Guidelines for Faculty

The following is a list of expectations and guidelines, intended primarily to supplement College Handbooks and to serve as a practical guide for faculty. For general expectations of faculty members at Middlebury, please see the section of the Faculty Handbook under Rules of Appointment 1. b. “Principles”.

In addition to attendance at meetings of the faculty, colleagues are expected to participate in significant all-College events such as Commencement, Convocation, and faculty-related events during Fall Family Weekends. The College will pay for the cost of rental of academic regalia for full-time junior faculty.

The teaching load at Middlebury is specified as an average of 4.5 courses per year by the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC), with appropriate application by individual departments and the Dean of the Faculty. Colleagues on regular appointment at all ranks are expected to share equally in teaching and advising, including independent and senior work, and to share in the day-to-day tasks necessary for the administration of our academic programs.

Faculty are expected to be available (i. e., either on campus, by phone or where appropriate by e-mail), for advising, consultation, committee work, etc., on the days when College classes meet. They are expected to announce on their syllabus, and to post, their office hours, i. e., at least three hours per week (arranged so as not to fall in the same course time slot). Colleagues are encouraged to add "and by appointment," because they are in any case expected to meet students by appointment when necessary. They should also outline under what circumstances students may contact them by phone at home, and via e-mail.

When one cannot be appropriately replaced by a colleague, any missed classes should be made up promptly, and at times that do not unduly interfere with the other demands on students' time. College regulations allow for "the equivalent of four days per month" maximum for external consulting--see the policy on consulting and outside employment in the Handbook. Wherever possible, such consulting should not interfere with the normal class schedule. Obligations that require greater time away need to be discussed with, and approved by, the Dean of the Faculty in advance.

Faculty should make clear at the outset of their courses what their expectations are in terms of attendance/absences, graded work (including format, citations, and submission dates), examinations and final examinations. (See the "Academics" section of the Middlebury College Handbook for guidelines.) They should also make a point to remind students of the College policy on plagiarism, and the Honor Code.

Course materials that students are expected to purchase should be used thoroughly in the course. In cases where only partial use is likely, there is the option of using the electronic reserve system ( at the Library, or of creating a course pack (information is available through the College Store).

Colleagues new to Middlebury should discuss grading practices with experienced colleagues early in the term. (A table of grade distribution by department is circulated to faculty every year.) Graded work should be returned to students promptly while it may still have pedagogical significance. Grade sheets should also be returned promptly to the Registrar’s office at the end of the semester.

Students should have some sense of their progress in a course prior to the drop-add deadline at the end of the fifth week of classes (seventh week for first-year students in their first semester). Students in serious difficulty should be referred to their prospective Commons Deans or to the Office of Learning Resources.

If a final exam is to be given, students should be so notified at the outset of the course (no final exams are allowed in the final week of class). Cancellation of classes immediately prior to or following a vacation almost always places unfair pressure on other colleagues to do the same, and should occur only in an emergency.

New faculty are strongly encouraged to get an early sense of how their courses are progressing. Possible ways to do so include: having students do an evaluation (preferably anonymous and written), e. g., after a month of class and in order to allow time for modifications before the official evaluation done by students at the end of the course; having one's course videotaped for purposes of self-assessment; observation of others' teaching, or of one's own classes by a colleague from within or outside the department (such observation occurs only at the invitation of the individual who wishes to be observed).

Colleagues are particularly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the College policies on the following:

Drug and alcohol use and Plagiarism and the honor system (Alcohol and Other Drugs Academic Disciplinary Policies)
Harassment (Middlebury College Handbook, Harassment Policy)
Rules on Appointment and Tenure (Middlebury College Handbook, Rules of Appointment and Tenure)


Academic Administration
Old Chapel
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753