COVID-19: Essential Information

Guidelines for Faculty

The following is a list of expectations and guidelines, intended to serve as a  practical guide for new faculty. For general expectations of faculty members at Middlebury, please visit the Faculty Handbook in section II. Policies for the Undergraduate College in the Middlebury Handbook.

  • In addition to attendance at meetings of the faculty, you 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 College Store offers an interest-free loan program, open to all faculty, to support the purchase of academic regalia. Contact the Bookstore (802) 443-5334 or for more information.

  • Teaching responsibilities for full-time faculty members include, on average, 4.5 course preparations, 18 contact hours, and 90 enrolled students per academic year, as averaged over 4 years. These numbers represent a total of Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The teaching responsibilities are explained in more detail on the Academic Affairs website. 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.

  • Best practices in teaching and learning recommend that you should have at least a basic syllabus, with key dates and types of assignments ready before the first day of class. You can find more information here on the elements this basic syllabus should include. We recommend that you post your syllabus on Course Hub, thereby ensuring that students can make informed choices.

  • By the first week of class you should have a clear and complete syllabus, informing students of your expectations in terms of use of materials (to be purchased or otherwise acquired by the students), attendance/absences, graded work (including format, citations, and submission dates), examinations and final examinations. [See the Academic Policies in section II. Policies for the Undergraduate College in the Middlebury Handbook for guidelines.] You should also include in your syllabus the Honor Code and the College policy on plagiarism. The annual Teaching & Writing Retreat will help tremendously with your preparation of syllabi that meet Middlebury standards. 

  • 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 Bookstore).

  • 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, and may provide a useful starting point for discussion of departmental grading practices.) You should return graded work promptly and with feedback while it still has pedagogical significance. Normally, we consider this to be within two weeks from the date the assignment was submitted.

  • Please plan your assignments and grading schedule so that your students have some sense of their progress in your course prior to the drop-add deadline at the end of the fifth week of the semester (seventh week for first-year students in their first semester). Students experiencing serious difficulty should be referred to their Deans and made aware of academic resources available through the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research (CTLR). We strongly encourage faculty to submit Course Warnings when they are warranted and to do so in a timely fashion, so that support staff have time to actually assess and help the struggling student fix the problems.

  • You 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. This includes Winter Term, even those Januarys when you are not scheduled to teach. You are expected to hold at least three regularly scheduled office hours per week, arranged so as not to fall in the same course time slot. These office hours should be announced on your syllabus - an essential element of your course management - and posted in your Directory information online. To post office hours online, go to the Directory and select 'Change Information'. After logging on, you will be able to list your office hours for the current semester. Please add "and by appointment" to your office hours, as you are expected to meet students by appointment when necessary. 

  • If you need to miss a class due to illness or travel, you are encouraged to ask a colleague to replace you. When you 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. If you anticipate missing a significant amount of class time (more than three classes or five working days) due to illness or other circumstances, you should contact the VPAA/DoF. Chairs should refer colleagues confronting serious medical issues - those that require missing more than a week of class - to the Dean of the Faculty, who can make sure that they are aware of our policies for short-term and long-term disability leaves. 

  • It is good practice, especially for new faculty, to get an early sense of how your courses are progressing. Possible ways to do so include: having students provide informal written feedback in class (preferably anonymous) after a month in order to allow time for modifications before the official course response forms are completed at the end of the course; 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).

  • College regulations allow for "the equivalent of four days per month" maximum for external consulting - see policy on consulting and outside employment in the Faculty Handbook in section II. Policies for the Undergraduate College in the Middlebury Handbook. Consulting opportunities that require great time commitments must be approved in advance by the VPAA/DoOF. Such consulting should not interfere with your normal teaching schedules. All consulting obligations that involve contractual arrangements or continuing commitments must be approved by the VPAA/DoOF.

  • Please familiarize yourself with the College policies on the following:

Drug and alcohol use and Plagiarism and the honor system ("Alcohol and Other Drugs,"  "Academic Honesty, the Honor Code, and Related Disciplinary Policies,")

"Anti-harassment/Discrimination Policy," "Americans with Disabilities Act Policy,"

and "Rules on Appointment and Tenure for Academic Faculty," all available in section II. Policies for the Undergraduate College in the Middlebury Handbook. New faculty will receive information on many of these policies during orientation.

Academic Administration
Old Chapel
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753