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  • M. Teaching and Advising Responsibilities of Faculty Members
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A faculty member at Colgate is expected to participate actively in the life of the college, both inside and outside of the classroom. The responsibilities of faculty members for teaching and advising students, scholarly activity, and service to the University community cannot easily be divided, counted, and credited. The following is then intended to serve as a guideline for faculty members. Questions should be directed to department chairs or division directors.


1. Teaching Loads and Load Credits The normal teaching load is five units (or “load credits”) per year with no more than three load credits in a single semester. The teaching of one course usually equals one load credit, although the Dean’s Advisory Council has approved the following standards:

a. With prior approval from the Division Director and Associate Dean of Faculty, a faculty member may earn two load credits for courses with an enrollment limit of at least 70 students and an actual enrollment of 60 or more students.

b. Load credit for team-taught classes will normally depend on the level of the course. Two load credits will normally be given for a 100 or 200 level course with 50 or more students, a 300 level course with at least 40 students, or a 400 level course with at least 25 students. Faculty should secure approval from the appropriate division director prior to scheduling a team taught course,

c. Laboratory sessions receive fractional load credit: 1/3 if regularly scheduled for less than three hours per week, 1/2 if regularly scheduled at least three hours per week.

d. In the event that a faculty member earns more or less than the expected load over a given year, an adjusted teaching assignment should be arranged by the faculty member, department chair, and division director within the following academic year. Over- and under-load credits may not be carried over for more than one year without prior permission from the Division Director and Associate Dean of Faculty.

With prior approval from the Associate Dean of the Faculty, courses taught by full-time faculty beyond the usual five may be compensated at 10 percent of the faculty member's current salary (with an upper and lower limit that changes annually). Because overload teaching may detract from a faculty member's scholarly time, compensated overloads should occur no more than once every three years.

Load credit is also earned for certain administrative assignments, such as department chair or division director, subject to rules established by the Dean of the Faculty. Load credits may only be earned in the fall or spring terms.

In addition to the regular classroom responsibilities, it is assumed that members of the faculty will be willing to supervise a limited number of undergraduate independent study and/or honors projects. Normally, a faculty member should not supervise more than five such projects in any one term.


2. Load Cards At the beginning of each term, faculty members complete load cards providing data on courses taught, the number of students in each, office hours, and location of classes. Load cards should be completed and returned to department chairs for review. The load cards will then be sent to division directors, who will forward them to the Dean of the Faculty.


3. Scheduling of Teaching Responsibilities Advance planning of teaching responsibilities is essential in order to adequately staff the various University academic programs. Such planning is usually done two years in advance on a tentative basis. Scheduling of teaching responsibilities is primarily the task of department chairs, working with faculty and leaders of other University programs.


4. Academic Advising Every student at Colgate has two advisers, a faculty academic adviser and an administrative adviser. The general responsibility of faculty advisers is to help students formulate and fulfill their academic plans. To meet this advising goal, faculty are asked to assume responsibility for discussing and processing academic record forms in areas such as course registration, course withdrawal, and academic leaves of absence.

a. First-Year Student and Sophomore Advising The student’s first-year seminar instructor will become his or her academic adviser for the student’s first two years. One of the principal goals of advising for first-year students is to insure that students, in consultation with their first-year seminar instructor, begin to plan their academic program for the next three terms. The Colgate curriculum features a wide variety of choices for students, and the multitude of programs, requirements, and options may tend to overwhelm the beginning student. Careful planning in consultation with the student’s academic adviser is essential if the student is to take full advantage of the range of educational experiences offered by Colgate.

Special attention should be paid to designing a program of study which will permit the student to satisfy general education requirements, complete prerequisite courses for particular concentrations, study groups or pre-professional programs (especially in the health sciences), and explore a number of different disciplines in the liberal arts.

If the first-year seminar instructor will be on leave or away from campus for other reasons for one or more of the following terms, the seminar instructor, with the assistance of his or her department chair, will reassign the students to another adviser within the same department. Each transfer student is assigned an academic adviser based upon that student’s projected class year, area of interest and projected concentration and in consultation with academic departments, the administrative adviser to transfer students, and the Associate Registrar.

b. Junior and Senior Advising Students select an official “concentration” or major no later than March of the sophomore year, prior to Early Course Registration for the following fall term (for details on selecting a concentration, see Section IV.A.3). Faculty members also serve as academic advisers for juniors and seniors in the department of concentration, and assist students in making postgraduate plans.


5. Office Hours Each member of the faculty is expected to post and keep reasonable and regular office hours during the term (three to four hours/week is a minimum).


6. Other Responsibilities In addition to their teaching and advising responsibilities, faculty members are expected to participate in the necessary work of departmental, divisional, and college-wide committees and groups. First-year faculty do not normally serve on University or Faculty committees, but do participate in departmental meetings and in meetings of the Faculty. Elections to University and Faculty committees are held at Faculty Meetings. The Faculty Nominating Committee generally attempts to survey faculty members’ interests in particular governance units prior to making nominations.


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