Frequently Asked Questions
In each of the sections below, you will find answers to some of the questions that faculty new to SDSU may have. If there is a question you think should be added, please send it to the CTL Director at [email protected].
Who do I call if...
First see if your department administrator is around; they usually have master keys for all department offices. Next, call the University Police [619-594-1991].
Enterprise Technology Client Services provides campus support for Google Apps, Site License Software Distribution, Voice/Data Work Orders, SDSUid and AztecLink account services to the SDSU community via phone, email, and our walk-in location located in the Love Library; Help Desk Phone: 619-594-5261 (Help Desk Analysts). Help and Support for other academic departments and auxiliaries may be obtained directly from those departments. Please inquire with your technical contact, department coordinator or supervisor for more information.
https://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/registrar/facstaffportal.html WebPortal accounts are automatically created for faculty during the hiring process. Faculty should refer to their department coordinator to obtain a temporary WebPortal password.
All classrooms are equipped with a telephone (typically located near the instructor podium) as well as signage containing the Learning Spaces help desk phone number (44357 or 4HELP). ITS staff are available to assist you from 7:30 am-10:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 am – 4:30 pm on Friday.
To ensure success in the classroom, all instructors who would like to use the technology must receive training from ITS. Once training has been completed, you will get a key issue authorization form which you will take to Key Issue (by Public Safety) to obtain the key.
How do I / where do I go to...
There are three different F/S permits available: 10-month payroll deductible permits (Valid for only ten months out of the year: August 15 – June 15), Twelve-month payroll deductible permits, and Semester permits. Payroll deduction permits must be obtained in person at Parking & Transportation Services [University Police Department, Outside Window, 5350 55th Street, Campus Map or use the Campus Wayfinder]. Daily, Weekly, Monthly & Semester permits may be obtained online. F/S permits are valid only in F/S and Student lots. Faculty members who have officially retired with “Emeritus” status may obtain a free yearly permit at Parking & Transportation Services with a valid emeritus identification card. The emeritus permit is free unless the individual is participating in “FERP” or is continuing employment. Retired staff of 20 years may receive a free parking permit for up to 12 months unless the individual is an annuitant. The employee must obtain an SDSU ID card from the Aztec Card Office with the appropriate status to obtain the permit through Parking & Transportation Services.
See the academic calendar. Note that the official beginning of the semester (when faculty are contractually obligated to be available) is generally a few days prior to the first day of classes.
See the Final Exam schedule (Office of the Registrar). The Senate Policy File states that final exams must be given on the designated day:
1.0 Final Examinations and Projects
1.1 Because of many valid methods of instruction, not all courses may require the standard, comprehensive final examination. When, however, an instructor does conclude a course with a major, comprehensive final examination, that examination shall be given at the place and time scheduled during the final examination week. Other tests such as an hour exam or quiz may be given during the final week of classes. No examinations shall be given on “study and consultation” days.
1.2 Although university policy does not demand the administration of a final, comprehensive examination on the day, time, and place specified in the Class Schedule, the days designated for Final Examinations shall be counted among the academic workdays constituting the legally defined semester or session. Every instructor, therefore, shall conduct some class business with students on the day and at the time officially scheduled for the final examination for each course. The instructor may use the scheduled final examination period to review examinations or projects with the class.
1.3 Should an instructor determine that final course assignments can be called neither “major, comprehensive final examinations” nor “hour exams” nor even “projects,” the instructor shall exercise professional expertise and responsibility, common sense, and good will to translate the letter and spirit of this policy.
Yes, you must have office hours; the Senate Policy File states: “4.0 Faculty Office Hours: Each faculty member shall hold regularly scheduled office hours and shall post a schedule of those hours and their contact information at their office location and within their syllabus.” How many office hours you should have will depend on how many classes you are teaching and department norms so you should check with your department chair.
The Senate Policy File states:
“2.0 Course Syllabi: The syllabus for each course shall describe the course’s purpose, scope and student learning outcomes. In addition, each syllabus shall include office hours and contact information for the instructor, refer to the current procedure for accommodating students with disabilities (refer to Student Disability Services), and describe the course design, required materials, schedule, and grading policies, which may vary by section. A syllabus shall not bind the instructor to specific details, and the instructor shall retain the right to adjust the course design. Major departures from the syllabus, however, especially with regard to student learning outcomes, major assignment due dates and exam dates, and grading policies, shall be made only for compelling reasons.”
For additional information on what goes into a good syllabus, see the CTL Issues page on Syllabus Design.
The Senate Policy File does govern certain aspects of the classroom experience. The CTL has compiled all the teaching-related policies. Even if there is not a specific policy, there are often department or institutional norms about how to handle certain classroom issues so if you are unsure, be sure to check with your department chair, colleagues or the CTL Director.
If a student requests accommodations for a disability, you should refer them to Student Disability Serviceswhere they can be evaluated. Furthermore, the Senate Policy File states, ““To the extent possible, the University shall provide course material that is accessible to all persons regardless of disability.” ITS provides some guidance on creating accessible course materials. Students who expect to miss class because of University activities (such as athletics) or religious observances should notify you by the end of the second week of classes and you should reasonably accommodate these requests [Note that the CA Education Code §89320 requires that students be permitted to take a test or examination at a time when it does not violate the student’s religious creed, even if the student fails to provide adequate notification].
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guides policy on student records. University policy is clear: “Do not release or discuss student information to parents or guardians without written consent by the student. Parents and guardians do not have a legal right to his/her child’s post-secondary educational records, even if that child is a minor. Exceptions do apply in certain circumstances. Please contact the Office of the Registrar at 619-594-6871 with any questions.”
Although instructors have the freedom to decide how to handle cheating and plagiarism within the instructional context (e.g., you get to decide if you give the student a zero, let them re-do the assignment, fail the course, etc.), all incidents of academic dishonesty must also be reported to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (there is an online form you can use), as mandated by Executive Order 1098.
Most faculty are aware that we are mandatory reporters for child abuse of minors but fewer realize that all University employees (except physicians, licensed counselors, sexual assault counselors and advocates) also have a duty to report any Sexual Violence incidents of which they become aware. Such incidents should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator so the University can take the appropriate steps to investigate. Such reporting does NOT mean the police will be notified immediately; it does mean that victims will be provided with support, information and resources so they can make informed decisions about how they want to proceed. For more information and resources, visit the Title IX website.
It is best to refer the student to the Undocumented Resource Area at SDSU located in SSE 2109 (inside of the EOP office), where their coordinator, Cynthia Torres can assist them. You can connect the student via email [email protected] or call 619-594-4799. Keep in mind, that the student has made the decision to trust you with their status and should be treated with confidentiality. Also per our SDSU and CSU policies: "The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, genetic information, religion, or veteran status in its programs and activities, including admission and access. Federal and state laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Equity in Higher Education Act, prohibit such discrimination."
It is important to acknowledge the limits of our abilities and skills; in many situations, it may be better to refer the student to another office rather than try to ‘wing it’ yourself. Where you send them will depend on the nature of the issue but the Student Resources section of this guide provides information about several offices around campus to which you can send the student. Of course, most of those offices also will provide resources and advice to faculty so don’t hesitate to call and ask them how you can help your student directly. The last page of the Faculty Handbook also provides a handy list of where to send students with specific issues.
Miscellaneous other questions
Enterprise Technology Client Services (ETCS), manages and distributes several site licensed software suites to the campus community. Software titles include but are not limited to Adobe, Endnote, SAS, SPSS, McAfee, TechSmith, and Zoom. SDSU faculty and staff can visit our Software Distribution Center to learn more. Software titles specific to other academic departments and auxiliaries may be obtained directly from those departments. Please inquire with your technical contact or supervisor for more information. Also note that your SDSUid account gives you access to Microsoft Office.
SDSU has established a notification system that is capable of sending text and e-mail messages in the event of a campus-wide emergency or health and safety concern. It is not intended to supplant any personal emergency contact information you may have provided to Human Resources. You can sign up for these alerts at https://phonebook.sdsu.edu/ealert/.
CSU Executive Order 1096 prohibits “Employees from entering into a consensual relationship with any Student or Employee over whom they exercise direct or otherwise significant academic, administrative, supervisory, evaluative, counseling, or extracurricular authority.” The policy also notes, ” In the event such a relationship already exists, each Campus shall develop a procedure to reassign such authority to avoid violations of this policy.” In general, faculty members should take care that their interactions with students follow the highest standards of professional conduct. Behaviors that an instructor may consider to be supportive, friendly, or jocular may be interpreted as harassing or stalking by a student. Faculty members should be especially cautious about socializing with students in environments that serve alcohol and should never drink with underage students.