically.  From the CBA:  “…the member of the bargaining unit who  develops such materials as the sole creator shall retain full editorial control over and intellectual property rights to the content and shall be the sole judge as to whether or not course materials over which he/she has such control and rights shall be offered electronically. In no case should it be understood or construed that individual faculty members have intellectual property rights to individual courses or to the curriculum as a whole, but only to the content.”

FERPA – The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires faculty to maintain confidentiality of student information, including grades.  You may only discuss student records with other UM faculty, staff and agents who have a legitimate educational interest on a “need to know” basis.  This means that you cannot discuss a student’s grade with his/her parents, spouse, employer, the media, etc., unless the student has signed a consent form to release the information.  It doesn’t matter who pays the bill or the validity of the request, except that subpoenaed information should be released through UM legal counsel.  You should also use discretion when reviewing a student’s grade on an assignment or exam in the presence of other students, even if it is a high grade being discussed.  Should anyone other than the student contact you to discuss the student or his academic record, please tell them federal law prohibits your doing so and that them you need explicit permission from the student before continuing discussions (as a practical matter, the Department Chair should be notified immediately if a parent or partner calls you about a student’s grade or other issues).  Certain directory information is considered public and not subject to FERPA, unless the student has requested that the information be withheld from the public.  You will see “confidential” next to a student’s name on a class roster if the student has made such a request.  

Communications and Branding – Both UM and COB maintain brands and branding standards that promote those brands.  The COB Communications & Branding Committee approves and suggests edits to significant COB documents directed to outside constituents, so that the brand message, look, and feel can be maintained.  Any item representing the COB brand, such as t-shirts and other swag, posters, student recruitment documents, or newsletters, must also be pre-approved by this committee.   The COB logo can be used on communications such as electronic letterhead.  See your Department Assistant for COB logo-themed power point slides or images of the COB logo. See UM Brand Guildelines for general information.

Travel - All faculty traveling on UM or COB business go through a multi-stage request and approval process, regardless of whether the travel uses UM or COB funds.  Late each spring, Department Chairs will put out a call for travel requests for the next fiscal year (which starts July 1).  Faculty submit their requests with an indication of trip priority.  After receiving and summarizing these requests, the Department Chair reviews them with the Dean, who will give initial approval to one or more trips.  Then prior to expending funds on the trip, the faculty member submits a Request and Authorization to Travel form to his Department Assistant, following RAT guidelines.  After appropriate signature approvals are obtained, the faculty member may start making reservations and purchases to make the trip (see Procards below).  At least 30 days prior to any international travel, faculty must register with the Global Engagement Office to ensure information is known in the event of an emergency and to provide faculty certain information prior to departure.  After traveling, the faculty member submits original receipts for all expenses of $25 or more to the Department Assistant, who then completes the “Travel Expense Report.”  If the faculty member is owed money, it is received 2-4 weeks after filing the Travel Expense Report.   This flowchart shows the travel authorization and reporting process, as well as the forms and related instructions.  Note that students traveling on UM business also complete travel forms, though the process varies slightly.

Procards – Tenure-track faculty are issued Procards, a corporate credit card, upon hiring.  Procard guidelines are restrictive for faculty, who can only use Procards very specific travel expenses.  Faculty must use their Procard for all airfare, conference registration, hotel, and rental car expenses.   Faculty cannot use their personal credit card for any of these types of travel expenses.  Conversely, faculty cannot use their Procard for any other expense.  Thus, meals, entertainment, internet, personal expenses, and other charges not specifically permitted cannot be charged on Procards, even if incurred while traveling.  The faculty member must pay and then get reimbursed, or alternatively, request an advance prior to the trip. 

Important Identifiers -- You are issued two UM identifiers as a faculty member.  The first is a UM ID number (starting 790-xx-xxxx).  This is on your Grizcard and is in place of your social security number for payroll and other purposes.  Do not provide your 790-number to anyone unless needed for UM purposes (e.g., payroll, travel).  The second identifier is a NetID number (starting with your first two initials, followed six random digits, ending in “e” for employee).  This is used to log into all university resources, including Cyberbear, Moodle, library resources, campus WiFi, and other campus systems.  Because student records, including final grade submission, are accessible through Cybebear, faculty should take great care that their NetID login information remains private.  As a COB employee you have three email address with the following domains (business.umt.edu, mso.umt.edu and umontana.edu) All of these emails will arrive at your UM email inbox.  When logging into computers inside COB you log into the SOBA domain.  (soba\first.lastname)  However when logging into your email, for example messaging.umt.edu for web email, this is now on the UM domain (UM\first.lastname). Always log off (do not shut down) classroom computers at the end of class to prevent unauthorized access to the COB network files and other sensitive information.  

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Responsibilities & Resources - UM employees must report information they have about sexual assaults to the Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Weltman, within 24 hours of learning about them.  The Title IX coordinator will investigate the situation and take appropriate steps to address the situation and ensure safety of the survivor.

If a student chooses to open up to you about an assault, your job in that moment is to believe them and help them access appropriate resources (it is not your job to ask for facts).  Advise the student you will be required to report to the Title IX coordinator.  You may call the SARC crisis line at (406)0243-6559. The SARC at Curry Health Center provides free and confidential services for students of UM who have experienced sexual or relationship violence, stalking or harassment. They provide a 24 hour help line and have medical employees whose professional role allows privileged communication under Montana law, unlike you who must report to the Title IX, they are not require to report - so going to SARC does not trigger a report of sexual assault.

First STEP at Providence St. Patrick Hospital provides medical care and evidence collection for victims of sexual assault, in a safe and private environment, 24 hours of the day. (406) 329-5776. All services are provided at no cost to the survivor and evidence can be stored for up to one year. Going to First STEP does not trigger a report of sexual assault.

Resource Policies and Procedures

University Resources – Resources are made available to faculty so that they can do their jobs.  A variety of UM and MUS policies address use of facilities, property, and IT resources.    In general, UM resources are not to be used for non-UM personal, business, or political purposes, except as provided under UM’s faculty consulting policy.  Faculty are encouraged to use their personal email accounts for communications unrelated to their jobs.  Examples of misuse of email include chain letters, large-scale distribution of unsolicited email (spam), and email for for-profit activities.  All emails sent/received through the UM email system are the property of UM, privacy is not guaranteed, and usage may be monitored.

Classroom and Conference Room Use -- Conference rooms are reserved through the Room Scheduler.  They are frequently used for student make-up exams (note – staff do not proctor makeup exams).  For this reason, please hold conversations to a .   The Executive Board Room should not be used for class or student presentations unless there is special permission from the Dean.  If you need a classroom for a review session, group office hours, or other presentations, please see the Room Scheduler.  In general, students cannot schedule rooms directly.  It must be done through a faculty member.  The exception is that student groups’ faculty advisors can inform the Room Scheduler of the student group’s authorized designee for submitting that group’s meeting room requests to the Room Scheduler.

Graduate Assistants – COB is fortunate to have a number of MBA and MAcct students holding Graduate Assistantships (GAs).  These are highly competitive positions that pay high wages and include significant tuition remission (see “People” section for information on how to request a GA assignment).  Historically, the available COB GA time has been fully allocated through tenure-track faculty demand.  If excess GA time is available, a GA may be assigned to other faculty.  Effort should be made to assign meaningful work that fosters the teaching or research capacity of the faculty member.  GAs should not be exam proctors unless a faculty member is also present in the exam room.

Business Cards – All faculty will be offered UM business cards.   The design of the cards is standardized across campus, though faculty dictate the exact content of the business card.  Please see your Department Assistant to order business cards.

Copies and Faxes – Personal use copies and faxes are charged to the COB user for reimbursement, based on manual logs of copies and faxes.  Copies vary from $0.05 to $0.50 per page, depending on the color/duplex options, and faxes range from $0.10 to $0.25 per page, depending on the number of pages.  If you need copies made for COB purposes, you can do so yourself or submit a Faculty Request Form to a Department Assistant.  Please allow ample time for the Department Assistant to make them, typically 2-3 business days.  There may be more time-sensitive copy jobs in the queue ahead of yours.

Supply Room – Supplies are for COB faculty and staff use only.  Students may not use COB supplies, and faculty may not use supplies for non-COB purposes.  Printer ink cartridges are recycled according to instructions on the replacement cartridge packages.

Mailroom -- Because the mailroom may contain sensitive information (and a network printer is located there), please do not let students enter the mailroom.  Students may get things to you by leaving them with COB Central reception or your Department Assistant (who will put it in your mailbox), or by sliding it under your office door.   Only UM-related mail may be dropped into the mail receptacles in the mail room.  All personal mail should be mailed at a USPS facility.  There is a USPS mailbox at Arthur and University, as well as in the University Center.

Email Communications -- All faculty email communications both to and from students should be sent to and from UM email accounts.  This protects the confidentiality of student information.  Please require your students to use their student email account (fname.lastname@umontana.edu or fname.lastname@umconnect.edu).   You can find a student’s email most easily by using the Moodle email feature (if you use Moodle) or by looking up your roster in Cyberbear.  You can use either your UM (umontana.edu or mso.umt.edu) or COB (business.umt.edu) email for official student correspondence.  See the COB Tech Team to ensure the accounts are properly linked.  Many faculty do not communicate any confidential information such as grading information in emails.  Be aware that because we are a government agency, email communications are subject to public consumption through the Freedom of Information Act, with student-specific info redacted.  Faculty email addresses are publicly available via the UM and COB websites.

Teaching-Related Policies and Procedures

COB Professional Code of Conduct -- Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged meet behavioral expectations outlined in the COB Professional Code of Conduct.  This document was created as part of effort to raise the profile of ethical and professional behavior.  It outlines expectations for student behavior both in and out of the classroom, student academic conduct, and faculty professionalism.

Encouraging Academic Honesty – Faculty should play an active role in encouraging academic honesty and discouraging academic misconduct.  In addition to explicitly stating your expectation for academic honesty, you may deter academic dishonesty a number of ways, such as:  communicating clear boundaries of what is and is not academic misconduct; using multiple exam versions if the classroom requires students to sit shoulder to shoulder (Department Assistants can create multiple versions for you); watching students carefully during the exam; including warnings about cheating in your syllabus and verbally prior to an exam; not allowing any student to leave the classroom for any reason during an exam; announcing that cell phones must be turned off or stored in backpacks at the front of the room; requiring calculator covers to be put away; and never allowing a student to remove an exam from the classroom.  If you use a test bank or shared exams as resources for exam questions, students should not be allowed to possess the exam outside of your office or classroom for any reason.  This will help ensure the integrity of these sources.  

Academic Misconduct – Faculty should read and be familiar with the UM Student Conduct Code.  Procedures for addressing alleged cheating are addressed there.  At a minimum, you should document everything related to a potential cheating incident, including dates and discussions with students.  If you and the student agree to a penalty, get such an agreement in writing and inform the Department Chair and the Associate Dean.  Be aware that students are entitled to certain rights in the process, including the right to have someone else present when you address the alleged incident and the right to appeal anything to a higher level.  Please be sure to protect “reporters” in alleged cheating incidences. 

DSS-Certified Students – Disabled Services for Students (DSS) was discussed in the “People” section above.  If a student requests an accommodation due to a disability, request that they provide you documentation in the form of a letter from DSS.  Suggested accommodations will be included in this letter.  If a faculty member judges a requested accommodation to be unreasonable or an alteration of an essential element of a program or class, that faculty member should consult DSS for alternative reasonable accommodations.  Students with disabilities must still perform at satisfactory levels in their academic pursuits at UM.  

Scantrons and Scantron Reading – Department Assistants can manage all exams, including those using scantron forms.  COB provides the scantrons so that students never have to provide their own scantrons.  The Department Assistants also grade scantrons and produce grade reports.  You complete a Faculty Request Form when you submit your grading request.  COB avoids student contact with exams to ensure integrity of the exam content and answers, so Department Assistants do all exam handling and scantron processing.  Because multiple classes in the same department are likely to have exams the same week, it is especially important that faculty get exams to the Department Assistants several business days in advance of the exam date.  Exams will be copied and graded on a first-in, first-out basis.   Please do not place unreasonable turnaround demands on Department Assistants.

Electronic Devices in the Classroom – Faculty have purview over whether students may use electronic devices during class.  Faculty should communicate expectations regarding in-class use of cell phones, electronic dictionaries, mp3 players/earphones, laptop computers/notebooks, and other communication devices.  See the COB Professional Code of Conduct for more information.

Moodle and Web Sites – Students are very accustomed to using Moodle, though faculty are not required to do so.  Each faculty member has a standard COB website with basic information on it.  This is produced from a database (e.g., office location, class/office hours), and you will be asked to provide this information at the start of each term.  You can add other information, within the confines of the standardized and branded template.  At the bottom of the COB page, click "Web Profile Login" under the Faculty/Staff Resources.  See your Department Assistant for help.  As the copyright policy above suggests, course content is the property of the faculty member, though the course itself is not (e.g., a new course belongs to the University, but specific documents created in its delivery belong to the faculty who created them).

Course Syllabi –   The syllabus serves as the contract between the instructor and student regarding the content of the course and course administration.  Faculty are required to create and file a course syllabus for each course they teach in order to meet university accreditation and educational standards.  Faculty provide syllabi to the Department Assistants at the start of every term, who then ensure they are filed with the appropriate UM office.  Course syllabi should at a minimum include information to identify the institution, course, instructor, academic term, prerequisites, meeting dates/locations, office hours, program and course learning goals, policies applicable to course administration, student assessment, and program mission/learning goals.  Faculty are encouraged to use syllabi as a communication vehicle to enhance the clarity of what is expected of students.

Textbook Orders – Textbook orders are placed with the Bookstore.  Faculty are responsible for communicating all required and optional textbooks and other materials for each course they teach to Bookstore.  Department Assistants can help you with this process if you are unfamiliar with it.  This information will be due around mid-term of the semester preceding the semester in which the materials will be used (so mid-fall is when the spring semester orders are due).  This allows for Bookstore to better manage inventory and costs.  Faculty work directly with publishers to learn of packaging options for textbooks (e.g., hard copy, custom books, e-books, electronic tools and supplements).  Faculty may wish to arrange for faculty-compiled coursepacks (known as “Fac Pacs”) to be available for purchase through the Bookstore.  This may be useful if faculty want students to purchase hard copies of articles, research instruments, book excerpts, or faculty notes in a complete bound item.  Note that students may obtain materials and textbooks from sources other than the Bookstore, so be specific as to edition, US/global versions, etc. in your syllabus.  If a faculty member chooses to use a textbook that he has authored and is selling, the CBA has the following guidance: faculty can "avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest by either (1) donating all financial gain to some charitable entity, or (2) obtaining approval of the majority of the faculty in his or her academic unit for the adoption of the materials or book as a course requirement."

Copyrighted Material for Classroom Use – Many laws govern the use of copyrighted material in an educational environment, and they vary depending on the context.  The library has an extensive website detailing copyright law for live classroom, distance education, library reserve, and Fac Pac.  Please see UM's Copyright Guidelines for more information. 

Exams and Final Exams – Unless otherwise noted in Cyberbear, mid-semester exams are to be administered during the regular class period, and final exams are to be administered per the UM final exam schedule.  Some courses have common final exams given in the evening, and students are notified of this variance from the UM final exam schedule at the time they register for the class.  If you are teaching a course with a common final exam, you must clearly indicate in your syllabus (and in Moodle) the required date/time for the common final exam.  It is against UM policy to move a class’s final exam to the week before finals.  Consult your master teacher, mentor, or Department Chair about whether your final exams should be comprehensive.  Because proctoring exams is a deterrent to academic misconduct, care should be taken to ensure the person with authority to enact penalties is present and others are not put in situations with potential to confront students without a faculty member present.  Thus COB staff and students, including GAs, should not be sole proctors for exams.  GAs and staff may assist in proctoring an exam if a faculty member is in the room.   Faculty colleagues readily volunteer to help out with exam proctoring when a faculty member must miss an exam day or for large-section and common exams.

Grade Reporting – The Registrar will email Cyberbear grade submission instructions and deadlines near the end of each semester.  All grades are input by the primary instructor of record in Cyberbear.  Federal regulations require some grades to be accompanied by the “last date attended.”  The Registrar’s instructions will be very explicit about how to meet this requirement.  Faculty are required to submit grades by the Registrar's deadline so that students are not negatively impacted.

Calculators  -- The Accounting & Finance department requires all students in ACTG or BFIN courses to use a department-approved calculator, and students are encouraged to keep these throughout their program.  ACTG and BFIN courses list a non-programmable calculator each year that meet this requirement, and it is available in the UM Bookstore.  Currently, the approved calculator is the TI BA-II+ or TI BA-II Professional.  TI has a calculator emulator that may be obtained to use in class.  Please see a finance faculty member for more information.

Audience Response Systems – Faculty may elect to require students to use audience response systems such as iClickers (about $30 from the UM Bookstore) in the classroom to encourage classroom participation, measure student mastery of material, take attendance, or conduct polling.  Many students are accustomed to iClickers, which are also used elsewhere on campus.  While it can be used effectively for these purposes, you should consult your master teacher, course coordinator, or other faculty with iClicker experience on effectively and appropriately doing so.  Other clicker-type apps are available for students to use on their own devices (phones or tablets) usually by paying a small fee.  Be aware you should visually scan the classroom and require above table device use if course/attendance points are associated with responses, to deter academic misconduct.

Grading – Faculty have academic prerogative in grading students’ course performance.   You should attempt to be fair and timely in your grading.  Students should know before an assignment or exam what your basis for evaluation will be.  Some faculty state in their syllabus that grades are nonnegotiable.  Some faculty offer extra credit; other faculty never offer extra credit.  This is up to you.  Likewise, it is within your prerogative to curve exams and/or final course grades upwards. Faculty should not selectively apply different grading standards or opportunity for earning course points to a student or group of students. Contact your Department Chair, master teacher, or mentor for assistance in determining whether your course grades are typical or atypical compared with others in your department.

Course Evaluations – The CBA requires faculty to have at least one course per semester evaluated by students using a form pre-approved by the particular academic department or program.  COB extends this requirement and expects faculty to conduct formal student course evaluations in all sections taught during the fall and spring semesters.  The results of these evaluations may be required to become a part of your annual evaluation (FEC) process.  The appropriate evaluation forms are packaged in envelopes and delivered to the faculty member near the end of the semester (see COB-specific forms).  Instructions are on the envelope.  Only students can distribute, administer, and collect the evaluations, and a student takes all completed evaluations directly to the Department Assistant.  Faculty should not be present when students are completing the evaluations.  Evaluation summaries and all written comments are provided to faculty, Department Chairs, and the Dean sometime after the end of the semester.  The graduate evaluation process varies slightly in form and administration, depending on whether the class is a MAcct class, MBA on-campus class, or MBA off-campus class.   The Graduate Program Manager prepares and collections graduate course evaluations.

Office Hours – One factor on which students evaluate faculty is their availability.  Faculty who are teaching courses are expected to hold weekly office hours, even for online courses.  The usual expectation is at least three office hours per week for full-time faculty, and at least two office hours per week for part-time faculty.  Some faculty hold more office hours and/or additional office hours on an as-needed basis.  Please consult your Department Chair if you are unsure of department expectations.  Faculty are advised to always leave their office doors open when meeting with students.  If closing the door is needed for privacy reasons, faculty are advised to open their blinds during the student meeting.

Advising – All tenure-track faculty are expected to advise students and are assigned advisees after their first year on contract, and some adjunct faculty may advise students as part of their duties.  Select faculty may only advise graduate students or Four Bear students (see Program section for discussion of the Four Bear program).  All other students are assigned randomly to the other faculty upon entering a major, though they are not required to meet with their faculty advisors.  Instead, students attend group advising sessions prior to pre-registration each semester, and faculty advisors are expected to help with these sessions.  Department Chairs co-ordinate the scheduling of group advising sessions and faculty advisors assisting with each session.  Faculty should remain current on all catalog requirements to facilitate the dissemination of accurate information.  Please see the COB Advising Director for information and training.

Student-Related Policies and Practices

Student Conduct Code – The UM Student Conduct Code describes expected standards of behavior for all students, including academic conduct and general conduct, and it outlines students’ rights, responsibilities and the campus processes for adjudicating alleged violations.  Academic misconduct charges are covered in one section, while general (behavior) misconduct is covered in another section.  Students should be urged to read the Student Conduct Code, as well as become familiar with the sanctions that may result from related violations.  University-level sanctions become a part of the student’s permanent record.  

Credit – Every person sitting in a class must be properly registered with UM.  Students must be enrolled either for academic credit or to audit the class, with instructor permission.  

Grading Options – Every student enrolled for academic credit is issued a grade; those auditing get no grade and no credit but do still pay tuition/fees.  Though some classes on campus allow the students to opt into credit/no credit grade mode, virtually all COB classes are offered for a traditional letter grade only.  When this is the case, individual students cannot elect to take the course for credit/no credit at any time.  Faculty interested in offering the credit/no credit option to all students enrolled in a class should consult their Department Chair prior to the start of the semester.

Plus/Minus Grading – The Board of Regents requires all Montana universities to employ plus/minus grading.  However, the option whether or not and how you use plus/minus grading is at the discretion of the instructor.  You should clearly state in your syllabus if you plan to use plus/minus grading, and if so, how you will do so.  Some faculty subjectively determine plus/minus grades based on factors such as participation, attendance, or other academic indicators.  Some faculty use objective cutoffs for plus/minus grades just like any other grade break.  Pluses/minuses carry more/less value in the grade point weighting calculation.

Letter Grades – Letter grades, including +/- grades, carry the following value in the GPA determination (grades of A+, F+, and F- are not an option):

  B+ = 3.3  C+ = 2.3  D+ = 1.3   
A   = 4.0 B   = 3.0 C   = 2.0 D   = 1.0 F   = 0.0 
A - = 3.7  B - = 2.7 C - = 1.7 D - = 0.7  

Prerequisites – Course prerequisites are formally approved by Faculty Senate and published in the catalog. They serve to ensure students master certain material before proceeding to material at a higher level, or to ensure courses are taken at an appropriate point in a curriculum.  COB strictly enforces course prerequisites, so you should become familiar with the prerequisites for any course you teach.  All undergrad COB classes have prerequisites electronically enforced in Cyberbear at the time of registration (and after grades roll and the semester starts).  In addition, students may take most upper division business courses until admitted to a business major or minor (minors can only take courses required in the minor).  Limited exceptions may be granted for graduate students and non-business students required to take an upper division business course as part of their non-business major.  The Associate Dean handles students with issues with that particular prerequisite.  Individual faculty members should not waive course prerequisites or indicate that such a decision will be made by the Department Chair or anyone else.   Prerequisites can be found in the course listing within each department's section of the catalog or on the second page (back) of each COB major checksheet.

Adds – Students can use Cyberbear to add into courses or change sections where seats are available and prerequisites are met through the 7th instructional day of the semester.  An instructional day is any day on which classes are held on campus (not just your class’s instructional days).  After the 7th instructional weekday, students can add into courses only with Department Chair consent, after consulting the faculty member.  A list of deadlines applicable to a particular semester can be found on Registrar's Calendar page.

Drops -- Students can drop via Cyberbear without any cause or approval through the first 15 instructional days of the semester.  After that, they need an instructor’s signature.  In general, COB enforces the UM policy that students cannot drop courses after the 9-week drop date (the 45th instructional day).  Students wanting to drop after this date must have a dean's approval (aka "petition to drop), and they must have documented proof that they meet one of the narrow reasons for the dean's approval (e.g., situations unavoidable and not in the student’s control, such as change in work schedule, illness).  COB faculty are discouraged from signing petitions when the sole reason is to erase a student’s academic shortfalls up to that point in a course.  The absolute last day to sign a petition to drop is the last day of regular classes.  Petitions require the faculty member to sign and to designate the grade.  Note that some Department Chairs will not sign these for the instructor since there is a grading determination on the form.  A list of deadlines applicable to a particular semester can be found on Registrar's Calendar page.

Incompletes – Incomplete grades may be issued only in very rare circumstances.  The UM catalog has very explicit language restricting the use of incomplete grades.  In all cases, the option to give an incomplete grade is at the sole discretion of the instructor.  An incomplete is an option only if (a) a student has been in attendance and doing passing work up to three weeks before the end of the semester and, (b) for reasons beyond the student’s control and which are acceptable to the instructor, the student has been unable to complete the requirements of the course in time.  The catalog states that “negligence and indifference are not acceptable reasons” for a student to request an incomplete grade.  Under no circumstances should an incomplete grade be used to allow a student to take a class in a subsequent semester without enrolling.  Please consult your Department Chair, mentor, or master teacher if you are unsure if an incomplete grade is appropriate.  

Audits – Some students may seek relief from poor academic performance by requesting a change to the “audit” enrollment option.  The audit enrollment option is intended to allow a student to observe a class without earning academic credit or a grade, but the student pays full tuition and fees.  Students may make this request if they took the class long ago and want to brush up their skills, or perhaps they are interested in the topic but don’t want to participate in the academic exercises.  Students may never take a class under the audit enrollment option and then later request it be converted to a credit-earning class.  The audit enrollment option is not available after the 15th instructional day of the semester.

Disruptive Student Behavior - The UM Student Conduct Code has a section on disruptive behavior; to see that section in full, follow the link above.  Faculty have the authority to dismiss a student from any class session in which the student displays disruptive behavior that threatens the learning environment or well-being of others. The student remains eligible to return to the next class. Follow up options can be found in the Conduct Code. If you have questions or concerns (including just wondering if you should be concerned) please feel free to talk to your department chair, the Associate Dean, the Dean, or the UM Dean of Students; they are resources to listen and support instructors. 

UM has a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT; formerly the Crisis Intervention and Referral Team) whose charge is "to identify, assess and respond to ... potentially serious concerns of incidents related to student mental health, physical health or conduct which, if disregarded, could threaten the health and safety of the student or the campus community." BIT has a referral form which can be filled out after incidents that warrant their attention. Such incidents include: threatening statements; erratic or bizarre behavior such as emotional outbursts of disturbing essays; repeated disruptions in class with "off-the-wall" remarks; crossing professional or personal boundaries; etc. Recognize that it covers a wide range of issues from "concerned for the student's welfare" to "concerned for others' welfare re the student's behavior." In other words, there is one form for all situations.  You can trust the BIT team to interpret your specific concerns appropriately. Referrals can be anonymous and/or confidential.

Pregnancy and Course Requirements - This is a Title IX issue, for which you can contact coordinator Jessica Weltman.  "It is illegal under Title IX for schools to exclude pregnant students (or students who have been pregnant) from participating in any part of an education program, including extracurricular activities... Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor's note in order to stay in school or participate in activities.. unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor's note applies to all students being treated by a doctor."  "...a school must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student's temporary pregnancy status."  A school must "excuse a student's absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary... when the student returns to school, she must be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed. A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date... The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work."  "...a teacher may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth."  "...if a teacher's grading is based in part on the class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave."