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Chapter 8: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students

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8.E Graduate Student Employees

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8.E.1 Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) and Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs)

Graduate students in good standing at the University may be employed as Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs, also referred to as teaching assistants) or as Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs). Most GSIs have instructional duties. Their responsibilities vary depending on the needs of the department and range from teaching their own courses to assisting faculty with various aspects of a class, including meeting with students, running lab or discussion sections, or occasional lecturing. Some GSIs have predominantly grading duties and assist faculty in grading homework, tests, and final exams in some schools and colleges. However, they do not take over all the grading in the course nor do they replace faculty office hours. GSSAs are non-instructional, non-research-based graduate student support positions and are used primarily in the libraries.

GSIs and GSSAs are represented by the Graduate Employees Organization – American Federation of Teachers, Local 3550 (GEO). The University recognizes the GEO as the sole and exclusive representative for the purposes of collective bargaining in respect to wages, hours, and all other conditions of employment. Complete definitions of GSI and GSSA are found in the Agreement between the University and the GEO. Questions about hiring graduate students in these various capacities or requests for a copy of the current GEO Agreement should be directed to Academic Human Resources.

Although there may be situations in which the preferences and goals of faculty conflict with the limited flexibility of the labor contract for GSIs and GSSAs, nevertheless, the University of Michigan is bound to adhere to the terms of the contract. It is therefore extremely important for faculty who work with GSIs or GSSAs to understand that faculty do not have the authority to enter into direct negotiations with individual graduate students, and that they must refrain from doing so because of the risk that they might, albeit inadvertently, attempt to specify terms or conditions that, if followed, could lead to violations of the GEO contract.

Every teaching department or unit that employs GSIs has appointed one faculty member (such as the department chair, a “graduate director,” “associate chair,” or “undergraduate chair”) to be responsible for GSI matters. Faculty who require the assistance of a GSI should first contact this individual. Only this individual has the power to make GSI appointments. This same individual is responsible for filling out and certifying workload calculation forms. Similarly, faculty should inform GSIs that in the event of a problem or concern with any teaching appointment, this individual must be informed of the nature of the problem and be given an opportunity to deal with it well before the end of the term.

8.E.2 Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs)

GSRAs perform personal research (including thesis or dissertation preparation) or assist faculty in performing research that is relevant to the faculty member’s academic goals. GSRA positions are non-instructional and are typically supported by existing research contracts. GSRAs are not represented by GEO and therefore are not subject to the provisions of the Agreement with GEO.

A section entitled The Graduate Student Research Assistantship Program: Reference for Appointing Departments may be helpful to faculty who expect to hire a graduate student research assistant. It is available from Academic Human Resources’ website.

8.E.3 House Officers

House Officers include all residents, and fellows employed in research or clinical care in any of the specialties or sub-specialties by the University of Michigan Medical Center. The house officers are represented by the House Officers Association (HOA) for the collective bargaining of the employment contract, which covers both salary and working conditions. For more information, contact the associate dean and director for graduate medical education.

Chapter 8: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students

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8.D University Policies and Procedures Affecting Students

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As mentioned in section 7.C.1 Introduction to Norms, Policies, and Regulations Guiding Scholarship and Research, the Office of the General Counsel has created a comprehensive compliance program to map U-M’s legislative and regulatory compliance obligations and activities, and to help faculty and staff take the necessary steps to manage those obligations. Teaching is another key area of activity for which there are compliance obligations that faculty members must keep. In particular, see the Training section of the Compliance Resource Center website.

8.D.1 Academic Calendar

The University academic calendar is established by the Office of the Provost and approved by the Regents. It is usually set at least two years in advance. The calendar for the current academic year is printed in most unit handbooks and bulletins and is available on the Web at <>. Future calendars that have been approved by the Regents can be obtained from the Office of the Provost. Faculty are advised to check with their academic unit regarding any variations in the calendar; sometimes the professional schools establish dates for the beginning of classes and exams that are different from those set forth in the University academic calendar.

New faculty should note that each year on the Ann Arbor campus, faculty, students, staff, academic units, departments, and community members develop programs and initiatives to continue and remember the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  These events and activities constitute the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, with a different theme each year.   The UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses each observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day through a Day of Service; both campuses also host other events to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.  No classes are held on this day, usually the third Monday in January, nor are classes held on University-wide holidays and season days. See section 16.D.1 “Holidays” and section 16.D.2 “Season Days.”

See also section 2.B.6 “Religious Academic Conflicts Policy.”

8.D.2 Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct

A clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, and behavior consistent with this principle is expected of all members of the University community. Most of the schools and colleges have written policies that delineate the conduct expected of their students and the consequences of failing to meet the expected standards. The policies are referred to by various names, including honor code, honor system, code of conduct, or grievance procedure. Some of the professional schools require students to sign a code of conduct pledge as a condition of matriculation. These policies are usually published in the school or college bulletin or, in some cases, as separate brochures. They are also available from the dean’s office of the respective schools and colleges. Specific standards of academic conduct and processes for handling instances of academic misconduct depend on the student’s unit of registration. Faculty should obtain and read the applicable policy, or in the few instances where there is no written policy, discuss the standards and procedures with the appropriate dean. Students are also expected to read and understand their school or college policy. See the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching website for information about the honor code and academic integrity policies of the academic units at

Misconduct other than issues involving academic integrity may also be referred to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR).See section 8.D.6 “Dispute Resolution/Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.”

8.D.3 Academic Standing

Students in all academic programs are expected to maintain certain minimum standards of academic performance. The specific standards are established by the school, college, or academic unit, as are the policies and procedures for review of students who fail to meet these standards. These policies and procedures are usually published in the school or college bulletin or student handbook, and are available from the dean’s office of the respective school or college. Faculty and students should obtain and read the applicable policies and procedures.

8.D.4 Affiliation Agreements for Participation in Various Off-campus Initiatives

When students participate in off-campus internships and clinical or service learning experiences, the nature of the relationship between the student, the U-M, and the participating agency or organization may be formalized through an affiliation agreement. Generally, affiliation agreements are appropriate when students will be acting in a position of perceived authority, such as when working with patients or students. Affiliation agreements are also appropriate in circumstances where it would be useful to establish goals, expectations, and responsibilities up front. Faculty whose students engage in these kinds of off-campus programs should make sure that an affiliation agreement is in place before student participation begins. All affiliation agreements should be routed through the appropriate dean’s office, which forwards the agreement to the Office of the General Counsel for review. The agreement then goes to the provost’s office for approval and signature. Faculty with questions about how and when to use affiliation agreements may contact either the appropriate dean’s office or the Office of the General Counsel.

In the case of an off-campus initiative outside of the United States, an international agreement should be in place before activities begin. See section 7.G “International Initiatives.”

8.D.5 Authorized and Unauthorized Persons in the Classroom

Generally, persons not enrolled or otherwise officially authorized to attend a course should not be permitted to attend classes. Authorized individuals include prospective students who are visiting a class pursuant to a school or college admissions program. Members of the faculty have some discretion in permitting guests into a classroom or laboratory; however, appropriate consideration should be given to issues of safety, resources, fairness, disruption, etc., before allowing such visits. Faculty should consult with their department chair or dean’s office when questions about visitors arise. Advice is also available from the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel and from Risk Management Services.

If an unauthorized visitor refuses to leave a classroom or laboratory, assistance should be sought from the department chair, dean’s office, the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, and/or the Department of Public Safety. See also section 8.D.7 “Disruptive Behavior.”

8.D.6 Dispute Resolution/Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students who have complaints regarding faculty, including complaints about grades, should be encouraged to first discuss their concerns with the faculty member to ensure that the matter is not simply a misinterpretation or other misunderstanding that can be resolved with a conversation.

If this fails, or if the student decides this is not a desirable course of action, the student should be urged to discuss the matter with the department chair or unit head, and, if necessary, the dean or director. Most units have formal procedures for handling complaints brought by a student against a faculty member. Faculty can obtain information about their unit’s procedures from the office of the dean or unit administrator. The Office of the Ombuds (for students) and the dean of students’ office (discussed in section 8.C “Resources for Students”) are two additional resources for students with a complaint against faculty.

Faculty confronted with an instance of academic misconduct on the part of a student should pursue the appropriate unit remedy. See section 8.D.2 “Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct.” Faculty who have a complaint against a student regarding other behavior that contradicts the essential values of the University community (including physical harm, theft, disrupting classes, and violations of state or federal law that have a serious impact on the University community) are encouraged to consult unit procedure and discuss the matter with their dean.

On the Ann Arbor campus, if the issue cannot be resolved internally, or if the faculty member prefers, he or she may pursue the matter under the procedures outlined by the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities is administered by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR). Complaints alleging conduct that violates the statement may be brought against a student by any member of the University community, including faculty, staff, or another student. OSCR investigates alleged violations and attempts to resolve these matters, using mediation whenever possible. OSCR provides support to complainants as well as accused students. The Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities is available at the Office of Student Conflict Resolution

UM-Dearborn has a Statement of Student Rights and Code of Student Conduct that can be obtained from the Office of Registration and Records. UM-Flint has a Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy, which can be obtained from the Division of Student Affairs.

8.D.7 Disruptive Behavior

If a faculty member encounters a student who is behaving in a disruptive or dangerous way in a classroom or other University setting, he or she needs first to determine if there is an immediate threat of violence or other dangerous situation or emergency. If so, 911 should be called promptly, usually by someone else so the faculty member can remain in charge of the class. Also see section 8.D.18 Emergency Preparedness for Faculty: Classroom Safety for Instructors. Also, the University’s Campus Safety Handbook contains useful information and suggestions about how to handle an emergency situation and is available at the Clery Center.

If the situation is not an emergency and there’s no immediate threat of violence, the faculty member should respond to the situation as calmly as possible, dismissing the class if necessary, and should then seek assistance from the administrative offices of the department, school, or college. As appropriate, the administrative office or the individual faculty member may choose to contact one or more of the following offices: the dean’s office, the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, and/or the Department of Public Safety on the Ann Arbor campus, the Campus Safety Department on the UM-Dearborn campus, or the Department of Public Safety on the UM-Flint campus.

If a student’s disruptive behavior becomes a repeated or regular problem, the administrative office or the individual faculty member should seek assistance from the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel. If a pattern of behavior occurs over a period of time, faculty may wish to call the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs  to discuss whether the situation warrants convening a Mental Health Advisory Committee review. This is a confidential process that will result in a recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs about the most appropriate way to respond. Faculty may also contact Counseling and Psychological Services for assistance in determining how to best help a student who is experiencing serious psychological difficulties. Disruption of a class or other University activity by a student may be a violation of the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The faculty member should contact the Office of Student Conflict Resolution for more information.

8.D.8 Doctoral Dissertation Committees

A doctoral dissertation committee is charged with supervising a Ph.D. candidate’s dissertation activities, and the entire committee is a resource upon which the candidate may draw throughout the period of the research and writing. There are specific requirements regarding who may serve on a dissertation committee and procedures for nominating members, each of whom must be approved by the dean of the Rackham Graduate School or his or her designate. For more information, see the Dissertation Handbook, Rackham’s Policies website, and the Checklist for Dissertation Chairs.

8.D.9 Off Campus Learning Opportunities

As part of the teaching and learning mission of the University, there are a variety of opportunities for students to learn in the field. These opportunities range from an afternoon in the “Arb” (section 21.Q.1 “Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum”) to international expeditions. The interactive campus map on the Campus Information Centers website provides information about buildings on campus, including directions, accessibility, rooms in the building, offices/vendors in the building, and other items located there.

See the Logistics, Transportation, and Parking website for information about use of University-owned vehicles. See section 8.D.4 “Affiliation Agreements for Participation in Various Off-campus Initiatives” for information about affiliation agreements when students participate in off-campus internships or clinical or service learning experiences. See section 7.G “International Initiatives” for a discussion of special considerations when students leave the United States, including the necessity of having an international agreement in place and using the travel registry.

The University carries insurance on staff members who may be injured or incur liability for their actions while engaged in University business.  Liability insurance is also carried on University vehicles and their occupants. However, it is important that all field trips be officially authorized by the department as part of the course or program in order to assure coverage by University insurance.

8.D.10 Grades

On the Ann Arbor and UM-Flint campuses, grades are due within 72 hours after the scheduled final examination. On the UM-Dearborn campus, grades are due 48 hours after the final exam. Individual schools, colleges, and other academic units may have specific deadlines and procedures for submission of grades.

It is important not to post grades by name, social security number, or other identifying category or in an alphabetical list that permits identification of students, because to do so violates the student’s right to privacy. See sections 12.D “Student Records” and 12.E “Faculty Handling of Student Records/References.”
There is no University-wide grading scale, although some units have guidelines or requirements about grading procedures. Faculty should check with their academic unit for information about any policies or procedures that may apply to them.

Disputes regarding grades are handled according to the policy and procedure of the school or college. See also section 8.D.2 “Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct” and section 8.D.6 “Dispute Resolution/Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.”

8.D.11 Personal Relationships Between Faculty and Students

In their relationships with students, University faculty members are links in a chain of generations of teachers and students stretching from the academies of ancient times into the 21st century. In keeping with this tradition, many U-M faculty members are here because, at some point in their own lives, an inspiring lecturer, researcher, or mentor had a major impact on their lives. Relationships between faculty and students are, therefore, not only inevitable, but beneficial, and the University encourages faculty to strive to make a real difference in the lives of their students.

However, as a matter of sound judgment and professional ethics, faculty members have a responsibility to avoid any apparent or actual conflict between their professional responsibilities and personal relationships with students.

Romantic and/or sexual relationships between a faculty member and a student have the potential to pose risks to the faculty member, the student, or third parties. In such relationships, voluntary consent by the student is suspect because of the inherently unequal nature of the relationship. A romantic and/or sexual relationship between a faculty member and a student can lead to a complaint of sexual harassment when the student feels that he or she has been exploited. In addition, other faculty members, staff members, or students may have concerns about undue access or advantage, favoritism, restricted opportunities, or unfavorable treatment as a result of the relationship. These concerns are damaging whether the favoritism is real or perceived. They also arise in cases where the relationship between the faculty member and the student remains amicable, as well as in cases that lead to accusations of exploitation. For all these reasons, the University has adopted a Faculty-Student Relationships policy, SPG 601.22, which strongly discourages romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty members and students.

In spite of these warnings, the University recognizes that sometimes such relationships occur. Therefore, the Faculty-Student Relationship Policy states that if a romantic and/or sexual relationship occurs or has occurred between a faculty member and a student for whom the faculty member has supervisory responsibility, an inherent conflict of interest arises. When a conflict of this nature occurs, the faculty member must disclose the relationship so that a resolution to the conflict can be sought.

For more information, including a set of frequently asked questions, see Policy on Faculty-Student Relationships.

8.D.12 Private Instruction

In accordance with University policies on conflict of interest and outside employment, members of the instructional faculty may not give private instruction for pay in the same course offered by that faculty member in the University and to the same students registered for the course. (See section 9.G “Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment.”) Instructional faculty members who wish to give private instruction in any other course must first obtain approval of the chair of the appropriate departments.

8.D.13 Recording in the Classroom/Commercial Notetaking

Generally, faculty may decide whether students are permitted to tape or video record lectures for their own personal use. There may be circumstances, however, when such taping is necessary as a reasonable accommodation of a properly documented student disability. Assistance and advice with respect to such requests may be obtained from the department chair, the dean’s office, the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and/or the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.

The University policy on commercial notetaking is found in SPG 601.17. Commercial notetaking services must fully conform to the conditions and criteria set forth in this policy, including the requirement of obtaining prior written permission from the instructor.

Several schools and colleges use podcasting as a means for students to download academic audio content, using Kaltura Capture Desktop Recorder.  The recordings are uploaded to the class notes in Canvas as “My Media”, or used elsewhere as “MiVideo”.



8.D.14 Religious Accommodation

The University of Michigan as an institution does not observe religious holidays. However, it is the University’s policy that every reasonable effort should be made to help faculty and students avoid negative academic consequences when academic requirements conflict with their religious obligations. See section 2.B.6 “Religious Academic Conflicts Policy” for the full text of the official University policy.

8.D.15 Sales to Students

Members of the teaching staff may not have direct dealings with students in the sale of books, instruments, lectures, notes, or similar materials pursuant to University conflict of interest policies (see section 9.G “Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment”).

8.D.16 Student Records/Reference Letters

8.D.17 Services for Students with Disabilities

It is the policy of the University to provide reasonable accommodations to students with properly documented disabilities, consistent with Michigan and federal law. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities has resources for faculty/staff which provide information about disabilities that affect learning in a university setting and discusses the various adjustments that can be made in the environment or teaching style to accommodate students with disabilities.

All disability information that the student gives to the faculty member is to be used specifically for arranging reasonable accommodations for the course of study and only for that purpose.

For additional information, contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. On the UM-Dearborn campus, contact the Disability Resource Office at 313/593-5430. On the UM-Flint campus, contact Accessibility Services in the Student Development Center at 810/762-3456.

8.D.18 Emergency Preparedness for Faculty: Classroom Safety for Instructors

All instructors at the University have an obligation to prepare for possible emergencies—for their own safety and for the safety of their students. To assist faculty in carrying out these responsibilities, the provost’s office has developed an emergency preparedness website Classroom Safety for Instructors page which requires a U-M uniqname and password for access. This site features a 7-minute videotape on basic classroom safety, “Emergency Response: What Faculty Need to Know.” It also includes procedures for a range of emergencies, a class suspension plan for infectious hazards, and a set of resources for faculty and others.

Chapter 8: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students

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8.C Resources for Students (Ann Arbor Campus)

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Often students turn to faculty for assistance with personal and academic concerns and requests for referrals or campus information. In the event the faculty member is unable to answer the student’s question or is unable or unqualified to provide the desired assistance, there are many people and offices on campus to whom or to which the student can be referred. The following is by no means an exhaustive list of services available to students on the Ann Arbor campus, but it may be useful in helping students to address many of the common concerns that arise.

Academic Advising and Support Each school and college (and some departments and programs) has a student services/affairs office. In addition to coordinating academic advising services, degree requirements, and academic policies, these offices may also handle academic integrity issues, tutoring and academic support information, unit-based financial aid, unit admissions, and/or career counseling and placement services. Faculty should contact the office of their dean or director to obtain the names of these student resource people and their contact information. In some units, undergraduates and graduates may be served by different offices. The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies provides assistance to graduate students enrolled in any Rackham graduate program.

Career Advising, Planning, and Placement All students, whether they are in undergraduate, graduate, or professional programs, can utilize the services of The Career Center, located in 3200 Student Activities Building ( Some academic units (e.g., the College of Engineering, Law School, and the Ross School of Business) have their own career centers and placement offices. The Center for the Education of Women+ (CEW+) ( offers many programs, services, and resources to students, including non-traditional students, and to faculty, staff, and community members.

Campus Information Operating on average 19 hours a day, the Campus Information Center (CIC) is a handy resource for the entire University community. Contact the office via e-mail [email protected], or visit the website at The CIC is located on the first floor of the Michigan Union. There is also a North Campus Information Center (NCIC), located in the Pierpont Commons Lobby. See also section 21.J “Information.”

Dean of Students The Office of the Dean of Students promotes individual student development and enhances the Michigan experience for all students through individual support, programs, services, co-curricular opportunities, policy development and advocacy. The office’s key areas of focus include campus climate and student engagement, student health and wellness, and critical incident management for personal emergencies or emergencies confronting larger groups.
The office partners with faculty and staff members–who are often the first people to become aware of students in need–by providing and coordinating University resources and support. The eleven student life units that the office oversees include counseling and psychology services, sexual assault prevention and awareness, and health services, as well as offices that serve minority students; students with disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. Visit the website at

Financial Matters The Office of Financial Aid can help with student budgeting, as well as provide information on grants, loans, workstudy, and other student employment. The Office of Financial Aid is located in 2500 Student Activities Building (SAB) In addition, many academic units have offices that provide fellowships, scholarships, and need-based aid. The Rackham Graduate School’s Fellowship Office provides information and financial support for graduate students enrolled in many of the graduate programs.

Students’ financial transactions with the University are handled by Student Financial Services & Teller Services, also located on the second floor of SAB. Students are able to access their individual account information through Wolverine Access at

Health and Well-Being University Health Service (UHS) provides comprehensive outpatient medical services to students, most of which are covered by a health service fee paid by students. Psychiatric, physical therapy, and nutrition services are also included. Health education and prevention programs (including guest speakers for classes) are also available. Faculty are welcome to use University Health Service on a fee-for-service basis. For more information, check the website at See also section 18.I “Health Care Services/Resources.”

Counseling and Psychological Services Serves students through crisis intervention; brief personal counseling and short-term psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and groups; and workshops on various informational and skill building topics. Faculty who are dealing with a student who is or may be exhibiting psychological problems or who is acting in a manner that is harmful to the student or others may call Counseling and Psychological Services for assistance in determining whether the student should be referred, and if so, how to make a referral. The CAPS post “Helping A Student in Distress,” is available online at Services are provided free to enrolled U-M students. Confidentiality, to the extent permitted by law, is strictly maintained. Visit the website at for more information. Also see section 8.D.7 “Disruptive Behavior.”

For a psychological or psychiatric emergency concerning a student, call:

  • Emergency Mental Health and Psychiatry: 734-936-5900
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 9-8-8

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) provides services and educational outreach for students (as well as faculty and staff). 734-936-3333

Office of the Ombuds (For Students). The Office of the Ombuds (for students) exists specifically to assist students in resolving a variety of problems, complaints, and conflicts within the University. The ombuds looks for equitable methods of resolution and works for the fair treatment of all parties involved in the disagreement. The Office of the Ombuds may provide counseling as well as information about policies and grievance and appeal procedures. The Office has no jurisdiction outside the University. On the Ann Arbor campus, the Office of the Ombuds is located in the Michigan Union, and the e-mail is [email protected] , or call 763-3545. Walk-in consultation may be available. See also their website at

Registration, Records, Transcripts, and Residency. The Office of the Registrar at the University can be reached and students can access their records and transact most business through the Web on Wolverine Access: <>.

Chapter 8: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students

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8.B Resources for Faculty

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8.B.1 Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) is a central administration unit reporting to the Office of the Provost and serving all faculty members at the University of Michigan. CRLT is dedicated to the support and advancement of learning and teaching at the University. Professional staff at the Center have doctoral degrees in a variety of disciplines. They work collaboratively with faculty members, graduate student instructors (GSIs), and the academic administration to promote a University culture that values and rewards teaching, respects and supports individual differences among learners, and encourages instructional environments in which diverse students can learn and excel. The programs and services described below are designed to meet the interests and needs of faculty members at all stages of their careers. Faculty at UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn are welcome to participate in CRLT workshops, although they are not eligible for CRLT grants. UM-Flint established the Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching on the Flint campus. See also section 8.B.4 “Evaluations of Teaching.”

Grants to Enhance Teaching and Learning In collaboration with the provost’s office, CRLT sponsors seven grants competitions for faculty who wish to develop innovative approaches to improving teaching and learning at the University. Grants are available to fund course and curriculum development, multicultural pedagogies, interdisciplinary teaching, instructional technology, innovative pedagogical projects, and investigating student learning.

Evaluation Services for Educational Grants and Curriculum Improvements CRLT’s evaluator works with faculty on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of education grants in areas of curricular and pedagogical innovation. CRLT staff also work with groups of faculty in departments or schools/colleges to review their current curricula, develop new curricular offerings, and evaluate the results of curricular changes.

CRLT maintains an extensive website of resources on teaching and learning. The Teaching Strategies page has links to Web documents on a variety of topics, including syllabus and course planning, multicultural teaching, grading issues, and academic integrity. Faculty can also download CRLT’s Occasional Papers and other publications and get information about CRLT’s grants and our current programs.

Assessment of Student Learning Website This website includes a set of assessment background and resources, plus a set of U-M assessment resources, which includes materials from the Provost’s Seminar on Teaching, institutional-level assessment, examples and resources from U-M academic units, and data about U-M students.

Multicultural Teaching Resources  Helping faculty create inclusive learning environments for all students is a core component of CRLT’s mission. CRLT’s instructional consultants work one-on-one with faculty and in collaboration with departments and colleges to help them serve the learning needs of a diverse student body, infuse new content into the curriculum, and create inclusive classrooms. Multicultural services include individual consultations, campus-wide and customized workshops, discussions of curriculum revision, and print and Web resources.

Midterm Student Feedback Faculty can arrange for a CRLT consultant to visit one of their classes and collect feedback. The consultant speaks with the students about strengths of the course and suggested changes. The faculty member and the consultant then meet to discuss the feedback and strategize about changes and next steps. The service is completely confidential.

Seminars for Faculty Each term, CRLT offers seminars on a variety of topics. All seminars are interactive, solidly grounded in the research on teaching and learning, and designed to offer practical suggestions that faculty can incorporate into their classrooms. Faculty can register for seminars on CRLT’s website.

CRLT Theatre Program The CRLT theatre program uses traditional and interactive theatre techniques to bring research findings to life on stage. The program’s performances, based on a solid foundation of research, allow faculty to dialogue with the characters and each other to explore issues in labs, departments, schools or colleges, and classrooms.

Faculty Consultations Professional staff provide confidential consultations for individual instructors about any aspect of teaching and learning including innovative teaching strategies, classroom-related concerns, interpretation of student ratings, and ways to incorporate instructional technology into teaching.

Customized Programs and Faculty Retreats In collaboration with the University’s academic programs, departments, schools, and colleges, CRLT develops customized programs and services to respond to their special needs.

Services for Graduate Students and Postdocs CRLT offers programs and services designed to support graduate students in all stages of their teaching careers from training for their first teaching experiences through preparation for the academic job market. Many of CRLT’s services are open to all graduate students, whether or not they are GSIs.

Services for graduate student instructors (GSIs), include orientation programs in the fall and winter for new GSIs, a series of seminars on teaching for GSIs during the academic year, and individual consultations. CRLT also works with individual departments to help design GSI training programs that are discipline specific. In collaboration with the English Language Institute, CRLT offers a training program for graduate students who did not receive their undergraduate education in English.

Publications and Links CRLT publishes resource materials for the teaching faculty of the University. CRLT’s Occasional Papers present original research on student learning and provide summaries of literature and recommendations for best practice on a range of issues including learning styles, working effectively with students from underrepresented groups, teaching portfolios, and fundamentals of online teaching. CRLT also makes available a set of publications designed for GSIs or the faculty in charge of GSI training in a department. All of CRLT’s publications are available at their website.

For more information about any of these programs and services, contact CRLT at 1071 Palmer Commons, 100 Washtenaw Avenue, phone 764-0505, fax 647-3600, or e-mail <[email protected]>. See also the CRLT website at <>.

8.B.2 Distance Education

Distance education is defined by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as a formal educational process in which the majority of instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place. Although many faculty members use instructional technology to allow students to do some of the work for individual courses from a distance, the role of distance education is constantly evolving at the University of Michigan.

Faculty who are interested in distance education should consult their department chairs and deans regarding the policies, priorities, and resources of their academic units. When questions arise about legal issues such as copyright, the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel should be consulted. The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) provides special assistance with pedagogical issues involved in distance education initiatives. See section 8.B.1 “Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.”

Coursera. U-M partners with other top universities in the world to offer a wide range of no-cost courses online through Coursera’s interactive platform. Coursera is a California-based online education company founded in 2012. For more information, see

U-M Podcasts and iTunes U. The Office of the Vice President for Communications publicizes a catalog of locations on campus that make audio and video podcasts available to the public. The catalog includes such topics as arts and the humanities; business, economics, and government; and science and technology. Through iTunes U, the University also offers downloadable selections from the University’s public lectures, select classroom lectures, news podcasts, and videos.

8.B.3 Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Building on a long tradition at the University of Michigan, the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, named after U-M alumnus Edward Ginsberg, seeks to enable faculty on the Ann Arbor campus to integrate service into teaching and to conduct research responsive to community needs, engage students in community service and academic learning in order to promote civic participation, develop collaborative partnerships with communities, improve the quality of life in communities nationwide, and enhance the educational process.

The Center promotes “service as scholarship” through faculty activities such as:

  • Consultation and technical assistance for faculty related to community-based service learning
  • John Dewey Lecture Series
  • Faculty instructional workshops on community-based research and service-learning pedagogy
  • Faculty Instructional Grants, available to faculty members who integrate service into teaching
  • Doctoral seminar on service learning
  • Publication lending library
  • “Service-Learning Course Design Workbook” (a complimentary copy is available to any U-M faculty or staff member on request)
  • Workshops preparing faculty and students for participation in the community
  • National peer-reviewed journal, the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning

The Center’s Faculty Council has responsibility to advise the Center on policy, planning, and program priorities. Located in a turn-of-the-century former residence near the heart of campus, the Center is a meeting place and activity center with facilities available for campus and community groups. Programs and grants are available to all faculty on the Ann Arbor campus.

8.B.4 Evaluations of Teaching

Teaching evaluations can help faculty improve their classroom performance and provide important information for decisions about re-appointment, promotion, tenure, salary, and awards. (They also provide information to students to assist them in course selection.) All of the schools and colleges have teaching evaluation tools to meet these objectives. For information about the systems in place for a particular academic unit, faculty should check with the department chair or other administrator.

Many schools and colleges use the Office of the Registrar system of student course evaluations called Teaching Evaluations. This system permits instructors to select questions to administer to the students in a given class from a large catalogue of choices. Some schools, colleges, and other academic units design common core questions for use in these or other questionnaires. Reports with statistical results of the responses and all individual student comments are provided to the instructors. In some academic units, the statistical reports are also sent to the dean or chair. See also section 8.B.5 “Examination Scoring, Placement Exams, and Surveys.”

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) can provide information about multiple methods of evaluating teaching, including teaching portfolios and peer review. CRLT’s instructional consultants also help individual faculty interpret their student ratings reports. See also section 8.B.1 “Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.”

8.B.5 Examination and Survey Services

The Office of the Registrar provides electronic scoring services for standardized tests or exams constructed by faculty. This office also handles placement tests for incoming students during orientation, assists departments in selecting and designing placement tests, and assists University researchers and administrators who are designing and analyzing surveys and evaluations (see Survey Services) These services are available for courses taught and students enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus. For information about E&E’s role in teaching evaluations, see section 8.B.4 “Evaluations of Teaching.”

8.B.6 Faculty Mentoring & Advising

The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies publishes two guidebooks: “How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty in a Diverse University” and a companion handbook for graduate students, “How to Get the Mentoring You Want.” Rackham recognizes the important role mentoring plays within graduate education, and developed these handbooks to assist faculty and graduate students in forming mentoring relationships that are based on realistic goals, expectations and understandings of one another. Rackham offers a number of other resources related to mentoring and advising.

8.B.7 Instructional Technology

See Information and Technology Services website for information on instructional software and computing classrooms.

Also see the University’s Teaching and Technology Collaborative (TTC) website for learning and incorporating technology into teaching and learning.

In addition, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching provides consultation services to individuals and departments in the integration of technology into teaching, including distance education.

8.B.8 Michigan Learning Communities

The Michigan Learning Communities (MLC) encompass a number of programs designed to offer students a friendly, supportive, and close-knit learning community within the context of the larger University environment.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) offers two four-year academic learning communities: the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.  Other residential programs include the Global Scholars Program, the Health Science Scholars Program, the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, the Michigan Community Scholars Program, the Max Kade German Residence Program, the Michigan Research Community, the Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program (see also handbook section 2.C “Ann Arbor Campus Resources”), and the Adelia Cheever Program to prepare women for a leadership in a global society.

In addition, the University offers non-residential learning communities:  the University Mentorship Program, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (see also handbook section 2.C “Ann Arbor Campus Resources”), and the Comprehensive Studies Program.

These programs provide faculty with a wide range of contexts and opportunities to interact with students outside of the traditional classroom. For more information, contact the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in LSA.

8.B.9 Student Organizations

There are over 1200 student organizations at the University. Students’ experiences in these organizations are greatly enhanced by faculty involvement as advisors, resource persons, and guest speakers. To learn about student groups by discipline or academic area, contact the departmental administrator. In addition, the Office of Student Activities and Leadership (<>) maintains Maize Pages, the online U-M directory of student organizations.

Chapter 8: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students

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8.A General Principles

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The original works of the faculty— whether research, scholarship or other creative activities—are vital contributions to the mission of the University of Michigan. These endeavors enhance the teaching by the faculty, enrich the educational experience of the undergraduate students, provide the forum for the training of students pursuing graduate education, and contribute to the missions of advancing knowledge and serving the public. Details about most aspects of research at the U-M can be found at the U-M Office of Research website, referred to throughout this chapter. See handbook sections 6.B “Criteria for Tenure” and 8.B “Resources for Faculty.”

In all of their dealings with students, it is expected that faculty members will be fair and equitable, will support students in their own development within the University community, and will adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct.

In October 2003, the Senate Assembly adopted the document, “Teaching Principles and Responsibilities.” The document was developed, as stated in the preamble, “to guide faculty administrators and staff in their efforts to sustain and strengthen a supportive educational environment for our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.” By section the document addresses individual faculty responsibilities, and rewarding excellence in teaching.

A number of policies, rules, and regulations have been developed regarding interactions between faculty and students and the educational process. Most logistical and administrative matters, for example, class assignments, the scheduling of classes, and office hour policies, are handled by the schools, colleges, departments, or academic units. Many academic policy questions, such as issues of academic standing and drop-add procedures, are also handled by the academic units. It is therefore essential for faculty members to obtain and become familiar with their units’ faculty handbooks and/or student bulletins.

University-wide policies are discussed in handbook section 8.D “University Policies and Procedures Affecting Students”. Many of these policies are included in a set of University policies for students that is published online by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

Updated 2022