Looking ahead to the start of fall classes on Tuesday, September 6, this special edition of CAS News provides some just-in-time reminders and resources to help ensure that faculty and students enjoy a smooth and successful return to our essential work of teaching and learning.
Here you will find tips for...
- Polishing off your syllabus
- Accessing the new University-wide undergraduate Academic Conduct Code
- Taking advantage of the CAS Academic Enhancement Fund
- Moving into your classroom and surviving Day 1 in style
- Getting answers to questions about CAS academic policies and requirements
Please give us your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org). Is this information and format useful? What else should be included in future back-to-school editions of CAS News?
Polishing Off Your Syllabus
Your syllabus sets the tone and expectations for the entire semester. We have provided a checklist of items to include. A visit to the CEIT (Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching) home page is recommended, especially if you haven’t been there lately; resources available through the center have been vastly expanded.
Fall Academic Calendar Notes
See this page for a calendar of important Fall 2011 semester dates, including the following:
- Monday, September 19: Last day to add a class
- (Earlier add deadlines for some (e.g., foreign language) courses are noted in the University Course Schedule.
- Tuesday, October 11: Last day to drop a course without a W
- Wednesday, November 11: Last day to drop a course with a W
- Rosh Hashanah will be observed this year on Thursday/Friday, September 29–30 (beginning at sundown on Wednesday, September 28). The University’s official Religious Observance Policy under Massachusetts state law is posted here, along with a multi-faith calendar.
- Include the date of your final exam and advise students to make their holiday travel plans accordingly. University policy precludes the scheduling of finals during the last week of classes (when colleagues are trying to teach!) or during the study period for students (December 13–15). The Fall 2011 final exam scheduling matrix is available.
All-University Academic Conduct Code
An Academic Conduct Code establishes community-wide standards of intellectual honesty to which students’ academic work is expected to adhere. Violations of academic honesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on exams) are described in the code, as are possible sanctions, and procedures for following up appropriately in cases of suspected misconduct.
- A University-wide code will take effect on September I, governing all BU undergraduate students and courses, and superseding the current CAS code, on which it is largely based. The new code is currently posted as a PDF at http://www.bu.edu/academics/. Please make a point to read it and verify that your students understand its importance and provisions.
- Your syllabi should be updated to reference the University-wide code and provide the URL. Any course-specific conditions of academic honesty (e.g., extent of allowable collaboration on assignments) should also be spelled out clearly in advance, to obviate misunderstandings.
- The seriousness of academic misconduct and its potential consequences requires that suspected cases be handled with impeccable fairness and consistency. When in doubt, ask. Questions about the code or academic conduct in general should be directed to Steve Jarvi, Associate Dean for Student Academic Life (617-358-2738).
Academic Enhancement Fund (AEF)
Would the academic goals of your fall course be advanced by hosting a guest speaker or taking a class field trip to a Boston-area exhibit, performance, archive, etc., if only funding were available to help enrich your students’ learning in that way?
- The AEF is designed to assist instructors in providing just those kinds of special opportunities to students in undergraduate courses. More information and an application are available. Or contact Susan Jackson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (617-2353-2410) to discuss how enhancements to your current and future courses might be supported by the AEF.
- Getting together over food, while not the purpose of the AEF, is another good way for faculty to connect with students outside the classroom. Don’t hesitate to remind your students that they can invite any Terrier Card-carrying faculty member to a free lunch in a residence dining room, where menus are impressively varied and tasty.
Moving Into Your Classroom and Surviving Day 1 in Style
- Classroom assignments are now posted on the Link and BUWorks. It’s always a good idea to check out the location, configuration, media-readiness, etc., of your classroom in advance. Any problems with assignments should be reported to your department staff administrators, who are hard at work coordinating mutually advantageous room swaps where possible. For new faculty and students, the following decipherment of building (and other) abbreviations and codes can be useful in navigating Boston University.
- Classroom-related problems of any sort (from missing chairs to HVAC issues to burned-out projector bulbs) should be reported to the Classroom Service Desk (email@example.com; 617-353-3227) for immediate attention. The service desk phone number is posted in all Registrar-controlled classrooms.
- In the unlikely event of a health or safety emergency in your classroom, faculty should never hesitate to call the BU Police at 617-353-2121.
- The BU Media Group will, on request, provide training on the technology installed in your classroom. Contact Assistant Dean Lorraine Dooley (617-353-7004) to take advantage of this opportunity.
- For some practical advice on getting courses off to a good start on Day 1, see this page.
- And, for a head start on learning your students’ names, view or download their photos from your class list on the Faculty Link.
To Learn More: The CAS Advising Center
When it comes to academic policies, majors, requirements, etc., no one can know it all. But the faculty and staff in the CAS Advising Center come close, and their headquarters in CAS Room 105 is a place where faculty, as well as students, can find answers to their questions.
- Faculty and professional advisors are available in CAS 105 to see undergraduate students every weekday from 9 to 5, either on a walk-in basis or by appointment (617-353-2400).
- Kerry Buglio (617-353-2400) is Director of Academic Services in the Advising Center and, in that capacity, a go-to person for your questions on all aspects of undergraduate advising. She can also advise faculty members on ways of addressing worries about individual students.
New Policy for Submitting Proposals in CAS
In order to facilitate the routing process of grant proposals through CAS and to improve record-keeping and archiving, all future grant proposals submitted by CAS faculty should include an electronic copy of the BU proposal form, the Checklist for Export Control Issues form, the Project-Specific Disclosure form, budget information, and the proposal document, in addition to the paper versions. Scanned versions are acceptable. These electronic copies should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to email@example.com. This new procedure will allow for a more rapid response time and pave the way for a purely electronic routing and approval system. This procedure is only necessary for CAS approval. Proposals may be routed through the Departments or Research Units in the usual way with paper copies. - James M. Jackson, Associate Dean for Research & Outreach
Welcoming New Faculty
Welcoming our newest faculty colleagues will be the primary order of business at our first meeting of the full CAS/GRS faculty on Wednesday, September 21, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Please save the date and, in the meantime, enjoy the precious last days of summer and the exciting first days of a new academic year.
Faculty Meetings and Deadlines
New Chairs & Directors Orientation
8 a.m., Photonics Colloquium Room, 9th floor
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's New Directions Fellowships
Nominations due this date in the Dean's office.
New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities, broadly understood to include the arts, history, languages, area studies, and zones of such fields as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences, who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable strong scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. In addition to facilitating the work of individual faculty members, these awards should benefit humanistic scholarship more generally by encouraging the highest standards in cross-disciplinary research.
For details, visit here
4 p.m., Location TBD
Faculty Meetings (Wednesdays 4–5:30 p.m., STO Room B50):
December 14 (if needed)
October 12 –
Natural Sciences CCD in CAS 200, Humanities CCD in CAS 132
October 26 –
Social Sciences CCD in CAS 132
November 16 –
Natural Sciences CCD in CAS 200, Humanities CCD in CAS 132
November 30 –
Social Sciences CCD in CAS 132
Fall Committee Meeting Dates:
Humanities Curriculum Committee (Wednesdays 10–11 a.m., CAS Room 200):
September 14, October 19, September 28, November 2, October 5, November 16, November 30
Natural Sciences Curriculum Committee
(Tuesdays 11 a.m.–12 p.m., CAS Room 132): September 13, October 25, September 27, November 8, October 11, November 22, December 6
Social Sciences Curriculum Committee
(Thursdays 11 a.m.–12 p.m., CAS Room 132): September 15, October 20, September 22, November 3, October 6, November 17, December 1
Academic Policy Committee
(4– 5:30 p.m., CAS Room 200): Monday, October 3; Wednesday, October 26; Wednesday, November 16; Wednesday, November 30; Wednesday, December 14 (if needed)