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Professional Academic Responsibilities & Office Hours


CLS PPS 02.03.01
Effective Date 5/1/2022
Review Date: 04/2022
Next review date: 04/02/2027 (E5Y)
Sr. Reviewer: CLS Chair


01.      Policy Statement. The Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) Program is committed to our students, and we take our responsibilities to impart knowledge seriously. In the spirit of that intent, we make ourselves available to students in a variety of ways: in person, virtually, and by appointment. Additional information on this policy:

01.01  AA/PPS 02.03.01 (Conduct and Planning of Classes) and AA/PPS 02.03.02 (Conduct of Classes) give an overview of faculty members’ professional responsibilities as teachers. All faculty, but especially those new to the Program, are encouraged to review this PPS, which covers the following topics:

a.   Role of the Instructor, Attendance policies, and Course descriptions

b.   Core curriculum courses and grade changes

c.   Students with disabilities

d.   Independent study, topics, and problems courses

e.   Student evaluations

f.   Syllabi, exams, papers, essays, and other graded assignments

g.   Punctual return of graded course work

h.   Textbooks

i.   Disruptive behavior and student deportment from class

j.   Retention of records


02.      CLS Procedures for the Conduct and Planning of Courses

02.01    Course subject matter

So long as the content of a course remains relevant to its overall purpose, the faculty member has full academic freedom in choosing materials and topics for classroom use and discussion.

02.02    Course syllabi

University policy requires that faculty provide a syllabus for every course they teach. Syllabi should follow procedures described in AA/PP  Faculty must post their undergraduate course syllabi on the university’s HB 2504 website early each semester and should keep in mind that all information posted on the site is available to the general public. This process is usually performed by our administrative staff.

02.03    Textbook selection and adoption

Textbook selection for all courses is left to the discretion of the individual instructor and approved by the faculty. All textbook selections are subject to the final approval of the Chair and must meet all accreditation standards. Textbook ordering is usually performed by our administrative staff.

02.04    Student class attendance and withdrawal policies

a.   In all classes, faculty members determine their own attendance policies. All attendance policies are to be distributed to students in writing during the first week of class and included in syllabi.

b.   Before a date established by university policy, a student may withdraw from a course regardless of absences or academic standing at that time. An automatic “W” is assigned in such cases. Drops after the automatic “W” date are allowed only in rare cases and require documentation (usually medical) and permission from the Chair. Students may also appeal to the dean for an administrative (retroactive) “W” after the semester has ended and a grade has been assigned. Reasons for the withdrawal must be formally documented and approved by the dean.

02.05    Meeting classes

a.    Although unscheduled university holidays are sometimes announced by the president and occasional meetings of classes may take place other than in the classroom, as a rule faculty members meet all classes as officially scheduled and personally supervise all examinations and in-class writing assignments. If the university or Chair approves  a faculty member’s request for absence from the campus, the faculty member arranges for qualified substitutes or develops alternate class meeting format to meet all missed classes and submits those persons’ names or  alternate plan to the Chair. For every semester, an absence or alternate meeting format can be conducted for no more than 6 Undergraduate courses per semester, unless extenuating circumstances arise. The Chair provides university-required leave forms for this purpose.

b.    A faculty member who becomes ill or faces a personal emergency notifies the Chair or Program staff immediately. Then, the Chair sees that appropriate substitutes meet classes for the absent faculty member or alternate meeting format is approved. For such emergency leave and sick leave, the faculty member obtains official forms from our administrative staff.

c.    Faculty, fill them out, and submit them to the Program as soon as possible after returning to campus.

02.06    Office hours

Faculty list office hours in their syllabi. Ordinarily, faculty keep a minimum of five office hour per week, and post these outside their office doors. These hours must be spread across at least 2 days and can be a mixture of physical and virtual hours, proportional to the modality of courses taught that semester. Faculty are expected to check their Texas State official email at least once daily, and to respond to any requests within one business day.

02.07    Collegiality and availability in the CLS office suite

a.   One of the key components of being in an academic setting, is collegiality and collaboration with your fellow faculty; not only in CLS, but the College and University as well.

b.   All faculty are expected to keep office hours, conduct their classes, and attend all required meetings.

c.   At a minimum, all full-time faculty, tenure-track, tenured, and non-tenure line are required to be on campus most week days to ensure availability to their peers and the Program Chair and to meet their academic requirements. Part-time faculty are required to meet their academic requirements, but do not have a specific minimum of days on-campus.

d.   There is no expectation for how long one is expected to be in attendance each day, however, it should be sufficient to meet the needs of the individual, the collective faculty and Program, the chair, and the staff. Collectively, faculty should ensure that adequate coverage exists in the office Monday through Friday.

02.09    Final examination

a.   In undergraduate courses, faculty must follow the policy on final examinations spelled out in the Texas State Faculty Handbook. Final examinations will be given by all faculty and taken by all students unless the Chair and the faculty member concur on an alternate method of evaluation. Finals will be administered according to the published schedule. Individual students with conflicts or serious problems may take a final at an alternate time if they secure permission from their instructor in consultation with the Chair. Faculty who wishes to change the time of a final for an entire class may do so with permission from their Chair, College of Health Professions Dean, and the Registrar’s office. A Program finals schedule is organized by administrative staff, who appropriate permissions and room arrangements.

02.10    Student complaints

UPPS 07.10.06 (Procedures for Students Seeking Resolution or Reporting University – Related Complaints) provides information for student complaints on a range of specific issues. For complaints about conduct of classes, the College of Health Professions and Clinical Laboratory Science Program follow procedures outlined in UPPS for “non-academic” student complaints. If informal consultation with a faculty member proves unsatisfactory, a student may submit a more formal complaint to the Chair of the Program. Unless immediate action is required as for matters of safety, students are to bring formal complaints to the Chair in writing. The Chair conducts a review of the complaint and as needed confers with faculty. A faculty member may respond to a formal complaint in writing and, if so, the response will be filed with the complaint. The Chair responds to the student in a timely way, usually within ten days of the formal complaint. The Chair is to maintain a log of student complaints.

02.11    Grade appeals

a.   Students who believe  that they have been awarded  an inaccurate  or unfair grade at the end of a course may initiate a grade appeal with the Chair, following procedures outlined in CHP/PPS 02.03.33, but only after they have attempted to resolve the issue directly with the faculty member.

b.   In any grade appeal, “the burden of proof is on the student. The student must demonstrate that the grade is inaccurate or was determined unfairly.” The policy further states that the Chair will review the entire course work for that student, and has the option to raise the grade, leave the grade unchanged, or in some cases even lower the grade. The Chair’s decision can be appealed to the Dean, College of Health Professions, whose decision is final.

02.12    Incomplete grades and change-of-grade policies

Only in exceptional cases do faculty give “I” grades for incomplete work in a course. An “I” automatically becomes an “F” after one year unless the faculty member requests an extension. Faculty members who, for justifiable reason, must give an “I” in an undergraduate course should file with the Program office an account of the work that the student must complete before receiving a definitive grade. Faculty must also indicate on the change-of-grade form why the student took the “I.” If a student otherwise passing a course must miss a final examination for valid reason, the instructor gives a make-up examination. Infrequently, a faculty member may need to change a final grade already reported to the Registrar. In these exceptional cases, the faculty member must submit a Change of Grade Web Application when the work is completed or deadline expires.