Responsibilities of Teaching Faculty

Faculty Instructional Responsibilities

Faculty Attendance Related to Instruction


Full-time members of the teaching faculty are required to report to campus one week before the opening of each term, and remain until one week after commencement. They are expected to use the time in professional improvement and preparation, or assisting with registration and student orientation and counseling.

Use of Class Periods


All class periods in both day and evening classes, including those immediately preceding holidays and vacations, should be used in their entirety for instruction purposes. Early dismissal of classes disturbs others.

If for some reason a faculty member must be absent from a class, change the time or place of a class, and/or cancel the class for one day in the event of an emergency, he/she should inform the Department Chair and the Dean of the absence and of provisions made for the class.

Classroom Responsibilities


Classroom assignments are made by the Registrar’s Office. Classroom changes are not to be made without approval from that office.

Faculty members should report any physical classroom needs to the building coordinator without delay.

Faculty members should enforce the University policy on smoking. Smoking is not permitted in the classroom at any time by either faculty members or students. Eating and drinking in classrooms are also prohibited.

Faculty members should maintain a complete and accurate record of the grades students earned (including tests, papers, field work, and final grade) in each course and, if requested, submit these records to the Chair, Dean or Provost/Executive Vice President.

Teaching Faculty Office Hours


Each full-time teaching faculty member is expected to maintain a schedule of office hours at least three days per week distributed so that students may be able to make convenient appointments. Office hours should be indicated, as well as regularly scheduled extra-curricular activities. Faculty members should post copies of their schedules on their office doors and identify office hours on their course management software.

Advising Students


Considered a part of teaching responsibilities, academic advising provides important opportunities to discuss course selection, choice of major/minor, and career opportunities.

Advisors are expected to give students individual attention when needed and to participate effectively in the advising program.

Collection Policy


Students are not permitted to take final examinations unless their accounts are cleared in the Bursar’s Office. This is a policy statement by the Board of Trustees. Students who do not pay their accounts or make satisfactory arrangements may be disenrolled from class by a memo from the Bursar’s Office at the request of the Business Office. Faculty cooperation in this matter is necessary.

Course Expectations

Introduction to the Course


At the first class meeting of the term, every faculty member teaching a course should, among other things, introduce the students to the major aspects of the course. The entire period will be required; no classes should solely be given assignments and dismissed. Topics of discussion regarding introduction to the course should include the following:

  • Announcement of the time of all meetings, including such requirements as laboratory periods, scheduled in connection with the class
  • Statement of the prerequisites of the course; students not eligible for the course should be sent immediately to the Registrar’s Office
  • Discussion of the objectives and the value to be derived from the course
  • Discussion of the contents of the course
  • Statement of the complete requirements of the course: textbook(s) and required library readings; number and nature of required reports, themes, and term papers; supplementary readings; types of quizzes/examinations to be used
  • Explanation of method for computing the final course grade
  • Distribution of a course syllabus containing course goals, a copy of the Elon University Honor Code, and relevant data from the items above
  • Explanation of the Elon University’s Honor Code and how it will be applied in the course.
  • Review emergency action information with students and encourage everyone to enroll in the University’s emergency text system.

Class Rolls


Faculty members should review their tentative class rolls on OnTrack before the first day of classes. If a student is present whose name is not on the roll, the faculty member should send the student to the Registrar’s Office immediately. If the name of a student not present appears on the roll, the faculty member should report the absences to the Registrar and/or Academic Advising.

Class rolls will be updated throughout the registration period, and the permanent class roll will appear on OnTrack. The faculty members should inform the Registrar immediately of any discrepancies between class membership and rolls. Students not officially enrolled in the class may not receive credit and should not be permitted to attend.

Reading Lists


Careful consideration should be given to the use of reading lists and the implementation of a reading program for students. Where appropriate to the course, such a reading list will help students become acquainted with the great books that form the core of a liberal arts university education. The institution takes seriously the importance of the library to the educational experience. Each instructor is strongly encouraged to incorporate library usage into his/her courses.

Term Papers


For term papers (research papers assigned significantly in advance of their submission deadline) the instructor should announce the general nature of the requirements the first day of class or as soon after as possible. Further announcements as to other details should be given to the class in a timely manner before the paper is due.

Testing Procedures


Periodic testing (testing over work covered in a significant period of time such as a month) should always be planned and announced in advance, allowing fair notice for students to prepare. At least a week is considered fair. These periodic tests should not be given during the final week prior to semester examinations.

Students must be allowed to see their graded test papers for each test given during the term. Students should be apprised of the quality of their work either in written comments or through general content review during a later class period.

Final Examinations


The University calendar provides a week at the end of each semester for final exams. A three-hour period is set aside for an exam for each course. The dates and times of final exams are set by the Provost/Executive Vice President and are available on OnTrack. Exam times may not be changed by the faculty member/students, and no student may be excused from a scheduled examination without appropriate authorization as stated in this section. At the request of a student, the faculty member should allow the student to see the graded final exam paper. Customarily, students are not permitted to keep final exams.

The final exam period should be used for a culminating final exam or activity. When pedagogical concerns dictate, other meaningful and significant use of the time may occur with notification to the Department Chair. In rare cases when the exam period will not be used, the time should be made up in other ways to be determined in consultation with the Department Chair.

When constructing syllabi and determining assignments and deadlines for the final weeks of classes and exam week, faculty members should make decisions that reflect respect for the integrity and length of the exam week and consideration of students’ performances and obligations in other classes.

Independent Study Guidelines


Independent study application forms are available at the Registrar’s Office. Instruction by independent study can be a stimulating experience for instructor and student alike. In order for this to occur, the faculty adopted the following guidelines for independent study:

Independent study is designed for students who:

  • in the opinion of the course director and the Department Chair, are academically talented; and/or
  • need a specific catalog course to graduate.

Guidelines for independent study:

  • The requirements for an independent study course should be roughly equivalent to those of a course taught in a regular classroom environment.
  • Normally, independent study will not be used to repeat a course and will be limited to juniors and seniors
  • Independent study will not be used to avoid a specific professor.
  • Normally, a student will be enrolled in only one independent study course at a time.
  • Normally, a professor will direct no more than eight hours of independent studies at a time.
  • Normally a four-hour course will require one fall or spring semester's time.
  • A student will not be allowed to enroll in a course by independent study if the same course is scheduled for that semester.

Special Courses


Courses are not to be given privately or to small groups of students without the approval of the Provost/Executive Vice President. Under NO circumstances is a faculty member permitted to receive money from a student for private instruction. The student pays money only to the Bursar’s Office and the teacher is paid only by the institution.

Student Absences

Class Absences


Elon’s policy is to urge students to attend class meetings on a regular basis, recognizing that such attendance is an integral part of learning. With this policy in mind, the following procedures and guidelines have been adopted by the Elon faculty:

  • Each department should establish a policy on class attendance. Policies should address excused absences due to official institutional functions. Each faculty or staff member who is in charge of an official institutional program that will require a student to be absent from class is required to file with the Registrar’s Office a notice of students in the program.
  • Faculty members should inform each class of the absentee policy in effect. This policy should be incorporated into the class syllabus.
  • Excused absences may also include absences when the faculty member is satisfied that each absence is due to illness, emergency, a job interview, graduate school admittance interview, or similar reason with prior approval of the faculty member concerned.
  • Before a student exceeds the absence criterion established for that class, the faculty member should make an attempt to contact the student, either through e-mail, through the student's advisor, or through counseling services to determine the reason for the excessive absences. Faculty members should report students having a high number of absences by using the University’s online e-warning system. If the student persists in being absent, the faculty member should notify the school/college Dean and recommend that the student be dropped from the class.
  • Students should be apprised that they are responsible for material and assignments whether or not the absence was excused.

Religious Holidays


Elon University embraces the mission of an academic community that influences and transforms mind, body, and spirit. The following policy for the observance of recognized holidays is consistent with and complementary to the University’s mission.


In recognition that observance of recognized religious holidays may affect students’ classroom attendance and the submission of graded work in courses, Elon University has established procedures to be followed by students for notifying their instructors of an absence necessitated by the observance. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to being responsive to the institution’s increasing diversity and to encourage students’ spiritual development. In accordance with the policy, students who miss classes to observe a specified religious holiday are required to discuss with their instructors when and how any missed assignments will be made up. The student should consult his or her academic Dean if an instructor is unable or unwilling to grant the request. Absence from class due to observance of a religious holiday is excused according to University policy.


The religious observance notification procedure is based on the operating principle that students will act in accordance with the Elon University Honor Code. This procedure can only be used to notify an instructor of an absence from class necessitated by observance on a religious holiday.

Students who will miss classes in order to observe a religious holiday must notify their instructors in advance of the holiday and within the first three weeks of the semester by completing the secure online Religious Observance Notification Form. Students are required to send an additional notification to the instructor at least one class before each absence.

Students are required to make prior arrangements with the instructor for completion of any work missed during their absence. Since the instructor may want to use the same exercise that the rest of the class has completed, students who are absent are obligated to avoid obtaining any information about that graded exercise that would provide them an unfair advantage over other students taking the course.

Note: When students submit the Religious Observance Notification Form, the instructor will be notified by email, and copies will be sent to the student and to the student’s academic Dean. In completing the form, students may find it useful to consult OnTrack, where they may view their class schedule to obtain the name and the number of the course and the name of the course instructor. The student’s actual or electronic signature on the form affirms his or her compliance with the Elon University Honor Code.

Given the time limitations inherent in completing end-of-semester assignments or making up a missed final exam, this procedure cannot be used during the final exam period. All students are expected to take final examinations at the scheduled times and to complete end-of-semester work by the deadlines set by the instructor. In the event that a religious holiday should fall during exam week, students should contact their academic Dean as soon as possible, before the scheduled assignments or exam. There may be certain circumstances (a concert or a performance for example) which cannot be made up. In this case, the student may be advised to take that specific course during another school semester.

Missed Tests and Examinations


Missing or Rescheduling a Test

When a student misses an announced test during the semester/term, he/she must secure permission from the professor to make up the test. Individual instructors are authorized by faculty vote to use retest programs (for tests other than the final examinations) tailored to their individual courses. Each professor should make clear the departmental policy and outline the procedure to be followed in validating the reasons for missing a test. This information should be carefully explained at the beginning of each semester and included in the course syllabus.

Missing or Rescheduling One or More Final Examinations

If a student misses final examinations during a semester/term, the student must secure permission based on the following reasons for missing:

Multiple Final Examinations on One Day

If a student has three exams scheduled for the same day, he/she may secure a Change Request Form from the Registrar’s Office. This Change Request Form must be completed and returned to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. no later than the last day of classes before final exams.

Medical Reasons

Medical Emergency. Students who have completed sufficient work to complete a course but who become ill or injured just prior to or during the final exam period should visit Elon’s Health Services or contact the Office of Student Health and Wellness to submit healthcare provider verification. Provider documentation must include the date of most recent appointment and dates of recommended absence. Students may choose to utilize the healthcare provider form located at: Verified medical issues will be communicated to the assistant provost for communications and operations who will notify instructors of the student’s situation. As soon as they are able, students should contact individual instructors to discuss arrangements for completing their work. In cases where the instructor is no longer employed at Elon after the end of the semester, the student should contact the Department Chair.

Medical Withdrawal (“WD”). If a student has a documented medical condition that has impacted his/her ability to complete course work and take exams, the student should consult with the Office of Student Health and Wellness in the Ellington Center to request a medical withdrawal. Requests for medical withdrawals much be received, processed and the student withdrawn from classes on or before the last day of the last full week of classes. If granted, a medical withdrawal will remove the student permanently (with grades of WD) from all classes. Medical withdrawals are not granted from selected courses. Students with medical withdrawals will not be permitted to complete courses and must reapply for admission.

Other Documented Excuses for Missing Final Exams

Occasionally, a student will find him/herself in a situation that may be best resolved by not taking one or more final examinations as scheduled. Justifiable reasons for such absences may include school-sponsored representation at events, but will generally not include travel arrangements, starting a job or an internship, or participation in family events such as weddings and graduations.

Missing or Rescheduling ONE final exam only per semester. Requests by a student to miss or reschedule only one final exam during a semester must be made to the appropriate Department Chair. When the Chair agrees that the reason for missing is justifiable, the student is responsible for working with the faculty member to complete the work for that course.

Missing or Rescheduling MULTIPLE final exams in one semester. Requests by a student to miss or reschedule more than one final exam during any given semester must be made to the Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Operations. Because of the burden on faculty to revise or recreate and administer additional final exams, such absences are not commonly approved. If absence is approved, the Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Operations will notify instructors that appropriate verification has been received. Students should, as soon as they are able, contact individual instructors to discuss completion of course work.

Students who misrepresent their requests to miss or adjust final exams will be charged with violating Elon’s Honor Code.

Grading System

Grading System and Quality Points


Graduation is dependent upon quality as well as upon quantity of work done. A student earns quality points as well as semester hours if his/her level of performance is not below a “D-.” Letter grades are used. They are interpreted in the table below, with the quality points for each hour of credit shown at right.

Grade Quality Points
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0
I 0.0 Incomplete
P 0.0 Passing (not counted in cumulative avg.)
S 0.0 Satisfactory (not counted in cumulative avg.)
U 0.0 Unsatisfactory (counted in cumulative avg.)
WD 0.0 Medical Withdrawal
W 0.0 Withdrawal
NR 0.0 No Report
  • A grade in the “A” range indicates distinguished performance in a course.
  • A grade in the “B” range indicates an above-average performance in class.
  • A grade in the “C” range indicates an average performance in which a basic understanding of the subject has been demonstrated.
  • A grade in the “D” range indicates a passing performance despite some deficiencies.
  • A grade of “F” indicates failure.

Grades of “A” through “F” are permanent grades and may not be changed except in case of error. After an instructor has certified a grade to the Registrar, he/she may change it before the end of the next regular grading period. The change must be made in writing and have the written approval of the Department Chair.

Faculty should submit final course grades electronically via OnTrack, adhering to the deadlines set by the Registrar’s Office and published each year in the University calendar.

The student and the student’s academic advisor may view grades on OnTrack any time after the grade has been submitted.

Repeat Courses

Courses repeated within four semesters of attendance (excluding winter and summer sessions) following the first enrollment in the course count only once in computing the cumulative grade point average. In such cases the most recent grade is counted rather than any previous grade(s) received. However, a course repeated more than once will count in the cumulative grade point average each time it is repeated.

Pass/Fail Courses

Students may take two courses outside the major, minor, and core curriculum requirements on a pass/fail basis. This option must be chosen at registration and may not be chosen after classes have begun.

Posting of Grades


In courses where faculty use Moodle or some other University-approved electronic course management system, grades on assignments, tests, and other course activities may be shared directly with individual students in the course. In classes where faculty members do not use an electronic course management system, the grades, which are considered a part of a student’s educational record, will not be released or posted in any personally identifiable form, including listing by student identification/social security number, unless the student gives written consent.

Acceptable alternatives for distributing test results and grade information to students include:

  • Posting grades by student identification number of all students who sign a consent statement for each occasion on which grades are to be posted or for the entire semester. The written consent may be obtained by a petition to be signed by all members of the class who wish their grades posted or by having a consent statement on the answer sheet of each test or exam.
  • Posting grades without a consent statement by using a system of random numbers or letters or other symbols, not personally identifiable, known only by the faculty member and the individual student.
  • Mailing grades in self-addressed and self-stamped envelopes.
  • Leaving examinations and other graded material with the secretary assigned to his/her department who may distribute the material to students who offer sufficient identification.

Mid-Semester Grades


Mid-semester grades constitute formalized feedback for students prior to the drop/add date and are a vital means of communication between faculty and students. Faculty members are encouraged to communicate clearly to their classes the meaning of the mid-semester grade, including how it was calculated and the portion of the final grade that it represents. The intent of the mid-semester grade is to provide early, accurate, and significant feedback regarding a student’s progress in the course, making it helpful to both students and their advisors. Therefore, mid-semester grades of “S”, “U”, “NR”, and “I” must be cleared through the appropriate dean.

Final Grades


Final grades for each course are to be submitted electronically via OnTrack by the deadlines specified in the University calendar. In the spring term, grades for graduating seniors are due on an accelerated schedule published by the Registrar’s Office. In determining grades, faculty members are expected to conform to University policy and established professional norms.

Academic Warning, Probation, and Suspension


At least a “C” average (grade point average of 2.00) is necessary to satisfy the institution’s academic requirements. Records of each student whose grades fall below this average in any semester are reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee, which may place the student on academic probation or suspend the student. One academic semester must elapse before the student suspended for failure to maintain normal academic progress is eligible for reinstatement. A student who is suspended a second time for academic reasons is normally not readmitted to the University for further study.

Incomplete Grade Policy


An “I” grade signifies incomplete work because of illness, emergency, extreme hardship, or self-paced courses. It is not given for a student missing the final examination unless excused by the Department Chair upon communication from the student. In any case, an instructor giving the grade of “I” will note the reason for the grade in the “comments” column of the final grade report.

The student receiving a grade of “I” completes all work no later than nine class days after mid-semester grades are due in the following regular semester. A final grade is submitted to the Registrar by the instructor by the deadline listed in each year’s academic calendar. After this date, the “I” grade automatically changes to “F” unless an extension is granted by the Dean of the school/college.

The precise dates in fall and spring semesters by which all work toward removing an “I” grade is due to the instructor are printed in the official University calendar and the Academic Catalog, both available online.

When a student has an “I” grade, the faculty advisor is encouraged to recommend a lighter load the next semester.

Honor Code Policies



As a member of the University community, each faculty member has a responsibility to promote and enforce the Academic Honor Code. This responsibility involves appropriate interpretation of the Honor Code and the promotion of conditions favorable to academic honor and academic citizenship. Instructors should provide:

  • Clear exposition of the values of Elon’s Honor Code and students’ obligations to uphold the policy
  • The maintenance of order
  • Demonstration of the importance of fairness and mutual consideration
  • Uniform procedures in handling violations

The University recommends that faculty ask students to sign an honor pledge for all tests, examinations, and outside written work that is to be completed independently, indicating that they have neither given nor received unauthorized aid.

Each faculty member should indicate to his/her classes the policies regarding assigned work done outside of class, clarifying when and how collaboration and use of resources is acceptable.

If an instructor has reason to believe that a student has violated the Honor Code by cheating, plagiarizing, lying, stealing, vandalizing, or facilitating academic dishonesty in others, the instructor must indicate to the student that there is a problem and arrange for a meeting. During that meeting the charge will be explained to the student, and the student is asked whether he/she wishes to take responsibility.

In cases where students take responsibility, the instructor should assign sanctions related to the course and return the completed Incident Form to the Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Operations.

In cases where the student does not take responsibility, the instructor should complete the Incident Form, taking it and any evidence to the Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Operations, who will arrange for a hearing before the judicial board.

The instructor is responsible for completing the student’s grade report for the course where the violation occurred. Before an instructor may assign an “Honor Code F” (or any reduction in grades or student credit for work), he/she must submit the necessary paperwork and follow the appropriate procedures to verify the Honor Code violation, and the student must be made aware of the charge.

The office of the Provost/Executive Vice President will determine and administer any institutional sanctions (in addition to course-related sanctions given by the faculty). Institutional sanctions include, but are not limited to, probation, suspension, or dismissal from the institution for students whose violations are grievous or repeat offenses.

In order to monitor the Honor Code behaviors and record of each student, it is vital that instructors submit an incident report for each student who has violated the Honor Code, even when the instructor elects to assign only minimal (or no) course sanctions.

Grade Appeals



The grade appeal system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of clerical error, personal bias, or arbitrary grading. Grades (for an entire course, assignment, or unit) given by an instructor after the student is found responsible for an Honor Code violation through the University Honor System may not be appealed.

Keeping in mind that the appeal of a course grade should be attended to as soon as possible, the student must contact the professor involved within the first two weeks of the start of fall semester for the appeal of a spring semester or a summer term grade and within the first two weeks of the spring semester for the appeal of a fall semester grade. In the case of a winter term grade the appeal must be made no later than April 1st of the year in which the course was completed. If the faculty member who taught the course is not available, the appeal should be made to the Chair of the faculty member’s department.

In the case of a grade that would affect a graduating senior or that would result in probation or suspension, the student must contact the professor immediately after the grade is posted, so that the procedure may be expedited.

Procedure for Appealing a Course Grade


To begin an appeal the student must first set up a meeting with the professor to discuss the situation within the timeframe outlined above. Because it is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that the appeal has merit, the student should bring to this meeting any work from the course the student has in his/her possession for the professor to review. At the meeting the professor will:

  1. Review any work that the student brings to discuss
  2. Show the student any of the student’s work that remains in the professor’s possession (e.g., papers, final examinations and projects)
  3. Explain how the student’s grade was determined based on the standards set forth at the beginning of the class and listed in the course syllabus
  4. Re-calculate the numerical computation of the grade, if any, to determine if there has been a clerical error

If the student wishes to continue the appeal following this meeting, he or she must file a written appeal with the professor’s Department Chair by the end of the fourth week of the semester, or by April 15th in the case of the appeal of a winter term grade. If the Department Chair is the professor involved, the Dean of the college or school will assume the role of Department Chair in the process below. The student will submit to the Department Chair the Student Grade Appeal Statement  form together with copies of the course syllabus, tests, assignments, and papers in the student’s possession. The Department Chair will notify the professor involved, and the professor will file the Professor Grade Appeal Statement   form with the Department Chair by the end of the fifth week of the semester, or by April 22nd for winter term grades, together with copies of the syllabus, assignments, and any of the student’s work that remains in the professor’s possession. The Department Chair, following consultation with the related Dean or Deans, will render a decision in writing regarding the grade appeal by the end of the sixth week of the semester, or by April 29th in the case of an appeal for a winter term grade.

If the student wishes to appeal the Chair’s decision to the final hearing body, he or she must put that request in writing to the Dean within one week. The Dean, or his/her designee, will notify the chairperson of Academic Council to form a Grade Appeal Hearing Committee and forward all documentation to the Chair of the Academic Council. The committee should meet no later than the end of the eighth week of the semester, or by May 13th for a winter term grade appeal. The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee will consist of:

  • Three members of Academic Council appointed by the Chair of Academic Council
  • One faculty member appointed by the Dean of the department/division involved
  • One Student Government Association representative appointed by the Student Government Executive President (In the case that the involved student is the student government president, the vice-president shall appoint the student representative.)

The chairperson of the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee will be chosen by the Chair of Academic Council from the three Academic Council members serving on the committee.

Grade Appeal Hearing Procedure


Hearings are restricted to those Elon faculty or staff directly involved in the appeal. The student and the professor may each bring an advisor from the Elon University community (currently enrolled student, faculty, or staff member) to the hearing. The advisor may only counsel the student or the professor and may not actively participate in or make any statement during the hearing. Recognizing that the grade appeal hearing is an in-house procedure, attorneys, other legal counsel, and any other people outside the University community are not permitted in the hearing.

The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee will review all of the documentation received from the Dean and then ask the student, professor, and their advisors, if present, to come into the room. The student and the professor will each be allowed to make a statement, and the committee members may ask questions of the student and the professor. The student, professor, and their advisors will then be asked to leave the room, and the final discussion and vote by the committee will be in closed session. The decision of the committee is final, and the Chair of Academic Council will send written verification of the committee’s decision to the professor and the student. In the case of a grade change, the Dean of the school or college, or his/her designee, will make the change.

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