Registrar

Policies for Faculty, Staff & Students

General

The Schedule of Classes is subject to modification by the University without notice.

Southwestern University, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, recognizes that qualified students who have diagnosed disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, are entitled to an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational program of the University and that reasonable academic accommodations may be necessary to provide that opportunity to students with disabilities.

Southwestern University’s recruiting of students, awarding of financial aid and operation of programs and facilities are without regard to sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, or any other impermissible factor. Southwestern University’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Directory Information

Southwestern University lists as STUDENT DIRECTORY INFORMATION, AND DISPLAYS IN THE PASSWORD-PROTECTED SU ONLINE DIRECTORY the following items: Student name, classification, SU Box, voice mail, e-mail addresses, and cell phone number, while the NON-PROTECTED WEB DIRECTORY displays just name and e-mail address.

Also listed as DIRECTORY INFORMATION, but not displayed in the SU Directory, are: Date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weights and heights of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recently previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, “imagery”, student class schedule, listings of candidates for degrees, local and home address and phone number, fulltime/part-time enrollment status, SU issued identification number, and other similar information.

SU policy precludes release of student addresses to those outside the SU community. That is, SU would release the local address and phone number to SU students, faculty, or staff, but would not give it to an individual outside SU; nor would SU provide a list of student address information to an organization or business outside SU.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students the right to restrict unauthorized release of directory information. University staff may still view the student’s record as required for their jobs, but they may not even verify enrollment to anyone outside the university, except with express written permission from the student. Such restriction causes the student name to be omitted from the printed directory, degree candidate lists, and all publicly available lists - unless expressly authorized in writing. To claim this protection, use the Confidentiality Form found via the Transcript Request and Other Forms link.

Polices

  • Southwestern University recognizes that it has students from a variety of religious and cultural traditions that have special days of observance or celebration that may take students out of their regular activities on certain days during the school year. Since the academic calendar does not always coincide with these days, the following policy is to be followed in order to facilitate student absences due to cultural and religious observances.

    • As far in advance as possible, the student is expected to notify the professor(s) or instructor(s) of the class(es) to be missed.
    • The student is expected to learn what assignments or exams are due or will be assigned on those dates and negotiate with the professor(s) or instructor(s) alternate times for fulfilling those requirements. Students should be prepared to fulfill the requirements prior to the class(es) to be missed.
  • Final responsibility for assigning grades to students in a course rests with the faculty member teaching that course. Requirements and specific expectations concerning the level and way in which requirements are to be met are specific to a given course; it is inappropriate to expect that evaluations of course work can be made by third parties.

    Faculty members are expected to evaluate student performance based on the criteria and requirements outlined in course syllabi. All students are to be treated impartially and fairly in relation to those requirements. There are three bases for a grade appeal:

    1. Alleged failure of a faculty member to assign the proper weight as stated in the course syllabus to various parts of the assessment elements that contribute to the final grade.
    2. Alleged prejudicial treatment of a student in relation to the treatment afforded other students in the course.
    3. Alleged violation of the Academic Rights for Students as stated in the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

    The student should be prepared to demonstrate a direct link between the circumstances of the awarding of his/her grade and one of the bases above.

    An appeal cannot be based on a challenge to the difficulty of a course or on strictness of grading. Each faculty member is responsible for these standards, and, so long as they are applied equitably and fairly, their strict application is not a basis for an appeal. Should a student have reason to appeal the final grade in a course, the following appeal procedure must be followed in the sequence indicated below with Step 3 completed no more than 3 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the following regular semester. Students who are off campus while pursuing a grade appeal should work through the Director of Academic Success who will serve as the student’s liaison. In all cases, the Director will be responsible for informing the student, faculty member, and department chair involved of the Appeal of Grades Procedure.

    Step 1. The student first requests, schedules, and attends a face-to-face conference with the faculty member who taught the course to determine whether the matter can be settled between the student and the faculty member. A face-to-face meeting constitutes a conference; a conversation by voice-mail, e-mail or telephone does not. In the event that a faculty member is no longer employed at Southwestern, the student should proceed to Step 2, working with the chair of the department who will attempt to facilitate the process with or without the former faculty member.

    Step 2. After this conference, should the student continue to believe that fair and equitable treatment has not been given, the student must communicate that in writing to the instructor and the matter should be brought by the student to the faculty member’s department/program chair. This conversation should also be face-to-face, not by telephone, e-mail or voice-mail. If the faculty member who taught the course is also the department/program chair, the student should have a face-to-face conversation with a faculty member designated by the Dean of the Faculty.

    Step 3. If a settlement is not reached after the conversation referenced in Step 2, the student should take the complaint to the Associate Director. The circumstances of the appeal will be confirmed by the Associate Director and (s)he will review the grade appeal process with the student, providing feedback on the appropriateness of the appeal. An official form detailing the completed steps and timeline of the grade appeal process will be filled out at this time by the Associate Director and the student. A copy of this form will be forwarded to the faculty member and the chair of the department regardless of the outcome of this conversation. Should the student choose to continue the grade appeal process, (s)he will sign a statement indicating the intent on the form. This step should be completed within 3 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the semester immediately following the one in which the course was taught.

    Step 4. Should the student wish to continue the grade appeal process, the Director will ask the student to provide a written statement outlining the basis for the appeal. This statement must be submitted within 6 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the semester immediately following the one in which the course was taught. The Director will then ask the faculty member to provide a written response. A copy of the faculty member’s response will be given to the student. The student may elect to provide a reply to the faculty member’s response which is shared with the faculty member. These documents and other relevant materials will then be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee.

    Step 5. The Academic Standards Committee is charged with evaluating such complaints and the evidence on which they are based. Meetings of the Academic Standards Committee are held in closed session. Should the committee conclude that there are not sufficient grounds for a student’s claim of prejudicial or unfair treatment, it will be reported to the student and to the faculty member in writing and the matter will be closed. Should the committee determine that there is a basis for this claim, its recommendation will be reported in writing to the Dean of the Faculty.

    Step 6. The Dean of the Faculty is then responsible for discussing the findings and recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee with the department chair and the faculty member involved. The department chair and the faculty member will then develop a solution for resolution of the complaint. Should the grade be changed, such change is reported by the faculty member to the Records Office on a Change of Grade Form. This will be reported to the student by the Dean of the Faculty in writing.

    Step 7. In cases where a faculty member refused to accept the recommendation of the committee and there is a reason to believe that the faculty member’s behavior was prejudicial or unfair, the Dean of the Faculty may authorize that the grade in the course be changed to a “CR” or a “W”. This will be reported to the student by the Dean of the Faculty in writing.

     

    (Approved by the Faculty on April 25, 2000)
  • Final evaluations are required in all courses. [See CPC Minutes, October 21, 1975.] The dates for final examinations are set by the Director of Records and the Dean of the Faculty and should be scrupulously followed. No faculty member is authorized to change the time or place of a scheduled class or final examination without approval of the Director of Records. Problems with the class or final examination schedule should be reported to the Director of Records. If a situation arises which causes special difficulties in the scheduling of an examination, the matter should be discussed with the Director of Records and the Dean of the Faculty. It is understood that final examinations will not be changed merely to move from a late date to an early date, as this usually creates more problems than it solves.

    Re-examination or special projects to raise grades are prohibited for students who have failed the course or the final examination except in exceptional cases as approved by the Dean of the Faculty.

    Students who for good reason must take a final examination at a time different from that of the regular section must obtain the consent of the instructor. Students who have three final examinations in one day have the right to reschedule the middle examination in consultation with the faculty member at least one week prior to the start of final exams.

    Students who are candidates for graduation in May should arrange any required final examinations during the four day period that begins with the last day of classes and ends with the first day of exams for the Spring semester. No student will be required to take more than two examinations in one day. Final semester grades for May and August candidates must be submitted to the Records Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday of final exam week.

    Details of the Southwestern grading system are outlined in the current issue of the University Catalog. The grades of A, B, C, and D may be awarded with a plus or minus. The instructor’s course syllabus must clearly indicate the grading system employed to yield the semester grade for the course and what weight is given to each component of the course in computing the semester grade. See “Academic Rights for Students.”

  • Plagiarism is the submission of another’s work as one’s own without acknowledgment in written work.

    There are basically four ways in which research papers use or incorporate written materials, and each of these requires footnoting.

    1. Direct Quotations should be marked off with quotation marks, with a footnote to indicate the source. It is not necessary to place in quotation marks every word in your paper that appears in a source you are using. If your paper concerns Napoleon, for example, you need not place “Napoleon” in quotation marks merely because your sources use the name. Similarly, there are phrases of some length such as “on the other hand” or “it is evident that” which are common property and act in effect as single words.
    2. Paraphrase. Where your own language follows closely the language of a written source, or where your line of argument follows a source, you need not use quotation marks, but you are obliged to indicate the source in a footnote.
    3. General Indebtedness. Where the ideas in your paper closely resemble and were suggested by ideas in a source, a footnote should be used to indicate this.
    4. Background Information. In any area of inquiry there are matters of fact commonly known to everyone with a serious interest. Such information need not be footnoted one fact at a time. Instead, a general footnote toward the beginning of the paper, naming the sources where such information was obtained, is sufficient.
  • Every effort should be taken to secure accurate and complete grade records in reporting to the Records Office. Under unusual circumstances a faculty member may change a grade after the grade reports have been filed by completing the form provided by the Records Office. After approval signatures have been secured, the changed grade will then be entered on the student’s permanent record. The grade change form is filed permanently with the Grade Request Form previously submitted by the faculty member.

  • End-of-Semester Grades. Semester grades are due in the Records Office by the Monday following the end of final exams. In the Spring only, grades of students graduating in Spring or Summer are due a week earlier—on the Monday that Spring Semester final exams begin. Faculty use WebAdvisor to enter their grades online. The same online mechanism is used for entry of “Academic Warning” notifications. Once entered, students may view their final grades via WebAdvisor, so there is no need for faculty to post grades on paper lists. It is difficult to post them without violating FERPA—the federal law regarding student privacy.

    Incomplete Grades. The grade of “Incomplete” shall be given only in the case of a medical emergency or some other emergency situation beyond the student’s control. The grade of “Incomplete” may not be given for the sole reason of permitting additional time to complete assigned course work or because a student does not attend a final exam. Students must request the grade of “Incomplete” by submitting a request to the appropriate faculty member which explains the emergency situation surrounding the request. This request must be acknowledged by the faculty member at the time the grade of “Incomplete” is assigned. When the “Incomplete” is given, it must be removed by 5:00 p.m. on the posted deadline (see the Academic Calendar). All “Incomplete” grades are changed to “F” after the deadline unless the student has filed a written petition for an extension, approved by the student’s faculty member and the Director of Records. The petition must establish a new deadline for the removal of the “Incomplete.” In the event that the student is unable to request an Incomplete from the faculty member, a request may be made on the student’s behalf by the Center for Academic Success.

    X Grade Symbol. The X grade symbol is to be assigned by the instructor only in cases of suspected academic dishonesty or where the grade cannot be assigned due to physical inability to access some existing but missing piece of required work. It may be used by the Director of Records if grades cannot be collected from the instructor before grades reports are mailed. The X grade symbol is considered very temporary, and the replacement grade should be reported by the faculty as soon as possible - generally within two weeks. When the X grade symbol is submitted by the instructor, it must be accompanied by a form explaining the nature of the problem, and agreeing to submit the grade in a timely manner. If X grade symbols persist to the deadline for reporting I grades, they will revert to the grade of F, except in cases where judicial review is pending.

    In the event that a student simply fails to appear for the final exam or submit a required project, neither X or I is appropriate. The grade should be calculated with a zero for the missing work. If circumstances justify, the grade can be changed later by the instructor, via the grade change form.

  • The library will retain only electronic copies of each honors thesis completed, beginning in Spring 2015. The thesis, with a scanned completed signature page included, will be uploaded to Southwestern’s institutional repository, SU Scholar, at suscholar.southwestern.edu. The library will review the submission, assign metadata, and make it publicly available, with a stable URL.

    In addition, if requested, the library will bind one printed copy as our gift to graduating honors students, for no charge. To receive a bound copy, students should bring the printed thesis pages, already in order, along with a completed signature page, to the library. Pages must have at least a 1 inch margin on the left side of the page (more if possible), and at least a 1/2 inch margin on the other three sides because the bindery will crop the pages in the binding process. Most theses have a 1 inch margin all around. Students should include with the thesis their full name, future email address (and a non-SU email if possible), and a phone number and address where the thesis can be mailed in December. This information and the printed work should be submitted to Debi Flummer in SLC 120.

  • The University Catalog states that students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes for which credit is granted. Individual faculty members establish specific attendance policies, which appear in the syllabus for each course. Official excuses are not normally issued except as described below. In the case of extended illness or other emergency, the Center for Academic Success and Records notifies faculty members by e-mail, voice-mail, or in writing. The faculty members then decide whether the situation justifies an excused absence for the student involved. Detailed procedures for notifying faculty of an absence may be found in the Student Handbook.

    Whenever an excused absence has been granted, the faculty member is expected to offer students an opportunity to complete missed examinations or other required work, but it is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor about missed assignments, etc.

    Students who are absent from class because they are participating in intercollegiate athletics, class-related field trips, ensemble tours, interviews at graduate schools, or faculty-sponsored attendance at professional conferences will be excused from classes as follows:

    1. A student’s excused absence from class does not excuse any work missed during the absence, but does excuse the student from any penalty that would otherwise be imposed by a professor’s attendance policy.
    2. The student and the professor will devise an appropriate means for the student to complete assignments, class work, examinations, labs, etc. scheduled during the absence. The responsibility to complete missed work lies solely with the student, who must discuss the absence with the professor as far in advance as possible to work out a satisfactory schedule for submitting work due, taking exams, making up labs, etc. This schedule may involve the student’s completing certain items before rather than after the absence.
    3. Coaches, sponsors, and professors should make every effort to schedule approved activities held off-campus so as to produce the least conflict with scheduled classes.
    4. Professors whose courses require field trips should include the requirement in the University Catalog description of the course and indicate the scheduled dates of the trip in the course syllabus, to allow students time to resolve schedule conflicts or drop/add courses, if necessary.

    For the kinds of absences described above to be excused, a statement of the nature and purpose of the activity, a list of names of the students and faculty members participating in the activity, and the dates and hours during which these participants will be off campus must be submitted in writing by the sponsor of the activity to the Center for Academic Success and Records or the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, depending on the nature of the activity. The Director for Academic Success, the Academic Success and Records Specialist, or the appropriate designated person within Student Affairs will distribute information about the scheduled activity and the names of the students whose absences are to be excused to all faculty members and to the Business Office (to confirm insurance coverage). The Dean of the Faculty may restrict participation in off-campus activities of students who are on academic or disciplinary probation.

  • Fall Study Days consist of the weekend following the last day of class and preceding the start of finals week. Spring Study Days consist of the four-day period (Thursday through Sunday) following the last day of class and preceding the start of finals week. No activities (curricular or extracurricular including tests, finals, make-up work, etc.) requiring student participation are scheduled during this time set aside for final preparations. Exceptions to this restriction must be approved in advance by the Dean of the Faculty. Spring-semester final examinations for seniors graduating in May and August may be scheduled during the last three days of the spring semester or during study days.

  • Southwestern University recognizes that it has students from a variety of religious and cultural traditions that have special days of observance or celebration that may take students out of their regular activities on certain days during the school year. Since the academic calendar does not always coincide with these days, the following policy is to be followed in order to facilitate student absences due to cultural and religious observances.

    • As far in advance as possible, the student is expected to notify the professor(s) or instructor(s) of the class(es) to be missed.
    • The student is expected to learn what assignments or exams are due or will be assigned on those dates and negotiate with the professor(s) or instructor(s) alternate times for fulfilling those requirements. Students should be prepared to fulfill the requirements prior to the class(es) to be missed.
  • Final responsibility for assigning grades to students in a course rests with the faculty member teaching that course. Requirements and specific expectations concerning the level and way in which requirements are to be met are specific to a given course; it is inappropriate to expect that evaluations of course work can be made by third parties.

    Faculty members are expected to evaluate student performance based on the criteria and requirements outlined in course syllabi. All students are to be treated impartially and fairly in relation to those requirements. There are three bases for a grade appeal:

    1. Alleged failure of a faculty member to assign the proper weight as stated in the course syllabus to various parts of the assessment elements that contribute to the final grade.
    2. Alleged prejudicial treatment of a student in relation to the treatment afforded other students in the course.
    3. Alleged violation of the Academic Rights for Students as stated in the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

    The student should be prepared to demonstrate a direct link between the circumstances of the awarding of his/her grade and one of the bases above.

    An appeal cannot be based on a challenge to the difficulty of a course or on strictness of grading. Each faculty member is responsible for these standards, and, so long as they are applied equitably and fairly, their strict application is not a basis for an appeal. Should a student have reason to appeal the final grade in a course, the following appeal procedure must be followed in the sequence indicated below with Step 3 completed no more than 3 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the following regular semester. Students who are off campus while pursuing a grade appeal should work through the Director of Academic Success who will serve as the student’s liaison. In all cases, the Director will be responsible for informing the student, faculty member, and department chair involved of the Appeal of Grades Procedure.

    Step 1. The student first requests, schedules, and attends a face-to-face conference with the faculty member who taught the course to determine whether the matter can be settled between the student and the faculty member. A face-to-face meeting constitutes a conference; a conversation by voice-mail, e-mail or telephone does not. In the event that a faculty member is no longer employed at Southwestern, the student should proceed to Step 2, working with the chair of the department who will attempt to facilitate the process with or without the former faculty member.

    Step 2. After this conference, should the student continue to believe that fair and equitable treatment has not been given, the student must communicate that in writing to the instructor and the matter should be brought by the student to the faculty member’s department/program chair. This conversation should also be face-to-face, not by telephone, e-mail or voice-mail. If the faculty member who taught the course is also the department/program chair, the student should have a face-to-face conversation with a faculty member designated by the Dean of the Faculty.

    Step 3. If a settlement is not reached after the conversation referenced in Step 2, the student should take the complaint to the Associate Director. The circumstances of the appeal will be confirmed by the Associate Director and (s)he will review the grade appeal process with the student, providing feedback on the appropriateness of the appeal. An official form detailing the completed steps and timeline of the grade appeal process will be filled out at this time by the Associate Director and the student. A copy of this form will be forwarded to the faculty member and the chair of the department regardless of the outcome of this conversation. Should the student choose to continue the grade appeal process, (s)he will sign a statement indicating the intent on the form. This step should be completed within 3 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the semester immediately following the one in which the course was taught.

    Step 4. Should the student wish to continue the grade appeal process, the Director will ask the student to provide a written statement outlining the basis for the appeal. This statement must be submitted within 6 calendar weeks from the first day of classes of the semester immediately following the one in which the course was taught. The Director will then ask the faculty member to provide a written response. A copy of the faculty member’s response will be given to the student. The student may elect to provide a reply to the faculty member’s response which is shared with the faculty member. These documents and other relevant materials will then be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee.

    Step 5. The Academic Standards Committee is charged with evaluating such complaints and the evidence on which they are based. Meetings of the Academic Standards Committee are held in closed session. Should the committee conclude that there are not sufficient grounds for a student’s claim of prejudicial or unfair treatment, it will be reported to the student and to the faculty member in writing and the matter will be closed. Should the committee determine that there is a basis for this claim, its recommendation will be reported in writing to the Dean of the Faculty.

    Step 6. The Dean of the Faculty is then responsible for discussing the findings and recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee with the department chair and the faculty member involved. The department chair and the faculty member will then develop a solution for resolution of the complaint. Should the grade be changed, such change is reported by the faculty member to the Records Office on a Change of Grade Form. This will be reported to the student by the Dean of the Faculty in writing.

    Step 7. In cases where a faculty member refused to accept the recommendation of the committee and there is a reason to believe that the faculty member’s behavior was prejudicial or unfair, the Dean of the Faculty may authorize that the grade in the course be changed to a “CR” or a “W”. This will be reported to the student by the Dean of the Faculty in writing.

     

    (Approved by the Faculty on April 25, 2000)
  • Official course designation assignment requests are approved by the Curriculum Committee and occur during the Catalog review process.

    1. The determination of whether or not a course will fulfill general education Exploration and Breadth requirements is the responsibility of the appropriate academic area or school.
    2. In the case of interdisciplinary or cross-listed courses, courses that are clearly aligned with a particular area require no further review beyond the process outlined above. If a course is interdivisional or may be used to satisfy an Exploration and Breadth requirement in more than one area/school, it requires the approval of the area/school for which the credit would be listed.
    3. The assignment of the Writing Attentive designation to a course is determined by the department/program.
  • View “The Grid” here

  • A course is deleted from the curriculum in the following ways:

    1. Academic departments/programs propose deletions of outmoded or revamped courses when submitting departmental/program offerings for catalog copy.
    2. When a course has not been offered for more than three years, the Records Office notifies the appropriate department/program chair to see if deleting the course is appropriate. With departmental/program approval, the courses are deleted.

    Deleted courses must not change the major or minor requirements without the additional approval of the academic area (or School of Fine Arts), the Curriculum Committee, and the faculty as a whole.

  • IP credit for new or ongoing courses is determined as follows:

    1. The faculty member offering the course must apply for IP credit from the Intercultural Programs and Perspectives Committee (IPPC).
    2. The IP Proposal form is available upon request from the Chair and the IPPC. All questions on the form must be answered for the committee’s deliberations.
    3. The faculty member should initiate this process several months prior to registration for the semester in which the course will be offered in order for the committee to inform the faculty member and the Director of Records of its decision.

    The IPPC forwards its recommendations to the Curriculum Committee for deliberation. The Curriculum Committee reports approved courses to the faculty.

  • A course new to the curriculum is often taught under the XX-30X number, the University-wide designation for Special Topics courses (the first two numbers are the departmental code; the last number reflects the number of the credit hours). If the academic department/program desires to establish the course as a regular offering (or determines that a new course needs to be created to enhance the curriculum) the course is established as follows:
    1. The faculty member proposing the course will develop a catalog description of the course and provide a draft of the syllabus that includes the course description, student learning outcomes and/or objectives, format, proposed schedule, required reading, and grading policy. The faculty member will present this information to the chair of the academic department/program.
    2. The department/program will review the proposed course and discuss the role of the proposed course in the major, including whether the course would count toward the major and/or minor and whether it would be an upper level course. If the course is deemed acceptable, the department/program will submit the course title and course description to the Curriculum Committee as part of the departmental/programmatic response to the call for changes to the course catalog normally conducted in the spring semester.
    3. All changes to the course catalog, including new courses, are reviewed by the Curriculum Committee. If the new course is approved by the Curriculum Committee, the course will then be considered to be established.
  • Final evaluations are required in all courses. [See CPC Minutes, October 21, 1975.] The dates for final examinations are set by the Director of Records and the Dean of the Faculty and should be scrupulously followed. No faculty member is authorized to change the time or place of a scheduled class or final examination without approval of the Director of Records. Problems with the class or final examination schedule should be reported to the Director of Records. If a situation arises which causes special difficulties in the scheduling of an examination, the matter should be discussed with the Director of Records and the Dean of the Faculty. It is understood that final examinations will not be changed merely to move from a late date to an early date, as this usually creates more problems than it solves.

    Re-examination or special projects to raise grades are prohibited for students who have failed the course or the final examination except in exceptional cases as approved by the Dean of the Faculty.

    Students who for good reason must take a final examination at a time different from that of the regular section must obtain the consent of the instructor. Students who have three final examinations in one day have the right to reschedule the middle examination in consultation with the faculty member at least one week prior to the start of final exams.

    Students who are candidates for graduation in May should arrange any required final examinations during the four day period that begins with the last day of classes and ends with the first day of exams for the Spring semester. No student will be required to take more than two examinations in one day. Final semester grades for May and August candidates must be submitted to the Records Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday of final exam week.

    Details of the Southwestern grading system are outlined in the current issue of the University Catalog. The grades of A, B, C, and D may be awarded with a plus or minus. The instructor’s course syllabus must clearly indicate the grading system employed to yield the semester grade for the course and what weight is given to each component of the course in computing the semester grade. See “Academic Rights for Students.”

  • Plagiarism is the submission of another’s work as one’s own without acknowledgment in written work.

    There are basically four ways in which research papers use or incorporate written materials, and each of these requires footnoting.

    1. Direct Quotations should be marked off with quotation marks, with a footnote to indicate the source. It is not necessary to place in quotation marks every word in your paper that appears in a source you are using. If your paper concerns Napoleon, for example, you need not place “Napoleon” in quotation marks merely because your sources use the name. Similarly, there are phrases of some length such as “on the other hand” or “it is evident that” which are common property and act in effect as single words.
    2. Paraphrase. Where your own language follows closely the language of a written source, or where your line of argument follows a source, you need not use quotation marks, but you are obliged to indicate the source in a footnote.
    3. General Indebtedness. Where the ideas in your paper closely resemble and were suggested by ideas in a source, a footnote should be used to indicate this.
    4. Background Information. In any area of inquiry there are matters of fact commonly known to everyone with a serious interest. Such information need not be footnoted one fact at a time. Instead, a general footnote toward the beginning of the paper, naming the sources where such information was obtained, is sufficient.
  • 1. Course offerings for Summer School come through the respective department chair and are due in mid-February along with the annual course schedule for the upcoming year, so that the Records Office can distribute the Summer School schedule in early March. The Records Office will be the clearinghouse for and will send out a form to each department chair for submitting course offerings, including all summer study abroad courses.

    2. Instructors may offer Advanced Standing Examinations according to regular provisions in the University Catalog.

    3. Academic Internships and Independent Study

    A. Tuition should be paid in the term when the course is taken.

    B. A minimum of three on-site teacher-to-pupil contacts should be made by the instructor. This does not include telephone or letter contacts.

    C. The instructor can offer an Independent Study or an Internship as a course during the summer sessions and the load will be treated the same as any other course offerings in calculating teaching load. That is, an Internship or Independent Study enrollee counts as one student on a 12-student class. Travel and other expenses normally are borne by the instructor.

    D. Most Independent Studies and Internships to be offered will not be listed in the official Schedule of Classes in advance. Registration is generally via signed add card. Sections are added as cards are received. The Records Office must receive the Report of Independent Study for each Independent Study and the number must be entered on the student’s official registration card before registration closes for the session. If possible, the titles of all Independent Studies should be assigned at pre-registration. No student may take an Independent Study as the first course in a subject area.

    E. Independent Studies and Internships are generally placed in the Summer III term as are Southwestern study abroad courses.

    4. Teaching Load and Compensation

    A. For a regular course, the maximum teaching load is one 4-credit course during a three-week session (May or June term). For study abroad, a maximum of one semester hour may be offered for each week of the program’s scheduled duration.

    B. Summer School compensation is based on the type of course offered (regular course, tutorial, independent study, or internship). Compensation is determined by the Budget Committee on an annual basis. 

    • Compensation for a regular 4-credit course is $1,000 per student taught up to a maximum of $7,000 per course. Regular courses are capped at 12 students.
    • Compensation for a 4-credit tutorial is $900 per student taught up to a maximum of $4,500.
    • Compensation for an independent study of 4 or more credits is $800 per student taught.
    • Compensation for an internship of 4 or more credits is $700 per student.

    Faculty should contact the Dean of the Faculty’s Office for a description of instructor expectations across the types of courses offered during summer terms. Compensation for 1, 2, and 3 credit courses, tutorials, independent studies, and internships are proportional to the 4 credit levels.

    C. A class with fewer than five students pre-registered may be canceled at the discretion of the instructor immediately after registration. The Records Office will notify registered students of any canceled classes and modify the Summer Schedule of Classes accordingly. If, on the first day of the applicable summer term, enrollment has fallen to three students or less, the instructor, in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty and Director of Records, may then cancel the course.

    D. Faculty are paid immediately following each summer term, provided that grades have been submitted on Grade Request Rosters in accordance with University guidelines.

    E. In order to avoid delays in grade reporting and compensation, the summer faculty must follow normal drop/add procedures and observe the Summer School Calendar for drop dates, grade deadlines, etc.

    5. Types of courses recommended to be included in the Summer Schedule of Classes are:

    A. Courses that meet all-University General Education Requirements.

    B. Special opportunities for advanced work in a major such as academic internships, research projects, etc.

    C. Non-traditional or experimental courses especially designated for our summer school format.

    D. Required courses may not be offered only in summer school.

    5. Summer School classes are not ordinarily taught by outside faculty hired especially for summer school. Exceptions to this practice must be approved in advance by the Curriculum Committee upon recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty and the appropriate department chair.

    6. Summer School instructors are expected to have an office time of at least thirty minutes daily either immediately before or after their classes.

    7. Study abroad programs do not usually follow the Summer School Calendar. These conventions should be followed for drop dates, etc.: the last day to drop without record is at the end of the first one-third of the program, and the last day to drop is at the end of the second one-third of the program. Instructors are requested to enforce these dates and keep a written record of any changes in registration. Further, instructors are requested to confirm enrollments in their classes by email during the first week of the program. Grades are due upon the instructor’s return to campus. If there is a delay in the instructor’s return, grades should be reported by email from the instructor’s Southwestern email address. The last day for removing “Incomplete” grades is twenty-one calendar days after the end of the program.

    8. Interpretation and administration of these policies is the responsibility of the Director of Records.

  • Every effort should be taken to secure accurate and complete grade records in reporting to the Records Office. Under unusual circumstances a faculty member may change a grade after the grade reports have been filed by completing the form provided by the Records Office. After approval signatures have been secured, the changed grade will then be entered on the student’s permanent record. The grade change form is filed permanently with the Grade Request Form previously submitted by the faculty member.

  • End-of-Semester Grades. Semester grades are due in the Records Office by the Monday following the end of final exams. In the Spring only, grades of students graduating in Spring or Summer are due a week earlier—on the Monday that Spring Semester final exams begin. Faculty use WebAdvisor to enter their grades online. The same online mechanism is used for entry of “Academic Warning” notifications. Once entered, students may view their final grades via WebAdvisor, so there is no need for faculty to post grades on paper lists. It is difficult to post them without violating FERPA—the federal law regarding student privacy.

    Incomplete Grades. The grade of “Incomplete” shall be given only in the case of a medical emergency or some other emergency situation beyond the student’s control. The grade of “Incomplete” may not be given for the sole reason of permitting additional time to complete assigned course work or because a student does not attend a final exam. Students must request the grade of “Incomplete” by submitting a request to the appropriate faculty member which explains the emergency situation surrounding the request. This request must be acknowledged by the faculty member at the time the grade of “Incomplete” is assigned. When the “Incomplete” is given, it must be removed by 5:00 p.m. on the posted deadline (see the Academic Calendar). All “Incomplete” grades are changed to “F” after the deadline unless the student has filed a written petition for an extension, approved by the student’s faculty member and the Director of Records. The petition must establish a new deadline for the removal of the “Incomplete.” In the event that the student is unable to request an Incomplete from the faculty member, a request may be made on the student’s behalf by the Center for Academic Success.

    X Grade Symbol. The X grade symbol is to be assigned by the instructor only in cases of suspected academic dishonesty or where the grade cannot be assigned due to physical inability to access some existing but missing piece of required work. It may be used by the Director of Records if grades cannot be collected from the instructor before grades reports are mailed. The X grade symbol is considered very temporary, and the replacement grade should be reported by the faculty as soon as possible - generally within two weeks. When the X grade symbol is submitted by the instructor, it must be accompanied by a form explaining the nature of the problem, and agreeing to submit the grade in a timely manner. If X grade symbols persist to the deadline for reporting I grades, they will revert to the grade of F, except in cases where judicial review is pending.

    In the event that a student simply fails to appear for the final exam or submit a required project, neither X or I is appropriate. The grade should be calculated with a zero for the missing work. If circumstances justify, the grade can be changed later by the instructor, via the grade change form.

  • Examination papers and term papers which are not returned to the student by the end of the semester should be retained for at least one full additional semester. [See Minutes of Academic Affairs Council, May 13, 1971.]

  • The library will retain only electronic copies of each honors thesis completed, beginning in Spring 2015. The thesis, with a scanned completed signature page included, will be uploaded to Southwestern’s institutional repository, SU Scholar, at suscholar.southwestern.edu. The library will review the submission, assign metadata, and make it publicly available, with a stable URL.

    In addition, if requested, the library will bind one printed copy as our gift to graduating honors students, for no charge. To receive a bound copy, students should bring the printed thesis pages, already in order, along with a completed signature page, to the library. Pages must have at least a 1 inch margin on the left side of the page (more if possible), and at least a 1/2 inch margin on the other three sides because the bindery will crop the pages in the binding process. Most theses have a 1 inch margin all around. Students should include with the thesis their full name, future email address (and a non-SU email if possible), and a phone number and address where the thesis can be mailed in December. This information and the printed work should be submitted to Debi Flummer in SLC 120.

  • In the 2010 - 2011 academic year, Southwestern University implemented a new curricular structure that shifted the normal student course load from five three-hour courses to four four-credit courses per semester. The shift, which reflects the practice of most national liberal arts colleges, was implemented to allow for a deeper and more rigorous learning experience for students. In the decision making process that led to this curricular change, the Academic Affairs Council (AAC) determined that the intensification of courses would take one of two forms: either increased class time or increased expectations for student work and/or faculty interaction outside of the regularly scheduled class period. Therefore, courses yielding four credits at Southwestern University must meet one of the two following standards:

    Option A: Minimum class time of 150 minutes per week with students expected to work outside of class a minimum of 2.5 hours per week, per credit.

    Option B: Minimum class time of 200 minutes per week with students expected to work outside of class a minimum 2 hours per week, per credit.

    Course syllabi will reflect the expectations of the in-class and out-of-class work that will be expected of students in the course.

    The Academic Affairs Council also determined that most courses in the curriculum would be the four-credit course. Class time and out-of-class work for courses yielding fewer than four credits will be expressed as some proportion of a four-credit course.

    It should be noted that courses taken elsewhere and accepted for transfer credit at Southwestern will be accepted as follows: One semester hour will count as one semester credit. For example, a three-hour course at another institution would yield three-semester credits at Southwestern. If the course is deemed to satisfy a University requirement, it would still only yield three-semester credits and students would be required to take additional credits to complete the required 127 credits for degree completion.

  • The University Catalog states that students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes for which credit is granted. Individual faculty members establish specific attendance policies, which appear in the syllabus for each course. Official excuses are not normally issued except as described below. In the case of extended illness or other emergency, the Center for Academic Success and Records notifies faculty members by e-mail, voice-mail, or in writing. The faculty members then decide whether the situation justifies an excused absence for the student involved. Detailed procedures for notifying faculty of an absence may be found in the Student Handbook.

    Whenever an excused absence has been granted, the faculty member is expected to offer students an opportunity to complete missed examinations or other required work, but it is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor about missed assignments, etc.

    Students who are absent from class because they are participating in intercollegiate athletics, class-related field trips, ensemble tours, interviews at graduate schools, or faculty-sponsored attendance at professional conferences will be excused from classes as follows:

    1. A student’s excused absence from class does not excuse any work missed during the absence, but does excuse the student from any penalty that would otherwise be imposed by a professor’s attendance policy.
    2. The student and the professor will devise an appropriate means for the student to complete assignments, class work, examinations, labs, etc. scheduled during the absence. The responsibility to complete missed work lies solely with the student, who must discuss the absence with the professor as far in advance as possible to work out a satisfactory schedule for submitting work due, taking exams, making up labs, etc. This schedule may involve the student’s completing certain items before rather than after the absence.
    3. Coaches, sponsors, and professors should make every effort to schedule approved activities held off-campus so as to produce the least conflict with scheduled classes.
    4. Professors whose courses require field trips should include the requirement in the University Catalog description of the course and indicate the scheduled dates of the trip in the course syllabus, to allow students time to resolve schedule conflicts or drop/add courses, if necessary.

    For the kinds of absences described above to be excused, a statement of the nature and purpose of the activity, a list of names of the students and faculty members participating in the activity, and the dates and hours during which these participants will be off campus must be submitted in writing by the sponsor of the activity to the Center for Academic Success and Records or the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, depending on the nature of the activity. The Director for Academic Success, the Academic Success and Records Specialist, or the appropriate designated person within Student Affairs will distribute information about the scheduled activity and the names of the students whose absences are to be excused to all faculty members and to the Business Office (to confirm insurance coverage). The Dean of the Faculty may restrict participation in off-campus activities of students who are on academic or disciplinary probation.

  • The faculty is reminded that there are legal standards regarding keeping student records, disclosing confidential information, giving reference letters, etc. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, prescribes the conditions under which information about students can be released and has opened many once-confidential internal records to review by students. The faculty should become thoroughly familiar with the appropriate pages of the current Student Handbook, which indicate where student records are kept and what access is granted to them. The University Catalog, Advising Handbook, and Staff Handbook also carry relevant information.

    Certain directory information is available via the mySouthwestern portal. Other directory information which may be published in appropriate forms includes the student’s name, local residence address, mailing address, local telephone number, date, and place of birth, major field of study, photographs or other personal imagery, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and any recent previous educational institution attended by the student. Because of legal considerations and because of Southwestern’s respect for student’s privacy, only those student employees in the Records Office are permitted to work with any documents which contain student grades. In conformity with the policy, faculty members and administrative staff are requested not to send departmental student employees to work with student records in the Records Office nor may student permanent records be removed from the Records Office.

    Faculty members are well advised to handle all records as confidential and to avoid release of materials about a student to anyone other than the student, unless it is known that the person requesting the information has a legal right to it or the student has granted permission, in writing, to release such materials to a third party.

    Further, faculty members should not discuss any academic or personal matters relating to students with other students or outsiders (such as representatives of news media) without a signed release from the student specifically granting permission to do so.

  • Fall Study Days consist of the weekend following the last day of class and preceding the start of finals week. Spring Study Days consist of the four-day period (Thursday through Sunday) following the last day of class and preceding the start of finals week. No activities (curricular or extracurricular including tests, finals, make-up work, etc.) requiring student participation are scheduled during this time set aside for final preparations. Exceptions to this restriction must be approved in advance by the Dean of the Faculty. Spring-semester final examinations for seniors graduating in May and August may be scheduled during the last three days of the spring semester or during study days.