Spring 2019 Opening Memo
TO: All Faculty Teaching in the Undergraduate Program, Spring 2019
FROM: Rachel I. Reiser, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Program
RE: Spring 2019 Questrom School Opening Memo
DATE: January 17, 2019
Welcome back! Or, for those of you teaching with us for the first time, welcome aboard! The Undergraduate Academic & Career Development Center (UDC) is located on the first floor, Suite 104. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. We always welcome faculty stopping by, even if it’s for a brief “hello” or to grab some candy!
Yesterday you received an email from Norm Blanchard, Course Planning and Classroom Utilization for Questrom, in which he discussed several dates and topics that are universal to both the Graduate and Undergraduate Programs. This message is attached to this email and I encourage you to read through it thoroughly if you have not done so already. This memo from me is intended to provide some additional specifics that are unique to the Undergraduate Program and relevant to you in your role teaching our undergraduate students.
Please review the UDC website for extensive information about the Undergraduate Program here at Questrom.
ANNOUNCE THE PRE-REQS IN YOUR CLASS
The university’s registration system is not equipped to check whether or not a student has completed the necessary pre-requisites when s/he registers for courses. Therefore, we ask that you announce the pre-requisites (pre-reqs) for your course at your FIRST class session. Course pre-requisites can be found on the UDC website, or by contacting the UDC. The Undergraduate Program Development Committee (UPDC) has determined that the approval of the department chair is required to waive a course prerequisite when adding a student.
STANDARDS FOR ASSIGNING GRADES
- 25-35% of students can expect to receive A’s (for excellent work)
- 50-65% of students can expect to receive B’s (for good or very good work)
- 5-20% of students can expect to receive C’s or below (for adequate or poor work)
- Elective courses should be graded to a GPA of about 3.25. GPAs average between 3.00-3.50, with the majority between 3.10-3.40.
- The UPDC sees these as guidelines that shape overall grading; faculty retain discretion regarding grade distributions based on performance in a specific class. Thus, the distribution of grades could vary slightly from the guidelines. The UPDC does not expect, however, that individual faculty or courses will deviate with regularity from these norms.
- The UPDC recognizes that grades may vary systematically within a course based on regular differences in Spring/Fall populations.
- The UPDC anticipates that these guidelines to the apply average of larger, coordinated courses rather than to each specific section, as student quality may deviate across sections of such courses.
ADDING STUDENTS TO YOUR CLASS
The UDC will close all Questrom undergraduate courses on Monday, January 21 at about 5:00 PM, so that students wishing to add into a course after classes have begun (Tuesday, January 22) must be signed in by the professor on a drop/add form — at that point students will no longer be able to add into your course without your okay. Check your enrollments BEFORE you add any students to your classes, since students can drop and add classes using the WebReg system through today until ~5:00 PM.
When adding a student to your course, please verify pre-requisites. In order to receive credit the student must have completed all pre-req(s) and, in many cases, must be a Questrom student. Before signing him or her in, send the student to the UDC if you or the student is unsure of their eligibility for the course. Once the add/drop form is signed, the student should bring it to the UDC.
It is your call as to whether you add students, subject to room capacity and the student’s eligibility to take the course! You can find accurate information on the capacity of your classroom; please make sure to check the room capacity and your current course enrollment prior to adding any students!
If you wish to add and are concerned about a student’s eligibility, please contact Meghan Mogan, Director of Academic Advising & Student Services for the UDC.
INCLUDE ACADEMIC CONDUCT STATEMENT IN YOUR SYLLABUS
Please note that all undergraduate programs within Boston University operate under the university’s Academic Conduct Code. One important provision of the University’s undergraduate Code is that, subject to the approval of the Questrom Dean’s Office, a faculty member bringing a case of alleged academic misconduct may ask for the matter to be settled by the student signing a written statement admitting to the violation and as a result receiving a letter of reprimand, thereby avoiding having the case go to hearing. You may find this code at https://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/academic-conduct-code/.
It is important to include specific information relating to academic conduct in your syllabus. You should also discuss this in your remarks during the first week of class and throughout the semester, especially before major assignments and/or situations where rules of acceptable collaboration may not be clear.
Please be vigilant in your proctoring. We are aware that a preferred method of cheating is for students using cell phones to text answers to one another, and using the text capabilities of high-end calculators to store notes. I urge you to ban these devices from the room when giving exams.
If an academic conduct concern arises at any point this semester, please be sure to be in touch with me for information on how to proceed!
SEND US YOUR SYLLABUS!
Please send to Emily Goldstein an electronic copy of your syllabus via e-mail attachment by Friday, January 25. It will be kept on file by the Questrom Registrar’s Office (Suite 150).
BU’S POLICY CONCERNING STUDENT PRIVACY LAWS (FERPA)
Many years ago, the university made substantial changes in the way its employees are to interpret the laws regulating student information. Without getting bogged down in the details of the FERPA laws and the University’s past and present interpretations of them, please know that it is contrary to University policy for anybody (including a faculty member) to discuss a student’s performance in current or past courses with anybody but the student, even if a student has given consent for parents to receive certain academic information. If a parent contacts you, the most you may convey within university policy are the broad outlines of your course requirements. Please refer any parents who wish to obtain student-specific information to me or Meghan Mogan in the UDC (617-353-2650).
STUDENT NAME CARDS (A.K.A “TENT CARDS”)
Generally speaking, students registered in Questrom should be using a name card in one of their classes this semester (pre-identified), which they can use in all courses. Any student who needs a new tent card can print one using the template on the UDC website at https://questromworld.bu.edu/udc/essentials/forms-2/#toggle-id-14. Please have students use this link rather than sending them to the UDC to obtain a new tent card.
SUGGESTED VERBIAGE FOR ACCOMMODATIONS OF DISABILITIES
Dr. Lorraine Wolfe from the Office of Disability Services has asked that we pass along the following passage for you to include in your syllabus and to refer to when necessary:
“In keeping with University policy, any student with a disability who needs or thinks they need academic accommodations must call the Office of Disability Services at 617-353-3658 or stop by 19 Deerfield Street to arrange a confidential appointment with a Disability Services staff member. Accommodation letters must be delivered to me in a timely fashion (within two weeks of the date on the letter and not later than two weeks before any major examination). Please note that accommodations will not be delivered absent an official letter of accommodation.”
UNIVERSITY-WIDE GRADE GRIEVANCE POLICY
Students are urged to resolve any grade grievance informally by meeting with the instructor responsible for the grading of the course to discuss concerns. If concerns are not resolved a formal appeal may be made in accordance with the University policy on grade grievances.
UNIVERSITY-WIDE PASS/FAIL POLICY
Effective in the Spring 2017 semester, the University adopted a new pass/fail policy. To encourage intellectual exploration, Boston University permits students to elect up to eight credits of academic coursework on a Pass/Fail basis to satisfy requirements for the bachelor’s degree. P indicates a course grade of D or above.
In keeping with the intended use of Pass/Fail to encourage intellectual exploration, students elect Pass/Fail near the end of the course, rather than at the beginning. Effective with the Spring 2018 semester, the deadline for a student to designate a course Pass/Fail is the course’s drop with a “W” grade date. For this reason, Faculty will not be aware of whom among their students will elect to take the course as Pass/Fail.
Please note that in general, students enrolled in the Questrom undergraduate program may only complete courses Pass/Fail in the following categories: 1) the non-management elective requirement, and 2) the free-electives requirement; students may not apply the course toward required electives which must be from Questrom, and Pass/Fail courses may not be applied toward a Questrom concentration. Additionally, the Pass/Fail option may not apply to gateway or the business minor requirements for non-Questrom students. You can read more about this policy on the University website.
CONCERNS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS
Last and certainly not least, we recognize that in the teaching of undergraduates concerns may arise that are not always administrative or rooted in the academic content of your course. Me and the team in the UDC should be top of mind as a primary resource to you in your role as educators. You can reach out at any time with concerns to me or to either of the Directors in the UDC – Meghan Mogan, Director of Academic Advising & Student Services, and Vicky Rayel, Director of Undergraduate Career Management. We have also recently developed an additional resource to alert us to any students of concern, an online form found on the faculty menu (teaching section) on QuestromWorld designed to simplify communicating student concerns to the UDC. It is important to note that this should not be used for emergencies, please call us at 617-353-2650 during regular business hours of M-F 8:00-5:00 if you feel that there is a situation that needs immediate attention, and in the unusual event of an after-hours health and safety emergency you can call the BU Police Department at 617-353-2110.
Good luck and enjoy teaching in the Undergraduate Program. Please call me at 617-353-2650, or e-mail me at email@example.com, if you have any questions.
Rachel I. Reiser