Section 1: Policy on the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with Regard to Students
The objectives of this policy are to identify the responsibilities of academic staff with regard to students; to promote harmonious relations between academic staff and students; and to promote fair and equitable treatment of students.
For purposes of this document, the following terms shall be defined as provided by this article:
- Academic staff shall include all individuals holding full- or part-time appointments at the rank of Instructor I, Instructor II, senior instructor, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor or professor. The term shall include also academic administrators, academic librarians, counsellors, adjunct professors, professional associates, research associates, research assistants, student research assistants, and student teaching assistants, insofar as such persons perform duties within the ambit of the policy.
- Student shall mean any person who is registered as a student in the university. The current terms of reference of the Office of Student Advocacy follows this section.
1.3 Statement of Responsibilities
Some of the responsibilities of academic staff with regard to students rest with the individual staff member, while others are collective responsibilities, to be exercised through the actions of department and faculty/school administrators and councils.
A. Individual Responsibilities
The individual responsibilities of academic staff members with regard to students are primarily instructional and scholarly, and secondarily administrative. They may include:
- Undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education instruction, including the organization, preparation and delivery of course material, the evaluation of student academic progress, the reporting of such evaluation in accordance with approved policies and schedules, consultation with students out of class or laboratory hours, and supervision of student research and thesis preparation;
- Scholarly attainment through personal study and research, including study for purposes of academic self-improvement or course improvement, keeping abreast of new developments, and research that leads to a useful or original contribution toward the advancement of knowledge and understanding; and,
- Administrative work as required for instructional and scholarly activities, including committee work at various levels departmental, faculty, university as it pertains directly or indirectly to students.
B. Collective Responsibilities
The collective responsibilities of the academic staff belonging to an academic unit are to provide an effective learning environment and to endeavour to ensure fair and consistent treatment of students. They include:
- Periodically reviewing and updating all courses and programs;
- Ensuring that academic regulations and policies provide fair and consistent treatment of students; and,
- Providing for convenient student access to information on policies, regulations and procedures that may affect their academic progress, including the provision of names of instructors assigned to teach particular courses and sections at the earliest possible opportunity.
1.4 Discharge of Responsibilities
A. Individual Responsibilities
- Academic staff members shall discharge their instructional responsibilities with academic integrity, scholarly competence, and pedagogic effectiveness.
- Academic staff members shall maintain their familiarity with current university faculty/school and/or department policies regarding plagiarism and cheating, examination impersonations, student access to final examination scripts, student discipline, grade appeals, and the university policy regarding sexual harassment.
- In discharging their instructional responsibilities, academic staff members shall adhere to regulations pertaining to the format, content and conduct of courses and laboratories, including regulations pertaining to examinations, term work, grades, and related matters.
- A course outline or syllabus shall be provided in each course section, within the first week of classes:
- 4.1 The academic staff member responsible for that section shall provide in writing to every member of the class: name of instructor; office number and telephone number; a list of textbooks, materials and readings that the student is required to obtain including the appropriate referencing style guide(s) acceptable to the instructor and/or discipline in courses where it is relevant; an outline of the topics to be covered; a description of the evaluation procedure to be used, including the weighting of the components that will contribute to the final grade and whether evaluative feedback will be given to the student prior to the voluntary withdrawal date (see note); an indication of instructor availability for individual student consultation; a tentative schedule of term assignments and tests; and a statement of the practice to be following regarding late submission of assignments.
NOTE: It is understood that the provision of this information is not intended to affect the question of equity in multi-sectioned courses in any way.
- 4.2 The academic staff member shall provide in writing to every member of the class information regarding academic integrity which shall include: a reference to statements on academic dishonesty including “plagiarism and cheating” and “examination personation” found in the Calendar; and, where appropriate, a reference to specific course requirements for individual work and group work. Students should be made aware that a group project adheres to the principles of academic integrity. Students should also be made aware of any specific instructions concerning study groups and individual assignments. The limits of collaboration on assignments should be defined as explicitly as possible.
- Academic staff members shall teach their courses with due regard to Calendar descriptions.
- It is the responsibility of academic staff members to specify textbooks and materials in accordance with announced purchasing deadlines.
- In their dealings with students, academic staff shall:
- 7.1 not deny registration for instruction in those courses for which the permission of the instructor is required, except where the student lacks appropriate qualifications or where an approved policy on limited enrolment is in effect;
7.2 comply with existing human rights legislation, and refrain from differential treatment of individual students on the basis of their actual or presumed membership in, or association with, some class or group of persons;
7.3 not accept money or other goods or services from students for assistance with any course offered by the university. This clause, however, shall not prevent student teaching assistants or other part-time instructors from accepting payment for tutoring in courses/sections which do not fall within the scope of their university employment;
7.4 be available for a reasonable amount of time, on a known and posted basis, for individual consultation with students registered in their courses or laboratories;
7.5 evaluate student academic performance in a fair and reasonable manner, and by means of appropriate academic criteria only;
7.6 where appropriate, provide written evaluative feedback prior to the voluntary withdrawal deadlines specified in the Calendar;
7.7 foster a free exchange of ideas between themselves and their students in the classroom and allow students the freedom to take legitimate exception to the data, views, or methods presented;
7.8 respect the confidentiality of documentary information about students;
7.9 keep confidential any information about the academic performance of a student, unless release is authorized by the student, required by the instructional team, or requested by an administrative officer in accordance with the university policy on the release of information;
7.10 explicitly acknowledge in written or oral presentations any indebtedness to student research or assistance;
7.11 not obtain any improper personal advantage from a student or student work; and,
7.12 academic staff members shall not retaliate against a student who has filed a complaint, whether the complaint was substantiated or unsubstantiated.
- Academic staff members shall not cancel, miss, terminate or shorten scheduled instruction except for good reason. Whenever a scheduled period of instruction is cancelled, the academic staff member shall:
- 8.1 inform the class at the earliest possible time;
8.2 inform the administrative head of the academic unit; and,
- 8.3 where possible, ensure that appropriate substitution or make-up instruction is provided.
- Academic staff members who provide instruction shall comply with the schedules and formats for reporting student grades, as established by departments and the Registrar’s Office. Where such grades are reviewed by departmental committees, instructors should be available for the duration of the committees’ work. An instructor who learns of an error, which if corrected would raise an assigned grade, should correct it without requiring the student affected to appeal the grade.
- Academic staff members shall adhere to the relevant university, faculty/ school, and/or departmental policy regarding professor-course evaluation.
B. Collective Responsibility
- Through their faculty/school and department councils, academic staff members should review program and course descriptions periodically to ensure that the material to be presented is current and appropriate and that the Calendar information is clear and accurate.
- The following material must be kept on file in faculty/school or departmental general offices and made available to students:
- 2.1 University, faculty/school or departmental regulations regarding class attendance and penalties, if any, for noncompliance;
2.2 The information described in Section 4.A.4, that is provided in writing to the class by the academic staff member for each course section;
2.3 University, faculty/school, and/or departmental regulations and procedures, if any, regarding the evaluation of professors and courses by students;
2.4 University, faculty/school, and/or departmental policy regarding student access to final examination scripts;
2.5 University policy on student discipline;
2.6 University, faculty/school, and departmental procedures regarding grade appeals;
2.7 University policy on the responsibilities of academic staff with regard to students; and,
2.8 University policy regarding sexual harassment.
- Where necessitated by large class sizes or other circumstances, academic units shall ensure that course instructors and/or designated substitutes are available for individual consultation with students for a reasonable amount of time on a known and posted basis.
1.5 Cautionary Notice
Students are reminded that the initiation of a frivolous or vexatious complaints may result in disciplinary action being taken against them by the university.
- The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) both apply to the University of Manitoba. The Board of Governors appointed the president as the designated head under the act. The president, in turn, has delegated her duties to the FIPPA coordinator and the FIPPA Review Committee. Should any of the University's policies conflict with FIPPA or PHIA, the provisions of FIPPA or PHIA shall prevail unless otherwise expressly provided for at law. For access to university information, including personal information, apply under the appropriate act (FIPPA or PHIA). Application forms can be accessed at: umanitoba.ca/libraries/archives/fippa
- The University of Manitoba Policy and Procedure Manual is currently under revision. Students encountering difficulty locating documents on the website should contact the Office of the University Secretary, 312 Administration Building.