Questions to Ask Your Chair or Department Representative

While many campus policies and procedures are universal, there are sometimes significant differences between departments and programs on campus. For that reason, you may wish to inquire at your department about the following items:

  1. Has my paperwork been sent to Human Resources? [The reason this is important: you cannot log in to the portal at until your paperwork is done and a Network ID (NID) is created for you.]
  2. Who in our department is responsible for PeopleSoft permissions? [You may need their help accessing myUCF and the class roster.]
  3. If my NID isn't active yet, who can print out my rosters for me?
  4. What is the login information for the instructor's computer in the classroom where I will be teaching? (You may have to call OIR at 823-2571 to find out).
  5. How many office hours per week should I hold?
  6. Does our department provide office or cubicle space for me to hold office hours? (if not, ask what your chair recommends)
  7. Will I be issued keys for our department or building?
  8. What are the departmental policies regarding overrides to fill a class beyond its standard enrollment cap?
  9. How can I make photocopies for class?
  10. Does our department or college provide instructional supplies like dry-erase markers?
  11. 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 Test Scoring service)?
  12. Will our department request an Outlook account for me, or should I use my “external” (Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.) email address?
  13. 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.]
  14. 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?
  15. Are there particular policies that should be in every syllabus in our department (i.e., about use of technology, or, etc). [See for several examples of standardized policy statements.] Is there a departmental attendance policy that needs to be on the syllabus?
  16. Am I required in this department or program to use plus/minus grading, or alternately "flat" grading, or is the choice up to me?
  17. Is there a standard breakdown in our department of each grade level (i.e., at what percentage an A- turns into an A)?
  18. When are department faculty meetings? Am I expected/encouraged/discouraged to attend?
  19. Who does the textbook ordering for our department? What are our internal deadlines?
  20. Will I receive an inbox/mailbox in the department?

Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Gary Nichols
College of Business Administration Gary Nichols I have always maintained that it is my role to facilitate the learning of "my students." I use the term "my students" to indicate the ownership I take in the process of learning. The old adage that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink is applicable to note. Students enroll in my class, but I ...

Amanda Koontz Anthony
College of Sciences Amanda  Koontz Anthony I base my teaching philosophy on the core values and structure of mentoring. I consequently define my role to be that of developing students’ abilities as independent scholars and engaged citizens. I share my enthusiasm and expertise on subjects with students, and in turn guide their applications of class co...

Peter Larson
College of Arts & Humanities Peter Larson My foundation derives from the liberal arts tradition: knowledge of a specific subject provides the greatest benefit when part of a well-rounded educational experience. Regarding History in general, my emphasis is on learning to think historically: going beyond a simple “what happened?” to question cau...