Questions to Ask in Your Department

While many policies and procedures are consistent across campus, there are sometimes significant differences between colleges, departments and programs. Here are some questions it may be best to ask your chair or department representative:

  1. Has my paperwork been sent to Human Resources? [The reason this is important: You cannot log in to MyUSF https://my.usf.edu/ until your paperwork is done and a NetID is created for you.]
  2. How many office hours per week should I hold?
  3. What are the departmental policies regarding overrides to fill a class beyond its standard enrollment cap?
  4. How can I make photocopies for class?
  5. Does our department or college provide instructional supplies like dry-erase markers?
  6. Do we use Scantrons in our department? If so, which color? Where do we get or buy them? And how do we grade them (is there a reader in the department or do we use the Centralized Test Scoring service)?
  7. Does our department have a document or website explaining how my courses fit into the larger curriculum? You'll want to pay particular attention to curricular goals and to what extent your class includes prerequisites or instills basic skills needed for courses further in the curriculum.]
  8. Will I "inherit" a syllabus for my class, or perhaps several previous examples? Is it preferred that I customize the syllabus or leave it alone?
  9. Are there particular policies that should be in every syllabus in our department (i.e., about use of technology, or www.turnitin.com, etc.). [See http://www.usf.edu/atle/teaching/syllabus.aspx for several examples of standardized policy statements.] Is there a departmental attendance policy that needs to be on the syllabus?
  10. Am I required in this department or program to use plus/minus grading, or alternately "flat" grading, or is the choice up to me?
  11. Is there a standard breakdown in our department of each grade level (i.e., at what percentage an A- turns into an A)?
  12. When are department faculty meetings? Am I expected/encouraged/discouraged to attend?
  13. Who does the textbook ordering for our department? What are our internal deadlines?
  14. Will I receive an inbox/mailbox in the department?
  15. Can I order business cards?