It is the chair’s responsibility to see that the department maintains records pertinent to its daily operations, and is able to provide information to the dean and other College administrators regarding its operations. At a minimum, each department should produce and maintain records of the following kinds —
A. Faculty teaching load determinations and assignments
Deans are responsible for determining faculty teaching loads based on performance in teaching, service, and scholarship. Ordinarily, faculty are expected to teach three courses (9 credit hours) each semester, while performing at rank in service and scholarship (for more detail on this expectation see the Faculty Guide to Academic Practices and Policies at Brockport, and the Faculty Roles and Rewards Final Report). Documentation of this performance, and any requests for deviation from this performance pattern, must be presented to the dean by department chairs. Accordingly, it is important to maintain records documenting each faculty member’s professional activities.
B. Registered majors and minors (and their assigned advisors)
The number of majors and minors informs a variety of decisions on campus (e.g., budgetary and faculty allocations, curriculum planning, recruitment efforts). In addition, the assignment of majors and minors is critical to the advisement process. For these reasons, departments should maintain accurate records of students officially registered in their programs, recognizing that at any moment in time, their own records may be more current than those representing the official College records.
C. Course Registrations and syllabi for current course offerings
College policy requires departments to maintain a file of Course Registration Forms and stipulates that these forms be kept up-to-date with reference to the actual content of the course as taught. The department will also maintain a file of current syllabi for all course offerings. The syllabi should reflect the approved content of each course as currently registered in the Course Registration Form. The syllabus for each course must document (among other required elements) the standards by which student performance will be assessed and evaluated (a grading policy). It is important that the chair make certain that associate faculty are informed about the registered content of any courses they are hired to teach.
Because College policy specifies that grade appeals must be based on (a) “failure to make the standards and expectations for a grade known to the student in a reasonable manner” and/or (b) failure to apply those standards and expectations (see http://www.brockport.edu/academics/academic_affairs/facguide) it is necessary that appropriate syllabi be developed for all courses. Maintaining these documents in the departmental office is one method of overseeing this important aspect of instruction. Accurately maintained files of Course Registration Forms and current syllabi are also examples of documentation that accreditation reviewers will usually regard as important.
D. Disciplinary actions brought against students (for conduct or academic dishonesty violations)
Without a record of conduct or academic dishonesty violations, any single offense would have to be dealt with as if it is the first and only offense. In order to document a history of offenses, instructors are required to file a report of any conduct violation for which they warn or sanction the student with their department chair. The chair should be familiar with the “Procedures for Dealing with Students Who Are Disruptive in Class” and the “Report of Student Violation of the Academic Dishonesty Policy” form and follow policy in regard to any dishonesty violations which can be found at http://www.brockport.edu/academics/academic_affairs/facguide/. It is important to remember that there are deadlines for notifications and the various actions under this policy. Keeping a good written record (by the chair) of all contacts between the instructor, the chair, and the student involved (from beginning to end) is extremely important. Requests by the student to meet in person for discussion of charges with the instructor and/or chair must be honored. The policy was revised in Spring 2010 by the College Senate. Because of the serious nature of such offenses and the sanctions, it is very important that College policy/procedures be followed carefully. If the chair has any doubt about correct procedure, s/he should consult with the school dean. Because of legal concerns, the school dean must always be consulted in advance of any departmental action on cases in which the department is advocating for the student’s dismissal from the academic program.
E. Budgetary transactions
Budgetary records from Central Administration may lag, so departments should maintain their own detailed records in meeting their responsibility of managing their budget allocations.
F. Official correspondence
Copies of official written and electronic correspondence with students, faculty, administration, and the community should be maintained. Notes from important meetings and verbal correspondence should also be filed.
G. Grade Submission and Records
The chair must make certain that all faculty submit both undergraduate Mid-term and undergraduate and graduate final grades in all their courses in a timely manner each semester. Final grade records must be kept for several years in case there are student grade appeals. It is good practice for faculty who will be away from the College and for associate faculty to leave a copy of their grading policy for each course with the department chair in case there are grade appeals in their absence.