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Chapter 3
Faculty Responsibilities

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Academic Advising

Tenure-stream faculty members and full-time lecturers in undergraduate departments are expected to serve periodically as pre-major and major advisers, and advisers to graduate students, as appropriate. New members of the faculty, although ineligible for pre-major advising during the first year, are expected to become familiar with the requirements of the curriculum to assume the duties of advising. The extent and quality of a faculty member's service as an adviser is part of the evaluation for professional performance. Each student at Tufts is assigned a pre-major adviser upon matriculation. A faculty member assigned as a pre-major adviser is responsible for the academic advising of a student until that student declares a major or requests a change of adviser. If a pre-major adviser goes on leave, that faculty member must notify the student as well as the director of advising in undergraduate education (in the School of Arts and Sciences) or the associate dean for undergraduate education (in the School of Engineering), who will help the student find a new adviser. In the School of Arts and Sciences, the department or program is responsible for ensuring that all major advisees in a department or program have faculty advisers. In the School of Engineering, the associate dean for undergraduate education assigns advisers with the input of the department chairs.

To fulfill their advising function well, advisers must be familiar with the requirements and policies governing programs of study. Faculty should understand the operation of the student information system (SIS). Detailed information, reflecting changes in requirements and policies each year, is found in the Arts, Sciences and Engineering Bulletin, especially the general information section, and the Adviser's Handbook, distributed to faculty advisers. Engineering faculty members can refer to Frequently Asked Questions for Advisors.

The Office of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies for Arts, Sciences and Engineering sponsors periodic workshops pre-major advisers are expected to attend. Advisers should be familiar also with university services and resources such as the Academic Resource Center, the Office of Financial Aid, the Experimental College, the Office of Career Services, and Health Services, and should refer students as appropriate.

In the Office of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies there is an associate dean responsible for each student. Students in the School of Arts and Sciences are allocated to these deans alphabetically; all School of Engineering undergraduates fall under the purview of the associate dean for undergraduate education. Direct and sustained contact with the deans is crucial in the schools' attempts to promote the success of every student. The Division of Undergraduate and Graduate Students also administers prelaw and premedical advising; advising and support for commuting, adult, and transfer students; advising for students in the BA/BFA program and joint programs with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and the New England Conservatory of Music; and students in study abroad programs (both Tufts and non-Tufts programs). In addition, the office assists students applying for Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Truman, and other postgraduate fellowships and scholarships. The office also provides oversight of student academic performance and certification of degrees. Comprehensive information about all of these offices and services and the resources available to students can be found here.

Faculty should refer to the appropriate pages in the Arts, Sciences and Engineering Bulletin for more information on academic standing and satisfactory progress toward the degree. In the School of Engineering, the associate dean of undergraduate education certifies all undergraduate degrees.

Advisers to graduate students should maintain close contact with the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or to the associate dean for graduate education of the School of Engineering on matters pertaining to admission, satisfactory degree progress, and degree requirement completion.

Special Resources

Students come to Tufts from a variety of backgrounds and may find they are intimidated by the diversity at Tufts, or find that they are the victims of stereotyping and discrimination. There are resources on campus devoted to providing support and community for members of specific constituencies: the Africana Center; the Asian American Center; the International Center; the Latino Center; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center; and the Women's Center. In addition, both faculty members and students may consult Tufts chaplains.

If a student's problems seem to stem from personal crisis or emotional stress, it is very important to inform the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The staff can offer assistance and advice on a variety of problems, including excessive absences from class, suspected substance abuse, and inappropriate behavior (such as threatening or intimidating behavior toward others).

Tufts University also has a counseling center that is available without charge for short- or long-term treatment. A faculty member may discuss a student's problems without committing himself or herself to a particular course of action, and without needing to divulge the name of the student. In general, the members of the professional staff in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and the counseling center are best equipped to deal with student crises. Faculty members should not deal with these situations alone. For more information regarding dealing with students in distress, please see "Students in Distress: A Guide for Faculty, Staff, and TAs." Faculty members with questions or concerns about a student with a disability should consult with the Director of Student Accessibility Services.