MemorandumJanuary 12, 2023
- AU Faculty
- Peter Starr, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Monica C. Jackson, Deputy Provost and Dean of Faculty
Wendy Boland, Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies
Jessica Waters, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost for Academic Student Services
- Spring 2023 Faculty Resources and Guidance
We hope that you enjoyed the winter break and had an opportunity to recharge for the semester ahead. Thank you for all that you are doing to prepare for your classes and to provide your students with an outstanding academic experience!
In support of these efforts, we are writing to share with you as faculty a variety of resources and guidance for Spring 2023 across the following categories—Class Operations, Student Support and Accommodations, Technology Updates, University Policies and Procedures, and CTRL and Library Resources.
Class Schedules, Faculty Absences, and Classroom Modality
Please adhere to the schedule and modality—face-to-face, hybrid, or remote—for all of your classes. You may temporarily move your class online or reschedule it for a later date in the event of illness or an occasional professional obligation (such as to attend a conference or deliver an invited lecture). However, if you need to miss more than one session for any given class, please notify (and solicit guidance from) your department chair, program/division director, or dean’s office.
Please review your class schedule information and classroom assignments. There have been and will continue to be classroom assignment changes as needed. You should double check this information to make sure you arrive at the correct location on the first day of class.
Academic Calendar and Deadlines
We will observe the standard Academic Calendar for AY2022–2023 during the Spring semester, including Spring Break. Check the Office of the University Registrar’s website for other academic calendars. Please note that the last day for students to add a Spring semester course or drop a course for a 100% refund and without a “W” recorded is Tuesday, January 31. Students taking courses offered on a different schedule should review the Refund Schedule for Classes for the last day to drop a course for a 100% refund. The academic calendar and key dates for WCL are found on the WCL Registrar’s website.
Managing Student Absences
Please remind your students to avoid coming to class while they are sick and support them in making up work missed during health-related absences by sharing notes, slides, assignments, and/or creating audio/video recordings of class meetings. As an instructor, you have the discretion to excuse short-term absences due to illness without involving the Office of the Dean of Students or Student Health Center. Please do not request or accept medical documentation from students. If a student is experiencing a significant medical condition that may affect academic progress or result in prolonged absences, they should work directly with the Office of the Dean of Students. In these cases, the Office of the Dean of Students will communicate directly with the student’s faculty and advisor.
All students in a course must be listed on your official roster. Please encourage students who are not on the roster to consult with their academic advisors to determine whether they can register for the course. You will receive a request from the Office of the University Registrar to confirm your roster for each course. It is very important that you do so, as course registration has significant implications for a student’s financial aid award and other academic requirements.
Student Support and Accommodations
Academic Support and Wellness
We have many resources available to support both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Academic Coaching provides strategies for task management, habit building, test prep, and more. Please encourage students, both undergraduate and graduate, who might benefit from coaching to attend a meeting or check out the academic resource library.
- Consultants in the Writing Center help students to organize, sharpen, and refine a paper or writing project at the undergraduate and graduate level.
- Students can work on quantitative concepts with tutors specializing in Quantitative Support for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Tutoring is available for specific undergraduate courses via the Peer-Assisted Student Support (PASS) program.
If there is a student in your course whose academic performance is causing concern (e.g., poor quality of work, incomplete assignments, inconsistent attendance, or a combination of these factors) please consider submitting an Academic Alert at any point in the semester. The Academic Alert will be sent to the student and the student’s academic advisor. Additionally, every student who receives an academic alert is contacted by an Academic Coach. The Academic Alert system is not punitive in nature and the alert does not appear on the student’s transcript or academic record. Instead, it’s a way for you to offer support to your student and for us to know when we should connect students with academic resources across the university. Academic difficulty is not uncommon; these interventions can help students improve their performance. You can access the Academic Alert system on the portal by clicking the “Eagle Service–Academic Alerts” link and then the “Academic Alert (formerly Early Warning)” button on the Eagle Service homepage.
For WCL students, we recommend that faculty send an email to the student with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing any concerns the faculty member has regarding attendance or performance and encouraging the student to arrange an appointment with the Office of Academic Excellence.
The Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) supports AU students’ academic development and education goals through the provision of reasonable disability-related accommodations. Students who receive accommodations are responsible for providing their instructors with written notice from ASAC of their approved accommodations. For questions or concerns regarding accommodations, please call 202-885-3360 or email email@example.com.
On AU’s main campus, ASAC will continue coordinating and implementing exam accommodations for students with scheduled in-person exams. To ensure that exams are administered effectively and accurately, it is important the faculty provide the exam (and instructions for the exam) to ASAC at least three business days in advance. For exams that are scheduled to be taken remotely, faculty will continue to be responsible for ensuring students’ exam accommodations are implemented in accordance with their ASAC letter. Students have been guided to provide their instructors with at least 7 days’ notice if they are planning to use their accommodations on an upcoming exam. If you have any questions about testing arrangements, please contact the Exams Office at 202-885-3489 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WCL faculty should work with WCL Disability Support (email@example.com) to ensure that student accommodations are met.
Selected Campus Resources
Care Network. The Care Network should be used by faculty and staff to share concerns about a particular student with the Office of the Dean of Students. Often, these concerns arise from observed disruptive behaviors, a change in demeanor or performance, or from a disturbing interaction with a student. Expressing concern shortly after an issue or incident has occurred can help with early intervention and success. The Care Network can be accessed directly through the portal under the link “Life at AU” and then “Care Network: Express Concern About a Student.” The Office of the Dean of Students will conduct appropriate follow-up with the student on each report. Please note that anonymity of the faculty or staff reporter cannot be guaranteed as Care reports are considered part of a student’s educational record. Care reports should not be the sole conduit for reporting emergency situations.
The Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services (the Well-Being Center). The Well-Being Center has a range of resources for students and is also available to consult with faculty, should you have concerns about a student’s well-being. Faculty and staff can also use AU ProtoCall services for a consultation on urgent student concerns, 24 hours a day, at this number: 202-885-7979. The Well-Being Center houses the university’s Victim Support Advocate, who is available to meet with students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence or sexual assault, at this number: 202-885-3276.
Help@American. Help@American is a self-service library of knowledge articles about technology and student services in the areas of financial aid, billing, registration, housing, One Card, and dining. This service is available to all students, parents, and other AU community members and can be accessed via the AU portal and at https://help.american.edu (login required). Students can also chat with AU Central if they are not sure where to go for assistance with their concern.
Name and Gender Identity Technology
Students have the opportunity to designate their chosen name and pronouns (if desired) in Eagle Service. Within approximately 48 hours, the information that they have entered is reflected in Canvas, on course rosters, and in a variety of other systems, although some (e.g., payroll and financial aid) are required to use legal names. Please note that some students may not feel comfortable having their (chosen) name and pronouns displayed across AU systems and may prefer to share them with you directly.
In addition, students, faculty, and staff have the option to easily record the pronunciation of their name as well as hear how others’ names should be pronounced in Canvas. Simply click on the link in the left navigation bar labeled “Record Your Name with NameCoach” (towards the bottom) to record your name and listen to your students’ recordings. If you would like to include a link to the pronunciation of your name outside of Canvas (such as in your email signature), you can also visit https://go.american.edu/RecordMyName (login required).
Expansion of Duo Multi-Factor Authentication
The Office of Information Technology is expanding the use of Duo Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) across many AU systems. This expansion of MFA will be rolled out in phases on January 25, February 15, and March 15. The most significant event is on February 15 when the Canvas Learning Management System will start to require the use of Duo MFA for access, as well as the Zoom client (please note that joining Zoom meetings will not require multi-factor authentication). Multi-factor authentication is an information security best practice and OIT appreciates your support of this continued improvement in our security posture.
University Policies and Procedures
AU’s Academic Integrity Code states: “All members of the university must join in educating students about the value of integrity and the ways in which intellectuals acknowledge their debts. In each course, faculty should remind students of the standards of integrity, and faculty may ask students to include with their submissions a signed statement pledging adherence to the Code in completing the assignment.”
Please note that faculty are not permitted to unilaterally level any academic sanction for a suspected academic integrity violation. Sanctions can only be imposed if a student is found responsible for a violation after adjudication under the Code. If you suspect an academic integrity violation has been committed in one of your courses, please contact your associate dean to determine next steps.
Office of Equity and Title IX
The Office of Equity and Title IX oversees the university’s efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct and serves all faculty, staff, and students. Its responsibilities include formal and informal complaint resolution, the provision of interim and/or supportive measures, education and training, and community engagement. AU community members employed by the university have a duty to report discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to the Assistant Vice President of Equity and Title IX Coordinator when they become aware of such conduct. Reports and complaints can be submitted on the website or by emailing the Office of Equity and Title IX at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mandated reporter language is found in the CTRL syllabus guide.
CTRL and Library Resources
Center for Teaching, Research & Learning
You are encouraged to take advantage of teaching and research support offered through the Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (CTRL) throughout the semester. For example, you may consider:
- Attending the Ann Ferren Conference today and tomorrow.
- Registering for teaching workshops for the Spring semester.
- Scheduling a consultation with one of CTRL's Teaching & Learning Specialists to discuss any aspect of your teaching.
- Checking out CTRL's updated syllabus guide and downloading the syllabus template.
- Taking advantage of CTRL's mid-semester course analysis (MCA/student focus groups)—registration will open in early February.
- Following the Coloring Outside the Memos Podcast on qualitative research.
- Making a research consultation with a methodologist.
- Joining the Anti-Racist Research Methods FLC starting this Spring!
AU Library Updates
Media Services Desk Moved. The AU Library has streamlined service points by moving the services offered at the Media and Technology Services desk to the Circulation and Course Reserves Desk on the first floor. If you have questions about any of the services you received at the Media and Tech Desk, please contact Sean Casey or email email@example.com and Sean will get back to you. DVDs and other technology can be picked up at the Circulation Desk.
Change in Laptop Lending Service. This year, the Library’s laptop lending service has shifted from a convenience-based system to a need-based system. As such, if your device is broken, please contact Sean Casey to arrange for a long-term computer loan while yours is being fixed. If you are adjunct faculty, the library has about 20 laptop computers set aside for your use via a semester-long loan. Please ask your department to contact Sean Casey and reserve one for you as the laptops are first come, first served.
Research Support. Research Librarians are available to assist you or your students on chat 24/7 or by appointment: https://www.american.edu/library/ask/. Librarians are happy to come speak to your class. Please make sure struggling students know the librarians are here to help.
Geospatial Research Lab. The Geospatial Research Lab, located on the lower level of the library, supports learning and research at AU by providing access to geospatial software and data, as well as technical support and training opportunities.
24/7 Bender Library Building Access Pilot. The University Library is continuing the 24/7 Bender Library Building Access Pilot that was launched last fall 2022 to provide students, faculty, and staff a safe and convenient study space.
Pence Law Library Updates
Longer Staffed Hours. This year, the Pence Law Library will be open with services until 11 pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 8 pm on Friday and Saturday; 24/7 physical access is available to all current WCL students, faculty, and staff.
Non-Traditional Items Available for Checkout. These include laptops, chargers, including chargers for laptops and phones, book stands, portable standing desks, umbrellas—and games!
Faculty Support. Consult the Pence Law Library’s Faculty Services webpage for a complete description of how the library supports faculty.
We wish you all the best for Spring 2023!