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Beginning-of-Semester Reminders - Spring 2014

January 9, 2014

Dear Faculty Colleagues -

I hope you had a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday break. Before the rush of the spring semester begins in full, I write to remind you of a few policies and practices and ask for your help in making services known to your students.

For Your Syllabus
Please ensure that your course materials are accessible and usable to all students. The Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides support and recommendations for creating accessible course materials on the SAS website and in person. Contact Mollie Miller, Assistive Technology Coordinator, for assistance. SAS strongly recommends that all faculty members place the approved accommodation statement on each syllabus:

University policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through Student Accessibility Services (contact 330-672-3391 or visit for more information on registration procedures).

Please check the Final Exam Schedule and include accurate information about the date and time of final exams on your syllabus. Having the dates and times included in the syllabus helps students plan for their final exams schedule.

Some faculty members include statements about adding or dropping courses within their syllabi. If you want to include such information, please use the following statement that refers students to the official location of deadlines and other time-sensitive information rather than including specific dates on your syllabus.

Every class has its own schedule of deadlines and considerations. To view the add/drop schedule and other important dates for this class, go to the Students Tools and Courses tab in FlashLine and choose either View or Print Student Schedule. To see the deadlines for this course, click on the CRN or choose the Drop or Add a Course link and click on the green clock next to the course under Registration Deadlines.

Checking Class Attendance for Grading
Please review your class rosters regularly to ensure that students are appropriately registered for the course and to make sure those who are registered are attending. Student attendance will be an important factor in assigning grades, should the registered student never attend or stop attending the course. The NF grade should be assigned to those students who never attended the course, and the SF grade should be assigned to those students who stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw.

Student Support
Whenever students are struggling academically and need assistance that you are not able to provide, please direct them to the Academic Success Center or to the Student Ombuds. These resources are available to help students navigate our large university system.

We know that students may also struggle in non-academic ways, and there are many resources on our campuses and in the local communities to assist and support students who may be in emotional distress or exhibiting disruptive behavior. The Step Up and Speak Out website and mobile app provide helpful information on the Do's and Don'ts of dealing with distressed and disruptive individuals, as well as resources that are available 24 hours a day. If you identify a student who may reasonably pose a potential threat to self, others, or the university, consultation with the Care Team is advised. The Care Team is a cross-divisional crisis management committee that collaboratively assesses and coordinates a response in these situations. Referrals to the Care Team may be made by contacting Dr. Shay Little, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Undergraduate Student Opportunity
Are you working with an undergraduate student on a research project, scholarly and/or creative activity? On April 2, 2014, Kent State will hold an Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Sholarship and Creative Activity, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Honors College, Research and Sponsored Programs, Undergraduate Studies and University Libraries. Undergraduate students in all majors and at all campuses are encouraged to participate. Participants will have an opportunity to win cash awards. To be considered, students must submit an abstract (between January 13 and February 17) that describes their work. For details and to submit an abstract, visit Undergraduate Studies. If you have questions about the Symposium, please contact Eboni Pringle, Interim Dean, Undergraduate Studies. 

I wish you a wonderful Spring 2014 semester. Thanks for all you do for Kent State University!

Todd A. Diacon, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

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