Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News
August 30, 2016
Dean's Corner: The Year Ahead
This summer, I had a chance to engage in longer discussions and think deeper thoughts about the nature of liberal education, its place in the contemporary world, and the role of BU’s College of Arts & Sciences as Boston University’s standard-bearer for liberal education. For this first note of the year, I'd like to preview some of the themes I have identified for the upcoming year. Read more
In This Back-to-School Issue


  • Polishing Up Your Syllabus
  • Instructors' Guide
  • Fall Academic Calendar Dates
  • Upcoming Faculty Meetings
  • Academic Conduct Codes (Undergraduate and GRS)
  • Academic Enhancement Fund
  • You and Your Classroom
  • Surviving Day One in Style
  • Teaching: Emergency Contacts
  • The CAS Advising Center

Advice and Notes for the New Academic Year

  • Welcoming New Faculty
  • The CAS Website
  • CAS Meetings, Deadlines, and Other Resources



Polishing Up Your Syllabus

Your syllabus should clearly lay out expectations you have for your students. It also sets the tone for the entire semester. You can find a checklist of items to include at the website of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL). Consider visiting the rest of the CTL website for other teaching resources. Some special notes on dates and policies to consider:

  • University Policy precludes the scheduling of finals during the last week of classes (when colleagues are trying to teach!) or during the study period for students (December 13-15).
  • Your syllabus should reference the relevant (undergraduate or graduate) Academic Conduct Code and provide the corresponding URL (see further discussion of Academic Conduct Codes below). You should also spell out any course-specific conditions of academic conduct (e.g., extent of allowable collaboration on assignments) in order to obviate misunderstandings and provide a common reference point.
  • The University's official Religious Observance Policy under Massachusetts state law is posted here, along with a multi-faith calendar.

Instructors' Guide

The Instructors' Guide is a comprehensive resource for all instructors in CAS. You will find information on academic conduct codes, class management, resources for students in need of assistance, and a wide variety of other topics to refer to throughout the academic year.

Academic Conduct Codes (Undergraduate and GRS)

An Academic Conduct Code establishes community-wide standards of intellectual honesty to which students' academic work is expected to adhere. Violations of academic honesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on exams) are described in the code, as are possible sanctions and procedures for following up appropriately in cases of suspected misconduct.

  • Please read the Boston University Academic Conduct Code, which governs all BU undergraduate students, so that you understand it and its implications for your actions. Verify that your students understand its importance and provisions.
  • See also the GRS Academic Conduct Code, which applies to all courses and students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
  • The seriousness of academic misconduct and its potential consequences requires that suspected cases be handled with impeccable fairness and consistency. When in doubt, ask. Questions about the undergraduate code should be directed to Steve Jarvi, Associate Dean for Student Academic Life (617-353-2400). For questions related to the GRS code, contact Associate Dean of the Graduate School Jeffrey Hughes (617-353-2696).

Academic Enhancement Fund

Would hosting a guest expert or taking a class field trip to a Boston-area exhibit, performance, archive, etc., advance the academic goals of an undergraduate course you are teaching this fall?
The Virginia Sapiro Academic Enhancement Fund (AEF) assists instructors with modest funding to provide just those kinds of special opportunities to students in undergraduate courses. More information and a simple application are available. Contact either Lucy Russell, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives (617-353-2401), or AEF administrator Tess Varney (617-353-2400), to discuss how enhancements to your current and future courses might be supported by the AEF.

You and Your Classroom

This section includes comprehensive classroom information, up-to-date fall classroom assignments, building abbreviations and codes, information on how to request supplementary technical equipment, info on Classroom Technology Services and training, and contact information for technology issues.

  • The Boston University Classrooms website provides comprehensive classroom information, with emphasis on all aspects of instructional technology: equipment, training, and assistance. Visit the site to take advantage of newly improved systems and consider bookmarking it for later reference and updates.
  • Up-to-date fall classroom assignments are posted on the Faculty Link.
  • It's always a good idea to check out the location, configuration, media, etc. of your classroom in advance and troubleshoot any problems you encounter.
  • For new faculty and students, the Registrar's list of building (and other) abbreviations and codes can be useful in navigating BU.
  • Computer projection and audio equipment has been installed in all BU Registrar classrooms. If you need supplementary equipment, submit your request here, with a minimum of two days' notice.
  • Learning & Events Technology Services (LETS) offers training classes for faculty and teaching fellows before the start of each semester and by request throughout the academic year. Click here to see a full menu of training options, including troubleshooting guides, or to schedule a training session.
  • A Classroom Open House is scheduled for Thursday, September 1, from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM. During these hours, all Registrar-controlled classrooms not in use for events will be available for you to visit so that you can become familiar with the space where you will be teaching and its equipment prior to the start of classes. If you would like a demonstration of any AV system, you can request that an instructional Technology Specialist meet you in your classroom by emailing If you’re unable to attend this Open House then know that LETS welcomes any opportunity to coordinate with you; contact them any time.
  • The following classrooms have undergone renovations over the summer, most receiving new technology and furniture as well as cosmetic improvements: CAS B14, CAS B18A, CAS B18B, CAS B20, PSY B35, PSY B37, PSY B39, PSY B41, PSY B43, PSY B45, PSY B47, PSY B49, SOC B59, SOC B61, SOC B65, SOC B67
  • For the first three weeks of the semester, in-classroom assistance from LETS staff will be available to faculty members and teaching fellows who submit a request form, with a minimum of two days' notice.
  • Any faculty member experiencing difficulties with technology in a Registrar classroom during the semester should call the Classroom Technology Hotline (617-353-3227) to receive help within approximately five minutes. The hotline number and corresponding email address ( are posted in every Registrar classroom.

Surviving Day One in Style

For some commonsensical advice on getting courses off to a good start on day one, review these teaching tips. For a head start on learning your students' names, view or download their photos from your class list on the Faculty Link.

Teaching: Emergency Contacts

In case of classroom emergencies or technology difficulty, here is a list of contacts:

  • If a classroom emergency is related to facilities rather than technology (e.g., you and your students are locked out), it should be reported to the Facilities Operations & Service Center at 617-353-2105.
  • In the unlikely event of a health or safety emergency in your classroom, faculty should never hesitate to call the BU Police at 617-353-2121.
  • Any faculty member experiencing difficulties with technology in a Registrar classroom during the semester should call the Classroom Technology Hotline (617-353-3227) to receive help within approximately five minutes. The hotline number is posted in every Registrar classroom.

The CAS Advising Center

The CAS Advising Center at 100 Bay State Road is an invaluable source of advice and information for both faculty and undergraduates with respect to academic policies, majors, requirements, and academic opportunities in CAS and at BU. Contact them for questions about all aspects of student academic life in the College of Arts & Sciences. And don't forget to encourage your students to seek out advice from our great academic advisors at the CAS Advising Center or in their major departments. Be sure to add the Advising Center's contact information (phone: 617-353-2400; email to your directories, and visit the center's website for "Advising Essentials" and "Faculty & Staff Resources." Make sure your students are aware of the help they can access there.

  • CAS occupies two floors of the Yawkey Center for Student Services (CSS) at 100 Bay State Road. CAS Student Academic Life occupies the entire fourth floor, where you will find CAS Academic Advising, Pre-professional Advising (undergraduate), and Student Programs & Leadership. On the third floor, you will find the CAS Writing Program and Writing Center. Elsewhere in the Yawkey CSS are BU’s Center for Career Development and the Educational Resource Center, both located on floors five and six. Downstairs, you will find various dining services.
  • Faculty and professional advisors at 100 BSR are available to meet with undergraduate students every weekday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, either on a walk-in basis (Room 401) or by appointment (617-353-2400).
  • Kerry Buglio is the CAS Assistant Dean for Advising & Academic Services and, in that capacity, a go-to person for your general advising questions. She can also advise faculty members on ways to address worries about individual students.
  • CAS Student Programs & Leadership sponsors a rich array of activities and events—including the CAS First-Year Experience—that foster our undergraduates’ academic, personal, and social development, and equip them to take full advantage of opportunities and resources at BU and around Boston. Director of Student Programs Stacy Ulrich and her colleagues welcome faculty’s questions, involvement, and suggestions for co-curricular programming. Contact them here.
  • The Yawkey Center is a good place to meet colleagues or your students for coffee or a meal. You can use cash in the “Grab-and-Go” facility or Terrier Points in the student dining facility.
  • The Boston University Dean of Students Office is another useful source of information, including student-oriented University policies and resources for assisting students, especially those in distress.
Advice and Notes for the New Academic Year

Welcoming New Faculty

Whether you are new to BU or are mentoring a new faculty member, please review this information on getting to know the CAS faculty.

Returning faculty: Please be active in welcoming your newest colleagues and making sure they get a smooth start here. If you are the assigned mentor of a new faculty member, get in touch as early as possible to get together and get to know each other.

If you are new to the BU faculty: Don't wait for people to reach out to you; let your colleagues know you are here, introduce yourself, and seek answers to your questions. All new assistant professors have been assigned a faculty mentor; new faculty and their mentors should seek each other out as soon as possible, and all should familiarize themselves with the CAS Mentoring policy. As of September 1, Director of Faculty Actions Laura Wipf is the lead contact in the Dean's Office for new tenured and tenure-track faculty and professors of the practice to learn about events for new faculty.

We will welcome our newest tenure-track and professor-of-the-practice faculty colleagues at our first CAS Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, September 21, from 4:00-5:30 PM in CAS 522. Department chairs will introduce the new members of their department faculty individually to their colleagues across the College. All faculty eligible to attend this meeting will find this an important time to meet and welcome the newest cohort of CAS faculty and make new connections. We will hold the Annual CAS Faculty Reception, dedicated to our new colleagues, after the faculty meeting at 25 Lenox Street. Please join us and (re)introduce yourself.

The CAS Website: A Good Source for Important Information for Faculty, Staff, Chairs, and Administrators

The CAS website is designed to support the work of CAS faculty, staff, and administrators by providing a complete guide to CAS policies and practices, a repository of the instructions for most administrative processes (complete with the necessary forms), a set of administrative and events calendars, and the Chairs and Directors Guide. Most of this material is under the "Faculty & Staff" tab in the upper right corner of the front page of the CAS website. Highlights include:

  • The CAS Faculty & Staff Handbook, which contains all policies and procedures related to CAS administration, personnel, curriculum, teaching, research, and other matters, as well as information about the College's offices and organization. View the Boston University Faculty Handbook for university-wide policies.
  • The Forms & Instructions page, which includes a comprehensive list of all forms that originate in CAS (and pointers to appropriate BU central-level forms).
  • The CAS Administrative Calendars section of the website, a guide to all CAS faculty and staff deadlines, timelines, and meeting calendars.
  • The CAS Chairs and Directors Guide, which aims to help chairs and directors anticipate and plan for important administrative responsibilities throughout the course of the academic year.
  • A guide to the personnel and offices of CAS Administration, including notes on why you might find any of them useful, can be found here.

CAS Meetings, Deadlines, and Other Resources

CAS Faculty Meeting
The monthly CAS Faculty Meeting is the chief faculty governance "committee of the whole." All new CAS/GRS courses, academic programs, and academic policies must be passed by the faculty of the College. These meetings also offer the only opportunity for CAS faculty from across the College to discuss important academic matters. All eligible faculty are expected to attend. CAS Faculty Meeting procedures, the schedule of meetings for AY 2016/17, and materials for the meeting are found here.

All CAS faculty and committee meetings and deadlines, including applications for faculty leaves and sabbaticals, are posted on the CAS administrative calendar. The following meeting calendars can also be found on the CAS website.

BU and CAS News
If you are interested in keeping up with the news about what is going on at Boston University, BU Today is an invaluable daily source of news and information. You can subscribe to it online to receive it in your daily email inbox, complete with a listing of BU events.

For regular news and updates about CAS, current stories about CAS people and programs, and information about new policies or events and meetings, watch for CAS News, which will arrive every two weeks by email. Send items you think should appear in CAS News here.
Other Resources

See the University Provost's website for extensive information on faculty development and services.

The Office of the University Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal, and confidential resource available to all members of the Boston University community. The office provides a safe place to have off-the-record conversations about any kind of problem related to life at BU. Talking to the Ombuds can be a good first step to resolving problems, especially if you are concerned about confidentiality or don't know where to turn for assistance.

The Faculty & Staff Assistance Office offers a free, confidential helping hand to Boston University employees who may be experiencing difficulties that affect their personal lives or work performance. It is also a place to go to learn how to help a colleague who may be experiencing such challenges.

You will find an extensive archive of videos of and about Boston University produced by the University, students, faculty, staff, and alumni at BUniverse.

And for a break from work, right here on campus, here are pointers to the BU Fitness & Recreation Center, the College of Fine Arts' schedule of events, and the BU events calendar, which features happenings across campus.


Is this information and format useful? What else should be included in future back-to-school editions of CAS News? Please email us your feedback.

Keep Us In The Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Event information, faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. Or you can send news items to Events geared toward students should be submitted to

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Assistant Director, Alumni Educational Programs Sarah Speltz at 617-358-6275.

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