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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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With your help, students like Qais gain the skills they need to tell their story and give us a broader understanding of the world.

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Academic Planning and Curriculum Development

This section of the CAS Faculty & Staff Handbook contains information related to the administration and management of CAS educational programs and curriculum, including planning and staffing issues.

Maintaining the best educational programs possible requires an annual and constant process of long-term and short-term planning of curriculum, course scheduling and teaching assignments. These processes should be begun well in advance because they require the participation of the whole faculty.

For forms and instructions related to curriculum and teaching, visit the Forms & Instructions page.

Annual Academic Planning Exercise

For forms and instructions, visit the forms page here.

The Annual Academic Planning Exercise gives departments, programs, and the College the opportunity to determine which courses should be offered every semester, every year, and on other regular schedules in order to fulfill the obligations to our students implied by the existence of majors, minors, and general education and other requirements. Through the Annual Academic Planning Exercise CAS plans ahead on a rolling three-year basis to ensure that we cover necessary courses as much as possible with our core faculty.

Information about undergraduate education, including the College Program, degree requirements, and other matters, see this page. For information about the Graduate School and graduate education, including degrees, degree requirements, admissions and financial aid, and other student matters, see this page. Another valuable resource is the Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching.

Curriculum Development

For forms and instructions, visit the forms page here.

The excellence of educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels requires long-term consideration of the mission and purposes of our programs and working to keep them fresh and updated as our fields of knowledge, the world our students will enter, and the composition of our faculty change. Curriculum planning also requires recognition that although academic planning occurs most obviously at the department and program level, all CAS units and faculty participate in serving not just the majors for which they hold primary responsibility, but the broader educational needs of all students who are enrolled or take courses in CAS. CAS, uniquely among the schools and colleges of Boston University, has a primary responsibility to serve all Boston University undergraduates. Moreover, the interdisciplinary programs that add great distinction to the educational opportunities students find at BU depend on the participation of faculty from most departments in the College. Departments must address these needs in their curricular planning.

Bulletin Editing Instructions

Editing instructions, templates, and resources for the 2015/2016 CAS & GRS Bulletins

Policy and Guidelines for Collaborative and Team Teaching

Policy and Procedures for Assignment of Graders

Policy and Procedures for the Assignment of Graders to CAS Courses

 This policy covers the assignment of graders to individual CAS courses when justified in a particular semester by a combination of high course enrollment and grading-intensive coursework that is integral to students’ learning.

In such cases, CAS departments may request that the dean’s office authorize the employment of College-funded graders to help ensure that students receive timely, high-quality feedback and evaluation of their work. This provision of grading support also helps ensure that faculty are neither unduly burdened by the amount of grading required to meet course objectives and credit-hour guidelines nor compelled to lower academic standards, e.g., by assigning fewer or less open-ended papers and projects.

CAS compensates College-funded graders equitably by adhering to a uniform hourly rate and by using a standard enrollment- and coursework-based formula to determine how many total hours of work a particular grading assignment will entail.

Some CAS departments where pedagogical practices include daily “homework” in nearly all courses have departmental grading budgets, which are reviewed and adjusted separately from the process described here for making one-semester, course-specific grader requests.

Eligibility Guidelines for Grader Support:

  • To qualify for grader support, a CAS course should normally have a current enrollment of at least 35 students and/or require an estimated 80 or more total hours of grading over the course of the semester and final exam period.
  • Graders may be assigned to courses that are already supported by Teaching Fellows only when TFs’ other, non-grading duties entail 20 hours/week/TF.
  • In exceptional circumstances, one-time College-funded grading support may be requested and authorized for courses smaller than 35 if, in consultation with the department chair, the dean’s office determines that such support will be needed for a faculty member to meet his or her teaching and service commitments for that semester.

Faculty Responsibilities for Grading:

1)  Faculty are ultimately responsible for all aspects and phases of fair, consistent grading and timely, constructive feedback in any course where they are the instructor of record, namely:

i)  Establishment of grading standards, scales, and rubrics;

ii)  Explanation of grading policies and criteria in course syllabi;

iii)  Training and ongoing supervision of Teaching Fellows and other graders;

iv)  Verification that grades are accurately computed and recorded;

v)  Timely return of graded work, with appropriate feedback; and

vi) On-time submission of final grades and any subsequent grade changes.

2)  In addition, in courses to which graders are assigned, instructors of record are normally expected to do between one-third (1/3) and one-half (1/2) of actual grading themselves.

Process for Requesting College-Funded Grading Support and Hiring Graders

  • To request grading support for a CAS course, a faculty member should complete a Grader Request Form and obtain a signature of endorsement from the department chair, who submits the signed form by email to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (casue@bu.edu).

Chairs should normally be ready to submit requests at the end of the “Add” period (end of the second week of classes in each semester) since graders’ compensation is calculated on the basis of actual enrollment and grading time per student. However, faculty may for good reason want to identify potential graders and train them before final enrollments are known; and decisions to expand class size may be predicated on the availability of grading support. In such cases, chairs can submit a request to the associate dean for provisional approval before the semester begins. The precise amount of graders’ compensation remains contingent on actual enrollments at the end of the “Add” period.

  • The associate dean will review requests and inform the chair (by return mail copied to the CAS Business Office) whether grading support has been authorized and in what amount.
  • The Business Office transfers approved one-time grading funds to the department.
  • The department administrator is then responsible for setting individuals up on the payroll to be paid the approved amount for grading. Current doctoral and master’s students must be set up as weekly salaried employees. The department administrator does this using standard student employment authorization forms and submits them to the GRS Financial Aid Office.

See under “Student Payroll” here for detailed information on Student Employment; and contact the GRS Office of Financial Aid (or the Business Office, if the assigned grader is not a current graduate student) with any follow-up questions.

Limits on Grading Assignments for Fully Funded PhD Students

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences policy limits the amount of additional paid work that may be assigned to doctoral students in any semester when they are appointed to a (Teaching, Graduate Research, or Non-Service) Fellowship. Under that policy, such fully funded students may be employed as graders for additional payment only under the following conditions:

  1. The grading assignment provides the student with an opportunity for professional growth in teaching and/or in expert knowledge of course topics;
  1. The assignment does not exceed five (5) hours/week averaged over the semester;
  1. The total additional payment for the semester does not exceed $1,000; and
  1. The payment is set up as a weekly salary.

In addition, immigration rules stipulate that international doctoral students cannot be employed for more than 20 hours/week. Fully funded international students are thus precluded from taking on an additional grading assignment if they are employed as a Teaching Fellow or Graduate Research Fellow. Non-service fellowships, by contrast, are not treated as employment; international students holding a non-service fellowship may thus be considered for grading assignments, subject to conditions #1-4 above.