Teaching and Student Relations

As teachers, faculty members

  • encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students;
  • hold before their students the best scholarly and ethical standards;
  • demonstrate respect for students as individuals;
  • adhere to their role of intellectual guides and counselors; and
  • protect their students' academic freedom.

(Adapted from AAUP statement, 1966, Revised 1987; and part of the UC Faculty Code of Conduct, APM - 015*).

The University, in turn, protects the academic freedom of a faculty member. The University is founded upon faith in intelligence and knowledge and it must defend their free operation. It must rely upon truth to combat error. Its obligation is to see that the conditions under which questions are examined are those which give play to intellect rather than to passion. Essentially the freedom of a University is the freedom of competent persons in the classroom. (APM - 010, University Regulation No. 5*)

Teaching Load

The teaching load varies among departments. New appointees may wish to consult the department chair regarding the course load they will be expected to assume.

Teaching Assistance

In conducting large courses, especially in the lower division, a faculty member may be assisted by graduate students.

Teaching Assistant or Associate:

  • may conduct under the direction of a faculty member, recitation, laboratory, or quiz sections but
  • may not be responsible for the entire instructional content of any course, for the selection of student assignments, for the planning of examinations, or for determining the final grades of students.

Teaching Fellow:

  • may, under the general supervision of a faculty member, provide the entire instruction of a lower division course.
  • for instruction at the upper division level, see Regulations of the Academic Senate, 730 (B).


  • assists the faculty member in evaluating papers and examinations or providing tutorial assistance to groups of students or to individual students but
  • does not conduct class sections.

Appointment of a University student may not exceed half-time in any combination of University titles. (APM - 410 -- Student Teachers) (APM - 420 -- Reader)

Course Selection

While full consideration is given to a faculty member's preference of courses, no individual or department has any absolute right to give any particular course. However, it is the department chair's responsibility to assign courses. New courses must be approved by the Senate. (APM - 003, University Regulation No.3*)


Traditionally the University has permitted interested individuals, including registered students, to audit classes with the consent of, and under such rules as may be established by the faculty member in charge.

Faculty Responsibilities

The Faculty Code of Conduct (APM - 015*) delineates these responsibilities. A faculty member is expected:

  • to meet classes
  • to post and keep regular office hours open to students without prior appointment
  • to hold examinations as scheduled
  • to evaluate student work in a timely manner
  • to ensure that grades directly reflect course performance.

Evaluation of Teaching

Teaching is an essential criterion to appointment or advancement; tenure is granted only with clear documentation of ability and diligence in the teaching role. (APM - 210-1*)

Department chairs are charged with gathering evidence of a candidate's teaching ability at all levels of instruction, from lower division to graduate courses and dissertation supervision. Such evidence may include opinions of other members of the department, students, and alumni; the number and quality of students guided in research or attracted to the campus by the individual's reputation; and development of new and effective techniques of instruction. (APM - 210-1)

Departments prepare academic review records for all faculty members under consideration for merit increases and promotion. The kinds of information on teaching normally included in the academic review records are students' evaluations of the faculty member s teaching, solicited letters from former students, descriptions of new courses prepared, and lists of Ph.D. qualifying committees chaired and dissertations supervised.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

As a way of recognizing and encouraging excellent teaching, each campus presents awards annually to a small number of outstanding teachers.

Grants to Improve Teaching Quality

The Instructional Improvement Program (IIP) has an annual budget of approximately $3 million. Although it is a Universitywide program, IIP is administered by the campuses, and the types of sponsored projects vary from campus to campus. In general, program funds are devoted to development of new, innovative courses; major curriculum revision in specific disciplines or groups of disciplines; and the training of teaching assistants.

Student Relations/Advising

Faculty members are expected to advise students in planning their academic programs. Other issues, such as choice of a major, career opportunities, tutorial help, and improvement of study skills are commonly dealt with by counseling services on each campus.

Absences from Class

A faculty member will deal directly with a student with respect to the student's brief absences from class for any cause.


If emergency health or safety problems arise in class and/or on campus, the campus police or the Student Health Service should be notified.


Details vary from campus to campus regarding changes in final course grades given to students, ungraded courses, and removal of incomplete grades; faculty members should consult the Divisional Academic Senate Regulations or the campus Registrar for detailed information.

Exclusion of Students from Class

A faculty member may limit enrollment in any class to students with adequate preparation.

Academic Misconduct

There are Universitywide student disciplinary policies applicable to academic misconduct. Procedures regarding how a faculty member handles academic misconduct vary from campus to campus.

For more information, see Sections 100 through 106, Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline*, Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (Revised August 15, 1994) or consult the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate or Student Affairs.

Student Organizations

Occasionally, faculty members may receive various kinds of social invitations from student organizations, such as invitations to dinner or requests to participate in group activities or to serve as advisors to student organizations. Any such participation on the part of faculty members is appreciated by the student group and encouraged by the University.

Student Rights - Privacy of Student Records

The disclosure of information from student records is largely governed by State and Federal law. University policy has been developed to provide reasonable interpretations of those laws. See Sections 130 through 134, Policies Applying to the Disclosure of Information from Student Records, Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (Revised August 15, 1994). Where the law is silent, campuses are guided by two principles: (1) the privacy of an individual is of great weight, and (2) the information in a student's file should be disclosed to the student on request.

Without the written consent of the student, disclosure of confidential information from student records to faculty members is limited to those records in which the faculty member has a legitimate educational interest. Legitimate educational interest is determined by the unit head where the student record is maintained.


It is illegal and/or against University policy to discriminate against a student on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic, or national origin, ancestry, marital status, medical condition, status as a Vietnam-era veteran or disabled veteran, or, within the limits imposed by law or University regulations, because of age or citizenship; or for other arbitrary or personal reasons. (Faculty Code of Conduct, APM - 015*)

Freedom from Sexual Harassment

The University is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in University programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including inappropriate sexual behavior. Sexual harassment is prohibited both by law and by University policy. (APM - 035, Appendix A*)

Each campus has developed procedures to resolve student grievances claiming violation of existing University policies on disclosure of information from student records, on nondiscrimination, and on sexual harassment. Many, such as the sexual harassment complaint resolution, include pre-grievance processes which attempt to resolve complaints at the earliest possible stage. Universitywide policies concerning students rights are outlined in Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (Revised August 15, 1994). Copies are available from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate or Student Affairs.