Policies and Procedures

Click on the topics below for information related to policies and procedures relevant to faculty at USF.

Academic Calendar | Academic Dishonesty | Academic Freedom | Classroom Emergencies | College Governance | Copyright | EthicsPointFaculty Handbook | Fair Use | FERPA | Final Examinations | First Day Attendance | Grade Policy | Grade Record Retention | Last Day of Attendance | Personal Relationships with Students | Religious Holidays | STUDENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES (SAS) | Technology Policies | Textbooks | Title IX Mandatory Reporting | USF Accreditation | USF Policy Index

Academic Calendar

The Registrar's Office at USF provides access to academic calendars.

Academic Dishonesty

USF considers any form of cheating on examinations or plagiarism on assigned papers to be unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Faculty have the option to assign a special "FF" grade (F grade for reasons of dishonesty).

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom refers to the full right of faculty to research, publish, and teach without fear of institutional censorship.

Classroom Emergencies

In an emergency, dial 911 to reach USF Police (or on their non-emergency number, 813-974-2628). The Faculty & Staff Emergency Reference Guide outlines how to help students with guidance and advice, behavioral concerns, and immediate action. It also provides phone numbers and office locations.

College Governance

Individual Colleges often have their own rules, policies, and governance documents:

Arts & Science

Behavioral & Community Science




Marine Science



Public Health

The Arts


The USF Library offers a Copyright LibGuide that provides information on copyright and issues pertaining to copyrighted material.


EthicsPoint hotline is a third-party hosted hotline to enable the safe, secure, and anonymous reporting of activities which may involve misconduct, fraud, abuse, and other violations of USF policies.

Faculty Handbook

The online Faculty Handbook, maintained by the Office of the Provost, contains links to important regulations, policies, procedures, and guidelines (including the collective bargaining agreement) at USF. There are also sections on evaluations, tenure, instructional policies, and sabbaticals.

Fair Use

The fair use exception to the current copyright laws permits the reproduction of portions of copyrighted works without the owner's permission. Section 107 of the Fair Use Doctrine lists the following purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair: criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Visit the USF Library's Fair Use page for more information. The Library also has a guide on the TEACH Act


The purpose of the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) is to identify the rights students have pertaining to their educational records. FERPA affords students the right to review their educational records, seek to have their records amended, and control the disclosure of information from their records. USF's FERPA page provides a detailed tutorial.

Students do have the option to sign a FERPA waiver, at which point the named family members can hear information normally protected by FERPA. However, the waiver does not compel faculty to interact with families; it merely provides legal permission if the faculty wish it.

Faculty and TAs are encouraged to contact the Parent and Family Engagement office at USF when contacted by family members. PFE staff will work with family members to explain processes, rules, and limitations, and how to coach their students to approach faculty members with questions. In fact, here is boilerplate language you can use to communicate with family members who approach you: "Thank you for your inquiry about my course. While your outreach is appreciated, we encourage students in the courses to discuss material, assignments, and grades with the professor or teaching assistant directly. We encourage family members of students to reach out to Parent and Family Engagement for support and assistance in navigating campus matters pertaining to students. The Office of Parent and Family Engagement can be reached by email at family@usf.edu or by phone at 813-974-2896."

Final Examinations

Find the assigned time for your class published on the Class Schedule page. Or check the Spaces office website for a published list each semester.

First Day Attendance

In order to retain eligibility to distribute Department of Education Title IV HEOA funds, the University requires faculty to report whether students are present or absent at the first class meeting.

  • Use the First Day of Attendance (FDA) tool to record attendance electronically during class or as soon as possible afterward. The tool is available in Canvas. The link to it is found in the Navigation Menu of each course in Canvas. For instructions on how to use the FDA tool visit: http://usfweb.usf.edu/courseresources/tutorial/canvas/attendance/attendance.html or contact Information Technology at (813) 974-1222.
  • Teaching an online course? If so, you will also utilize the FDA tool once you prescribe how students must signify that they are present. For example, students must login and email you a form, turn in a first assignment or otherwise contact you.
  • Teaching an Alternative Calendar Course? If so, you will utilize the FDA tool to submit your first day attendance rosters within 10 days from the first class meeting. If your course meets for a shorter period of time; e.g. only 10 days, your roster is due at the 30% mark (day 3).
  • Have students who registered late? If students appear on your roster after the first week of classes but fail to actually attend, please contact the Registrar's Office at telltheregistrar@usf.edu to request the students be dropped.
  • See ATLE's video tutorial for further information.

Grade Policy

USF has enacted a system of grading and policies of Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal to make students aware of their academic progress.

Grade Record Retention

You should retain your gradebook and student graded material for one year after the expiration of the appeal window - to be safe, keep graded materials and detailed gradebook records for 1.5 years after the end of the term.

Last Day of Attendance

To comply with federal regulations regarding student attendance, faculty are required to enter students' the last date of attendance for all students receiving an F, I, or U grade. The last date of attendance is defined as the last date a documented academic related activity was completed by the student for the course. In the event of a Federal audit, you may be asked to provide documentation (e.g. grade book entry, exams dates, submission of papers, etc.) to support the last date of attendance reported.

Personal Relationships with Students

USF Policy 1-022 provides detailed information on university guidelines for consensual relationships.

Religious Holidays

The holidays of several religious faiths occur throughout the academic year. Religious observance accommodations for employees and students should be provided as per USF Policies #0-602 and #10-045. The following link contains a list of major religious observances: http://www.interfaith-calendar.org/.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

The University of South Florida is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities. SAS strives to create partnerships with faculty and staff to promote self-advocacy, accessible education, and appreciation of varied abilities at USF. Information about classrooms, course load, exams, and other accommodations can be found on the SAS website or by contacting SAS at (813) 974-4309 or sas-info@usf.edu. See the SAS Student Handbook for more information about SAS, American with Disabilities Act, and instructor responsibilities. The ATLE syllabus template includes a default policy statement you can include on your syllabus regarding accommodation requests.

Technology Policies

USF Information Technology (IT) maintains the policies and standards held by the university. IT also provides technology support for MyUSF, email accounts, connecting from home, and work orders. IT can be reached at (813) 974-1222 or help@usf.edu.


The State of Florida requires that textbook orders be submitted to the university bookstore at least 45 days prior to the start of classes (and the bookstore itself needs the orders 4+ weeks before THAT moment). Additionally, faculty are increasingly encouraged to select textbook options (and textbook alternatives) that are cheaper for students, or completely free. The USF library offers several ideas to replace books (including e-books and library course reserves), and you may also wish to view our handout on Open Educational Resources (OER) that can be used to supplement or even replace textbooks. There is also a central USF website on textbook affordability, with several ideas and resources for faculty.

Title IX Mandatory Reporting

Per USF's Title IX Policy (0-0004), all faculty (including adjunct instructors and graduate teaching assistants) are considered "responsible employees" and are required to promptly report allegations or instances of sexual harassment (including sexual violence) by or against any USF employee(s), student(s), or group(s). Responsible employees are required to attend Title IX training, which can be accessed via MyUSF under GEMS Self-Service (navigate to Learning and Development/Request Training Enrollment/Search by Course Name). For more information visit http://www.usf.edu/diversity/title-ix/index.aspx.

USF Accreditation

USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). An explanation of USF accreditation can be found at: http://www.usf.edu/ods/iep/institutional-effectiveness/accreditation/index.aspx.

USF Policy Index

The USF Policy Index, maintained by the Office of the General Council, includes policies and guidelines in the administration, operation, and management of the various programs, services, facilities, and activities at USF.