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Policies and Procedures

First Days of Class

The University requires that on the first or second class day students be informed of all policies and grading practices that can affect how the course grade is determined (SRR Section 6.1.1).  By the second day of class, be sure to do the following:

1.     Explain the goals and requirements of the course. 

2.     Review all course policies, emphasizing major policies, especially those regarding grading, punctuality, attendance, completion and submission of assignments, and late papers. 

3.     Provide students with your office hours, location, phone number, and email address. 

4.     Specify what texts and other materials are required. 

5.     Set forth any additional class policies or ground rules for the classroom environment. 

6.     Do not dismiss early; begin work on the first day and give students their first assignments.


Your students will add and drop classes by means of the myUK portal system. Here are some add/drop policies to keep in mind during the first weeks of the semester:

1.     You may have students who claim to be enrolled in your class but whose names do not appear on your initial class roll.  These students may have added your class during add/drop.  Ask them to show you their printed schedules so that you can verify their enrollment.  If your section is not listed, these students are not enrolled officially.  They need to use myUK to add a section (yours or someone else’s).

2.     If there are students on your roster who do not appear for the first two days of class, provide the WRD staff associate with their names immediately after the second class meeting so that we can administratively drop these students.

3.     If your section is filled, you do not have the authority to grant “override” permission for students to add your section.  Tell these students to use the myUK portal to check on openings in all sections.  After we have processed “no-show” or administrative drops (i.e., after the second full day that a particular section meets), there may be openings.

4.     You will not receive add/drop slips for individual students.  Rather, you can get an updated version of your official class rolls by using the myUK portal to access “Faculty Services.”


Class Attendance

Students who are not officially enrolled in your course are not permitted to attend class. (All auditors must be registered as such.)  If you encounter students who insist that they are enrolled in your course even though they do not appear on your official roster, instruct them to go to the Registrar to verify their enrollment; do not grade any of their major assignments until you’ve received verification of their enrollment.


Collecting and Returning Papers

Please ask students to turn in all assignments via Blackboard (or Canvas), unless the project does not allow for this kind of process. You may not collect or return papers in any open way (e.g., in a box in the hallway).



If a student requests an incomplete, YOU MUST CONSULT WITH THE DIRECTOR OF COMPOSITION BEFORE RESPONDING TO THE STUDENT.  The University’s policy on I grades is as follows:

The grade I means that part of the regularly assigned [i.e., major] work of the course remains undone [due to illness, family death, injury, etc.].  It shall be given only when there is a reasonable possibility that the student can complete the work within the allowable period of time for removal of an I grade [no more than 12 months] and that a passing grade [in the course] will result from completion of the work.  An I grade shall not be given when the student’s reason for incompleteness is unsatisfactory to the instructor.

If the Director of Composition approves your request for a grade of incomplete, you and the student must complete the requisite form, available online. The WRD staff associate can assist you in locating and completing the form. Please confer with the Director of Composition if you have questions regarding eligibility.

Grade Changes

Student requests for re-evaluation of individual assignments and the course grade should be handled in writing. In observance of FERPA guidelines, student grades may not be discussed via email. If students wish to appeal grades for either an individual assignment or a final semester grade, that student should make a written request for a personal meeting with the instructor.   

Every semester, there are cases of instructors changing final grades from “E” to a higher grade because the last major assignment, which the instructor had thought not turned in or “lost,” has been “found.”  To hedge against this, we ask instructors to collect the last assignment in class on or before the last class day, or—if students are permitted to turn in the paper during finals week—to designate a time and place for the assignment to be submitted in person to the instructor.  Papers turned in over an extended period of time to mail boxes, envelopes attached to office doors, boxes on chairs and so forth, are much more likely to get lost, scattered, or stolen.

The University requires that department chairs or their designates approve all grade changes from E to higher grades.  WRD directors authorize such changes for all WRD courses and will do so only if there is clear evidence that the instructor’s original calculation was in error, or that a missing essay was submitted on schedule and that its temporary misplacement was solely the responsibility of the instructor.



Instructors must determine their absence policies and outline that policy very specifically on the course syllabus. In accordance with University guidelines, students who accumulate unexcused absences equal to one-fifth of class contact hours may not receive credit for the course. They will receive an E in the course if they do not withdraw. However, instructors may set their own policies to determine penalties for absences over the equivalent of one-week's unexcused absences. For example, students in a MWF course may miss the equivalent of three courses without penalty. Students in a T/Th course may miss the equivalent of two courses without penalty.

To qualify as excused, an absence must be documented in writing, must be verifiable, and must fit the University’s definition of “excused absence.”  To manage absences, please do the following:

·     Review the absence policy with your students.  Provide examples of absences that do and do not qualify as excused.  Make sure your students understand that absences caused by work schedules, criminal prosecution, registering for classes, meeting with advisors, taking tests for other classes, and minor discomforts (slight colds, headaches, etc.) do not qualify as excused. 

·     Keep accurate, up-to-date attendance records, making sure to denote excused and unexcused absences.

·     Verify absences as necessary.

If a student accumulates excused absences equal one-fifth of class contact hours or has a mixture of excused and unexcused absences equal to one-fifth of class contact hours, the instructor may encourage the student to petition for a “W” in the class. However, the instructor cannot force the student to withdraw nor give the student an E in the course for attendance alone.

If an absence is unexcused:

·     Outside assignments not turned in on time may receive E grades.

·     Missed in-class work cannot be made up for credit.

·     Missed announcements, instructions, assignments, etc., due to the absence(s) will not constitute acceptable reasons for failing to meet subsequent deadlines.

Instructors are authorized to create reasonable policies which penalize students for accumulating unexcused absences.  Such penalties may range from a reduction of the final grade by a 1/2 letter grade to a whole letter grade, depending on the number of absences.  If a student accumulates unexcused absences in excess of one-fifth of class contact hours, that student will receive an “E” in the course.  Please note, however, that if you choose to institute a policy on unexcused absences, that policy must be clearly stated on your Course Syllabus.  Only then is your policy supported by the Ombud office.

Bottom line: you have the right to expect that students miss no more than one-fifth of class contact hours, regardless of whether they are excused or not. Students are advised, then, not to miss class for capricious reasons; they may need those absences for serious matters.  Just note this in your syllabus.

Note: You should take attendance every class session.  It can be helpful to be able to show students and, when necessary, outside inquirers (Ombud office, Athletics personnel, parents) how missing particular classes has specifically affected their progress toward completion of major assignments, their daily work and class participation record, and their final grade.



The best way to deal with distracting or disruptive behavior is to prevent its occurrence by planning and being prepared for substantial, well-organized class periods.  The classroom is an academic workplace in which an atmosphere conducive to learning must be initiated and maintained by the instructor.  Distracting or disruptive behavior includes any action that impedes your ability to teach and interferes with the productivity of the class (e.g., persistent talking to other students, refusal to participate in class activities, belligerence, text messaging or Web surfing, etc.).

1.     Your first step in addressing behavior problems is to try to deal with such behavior as unobtrusively as possible. A significant glance in the student’s direction or a quiet word after class may clear up minor distractions—talking in class, inattention, etc.

2.     Persistent or more serious behavior problems may have to be addressed directly in class or after class, depending on the level of disruption.  Students may not understand that there’s a difference between behavior acceptable in high school and in college.  Calmly tell disruptive students what’s acceptable in your classroom; let them know they’re responsible for correcting their behavior.  At this point, you should begin keeping a log detailing the student’s behavior and your response to it.  You should also talk to your officemates and to WRD directors about strategies for addressing the situation.

3.     If the disruptive behavior persists, your next step includes asking the WRD Intern to set up a conference between the Director of Composition and the student or between all three of you.  This conference will be a prerequisite of the student returning to class. 

4.     If the conference does not resolve the situation, there are disciplinary steps WRD administrators can take, including sending a letter of reprimand to the student’s file and/or withdrawing him/her from your course.  These actions will be undertaken by the Writing Program in conjunction with the Dean of Students and in consultation with the instructor. 

5.     When behavior in-class is particularly disruptive and the student does not respond to your request for cooperative behavior, ask him/her to leave the classroom and to talk with you in your office before returning to class.  At this talk, you may want to have an office mate, a mentor, the WRD Intern, or the Director of Composition present.  Should the student refuse to depart, dismiss the class and report the matter immediately to the Director of Composition. 

In all cases, remember

·     Do not attempt to converse with a student who is angry or has lost control; inform such students that you will speak with them when they are able to participate in civil conversation.

·     Never attempt to impose academic penalties for disciplinary offenses. 

·     Never tolerate disciplinary problems.  More specifically, you must not allow students to shout at you, curse you, touch you, insult, intimidate, threaten, or harass you in any way.

Whenever you have trouble with student behavior and are uncertain as to how to handle it, immediately consult with a WRD administrator.  It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Code of Student Conduct and disciplinary procedures outlined in Section 1 of SRR.


As stipulated in SRR section 6.3.1:

All academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors, is expected to be the result of their own thought, research, or self-expression.  In cases where students feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work, they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission.

When students submit work purporting to be their own, but which in any way borrows ideas, organization, wording or anything else from another source without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact, the students are guilty of plagiarism.

Plagiarism includes not only copying another’s words or ideas without attribution but also fabricating information, knowingly conveying false information, submitting work performed for other courses at this or other institutions without prior approval of the instructor, and collaborating beyond what is permitted (even when collaboration involves parents).  Every school year, WRD prosecutes several cases of plagiarism.  In most cases, students copy passages or take ideas from sources without attribution. Other students borrow parts of another student’s essay or allow a friend to borrow parts of their essay.  Some students download whole essays off the internet; many others cut and paste chunks of texts from websites.

The minimum penalty for plagiarism or cheating is a zero on the assignment.  This is the usual penalty in a first-year writing course when the student has not blatantly taken an essay from another unacknowledged source and where no prior offenses exist. For repeat and major offenses, such as stealing another student’s work or downloading an essay from a commercial research paper site, a minimum “E” grade for the course is mandated. More severe penalties may be recommended. The same penalties apply whether the plagiarism occurs on a major essay assignment or a minor homework assignment. It is your responsibility to teach students about the purposes and uses of sources, methods for integrating sources in a paper, and correct documentation rules.

IMPORTANT: Be familiar with students’ rights in plagiarism and cheating cases (see SRR Sections 6.3.0 ff.).  If you suspect plagiarism or cheating, immediately seek advice from the WRD Director before making any accusations or imposing any academic penalties.  

Preventive measures such as these may guard against plagiarism:

1.     Require students to submit drafts and other assignments leading up to a paper.  Define and model revision.  Require students to hand in all drafts, brainstorming, field notes, research notes, photocopies of cited passages, and other related assignments with the final version of the paper.  Ask for aspects of a writing project to draw upon personal experience and direct field work, not duplicable by others.  Throughout the writing process, have students write process papers or progress reports (some in class) in which they explain the development and direction of their papers.  In addition to being good pedagogical tools, these measures let you see that students are doing their own work.

2.     A sudden change in topic sometimes signals plagiarism.  Announce and enforce a rule that prohibits students from changing the topic of a paper after they have begun the paper, unless they request and justify a change of topic in writing (e.g., in a process paper or progress report) and consult with you in conference.

3.     Don’t make general, off-the-rack writing assignments; make assignments class specific by requiring students to incorporate into their essays materials read and discussed in class.  Allowing students to choose paper topics outside the boundaries of the class topic encourages and enables plagiarism.  Entire paper packages (outlines, drafts, final versions) are now available for purchase on the Internet; frat house files are packed with arguments on “controversial issues.”

4.     Require, credit, and evaluate in-class writing; this acts as a check on writing that students do out of class.

5.     Again, don’t collect or return papers by placing them in a box outside your office or in the department office.  Papers can get “lost,” rifled through, perhaps plagiarized that way.



If you know in advance that you’ll be absent (in cases of professional travel, especially), be sure to arrange for a substitute instructor (the WRD Intern will assist you) and to inform the Intern of your plans.  When illness or emergency prevents you from holding class, please notify the WRD Intern or one of the directors in advance (even if this requires calling them at home), so that your students can be appropriately informed and directed.  In all cases, you are responsible for reporting your absences to Intern.



Three stated office hours per week must be announced to the class, noted on the syllabus, posted at the office door, and kept.  Additional conferences with students may be made by appointment at other, mutually convenient times.  One class per unit at most may be canceled to accommodate conferences with all students in the class.  If you can find time, it’s best to hold conferences without canceling class, since class sessions have a group dynamic and momentum distinct from conference interactions.

When an unavoidable conflict, emergency, or illness prevents your holding a regularly scheduled office hour, notify your students in advance (if possible), post a note on your door, and—if your schedule permits—offer alternate hours.  If you cannot personally provide advance notice to students, be sure to request assistance from the Staff Assistant or your officemates.



The University has strict faculty and student codes of conduct prohibiting sexual harassment.  SRR (Section 2.29) defines sexual harassment as

unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical actions of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the student’s status in a course, program, or activity; or is used as a basis for academic or other decisions affecting [the] student; or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment. 

For your own protection, observe the obvious prohibitions against holding out-of-office, closed-door, or late-night conferences; stating or implying that a grade can be exchanged for a sexual favor; making sexual references and innuendos in conversations with students whether in or out of class; touching students or permitting them to touch you; dating students. 

Whether you or the student initiates or encourages behavior that leads to substantiated sexual harassment, the University will hold you accountable, at the risk of your teaching appointment.

The University and WRD take all charges of sexual misbehavior very seriously.  Whenever you feel that you are on uncertain ground, whenever any problem or question arises, consult with the Writing Program directors immediately.



The University has strict faculty and student codes of conduct prohibiting “amorous and sexual relationships” (AR II-1.1-9, section E).  The University

strongly urges those in positions of authority not to engage in conduct of an amorous or sexual nature with a person they are, or are likely in the future to be, in a position of evaluating.  The existence of a power difference may restrict the less powerful individual's freedom to participate willingly in the relationship.

If one of the parties in an apparently welcomed amorous or sexual relationship must evaluate the performance of the other person, the relationship must be reported to the dean, department chair or supervisor so that suitable arrangements can be made for an objective evaluation of the student or employee.



Federal law requires schools to protect the privacy of students’ educational records.  Information about a student can be released only upon the student’s written consent. Inquiries from athletics personnel, scholarship sources, advisors, and parents must be accompanied by the student’s written permission.  It’s possible that parents or other parties will contact you to discuss a student’s academic performance.  You should inform these parties of the privacy rights policy.  If you have any question about how to respond to an inquiry from someone other than the student, consult the WRD Director. To preserve students’ privacy (yet again), do not collect or return assignments by placing them in a box outside your office door. University rules prohibit posting of grades—even by code numbers or letters.  For further information regarding students’ right of privacy see SRR (Section 6.1.4).



The classroom should be open to the expression of diverse points of view. Your students have the right to express their opinions and ideas, and to “take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in the classroom without being penalized” (SRR Section 6.1.2).  You have a duty to require that students rigorously examine and support opinions and ideas they express, but you must not evaluate students’ work on the basis of the views themselves.

Further, you must take care to avoid conveying appearances of bias towards students’ ideas and opinions, whether similar to or different from your own.  Grading must be nonprejudicial, constituted solely of “a good faith judgment based on explicit statements” of the academic criteria and course policies announced at the outset of the semester (SRR 6.1.3) and the grading criteria announced for individual assignments.



Whether instructors make their own copies or requisition copies from WRD, instructors are responsible for following the guidelines for “fair use” or for securing permission to duplicate copyrighted material.


I.  Single Copying for Teachers

A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

A.  A chapter from a book;

B.  An article from a periodical or newspaper;

C.  A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;

D.  A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or


II.  Multiple Copies for Classroom Use

Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion, provided that:

A.  The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and

B.  Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and

C.  Each copy includes a notice of copyright.




(i)     Poetry:  (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.

(ii)     Prose:  (a) Either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.  (Each of the numerical limits stated in “i” and “ii” above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.)

(iii)     Illustrations:  One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical issue.

(iv)     Special” works:  Certain works in poetry, prose, or “poetic prose,” which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience, fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety.  Paragraph “ii” above notwithstanding such “special works” may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof may be reproduced.



(i)     The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and,

(ii)     The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.


Cumulative Effect

(i)     The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.

(ii)     Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

(iii)     There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.

(The limitations stated in “ii” and “iii” above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.)


III. Prohibitions as to I and II above

Notwithstanding any of the above:

A.     Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works.  Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.


B.     There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or of teaching.  These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets and like consumable material.


C.     Copying shall not:

(1)     substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints, or periodicals;

(2)     be directed by higher authority;

(3)     be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

D.     Students shall not be charged beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.


Below is information about departments and services that instructors can provide to students if the need arises.



The UK Counseling and Testing Center (201 Frazee Hall, 257-8701) provides crisis intervention, short-term individual and group counseling, career counseling, psychological assessments, and mental health referrals.  Through disclosures in papers or in conferences, you may become aware of students having personal problems.  Never attempt to counsel the student on your own.  You can tell the student about the Counseling Center, but you may want to seek WPO advice before you approach the student.  If the situation appears serious enough to warrant intervention, consult the WPO assistant director about contacting the Counseling Center.



Students requiring specific accomodations need special arrangements to ensure access to the classroom or to perform in-class writing and other activities.  Any student with a certified disability should present you with documentation from the Disabilities Office within the first week of classes, specifying accommodations you are required to make.  If you have a student who you suspect is suffering from an undiagnosed disability, refer them to the Disability Resource Center, located in Room 2 of the Alumni Gym.  If you have other questions, contact Jake Barnes at 257-2754.



International Student and Scholar Services (204 Bradley Hall, 257-4067 x237) provides services for international students and faculty.  They offer university orientation and housing information with programs, activities, support groups, and clubs that promote social interaction between international and American students and their spouses. 



The Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center (133 Student Center, 257-4130) offers a variety of cultural and social activities—lectures, workshops, seminars, art exhibitions, music, dance, drama.  It houses a library of books, periodicals, audiotapes and videotapes for students and for instructors to enhance their teaching of African-American students.  The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (563 Patterson Office Tower, 257-1991) provides counseling and assistance with academic support, housing, employment, financial aid, and problems ethnic minority students may encounter.



The Writing Center (B-108B, The Hub, W.T. Young Library, 257-1368) assists University of Kentucky students, faculty, and staff with the process of writing.  Staffed by graduate students in English, History, Information Sciences, and Journalism and by undergraduate peer tutors, the Center is open during the day and evening for individual and group consultations on prewriting, writing, and rewriting.  Schedule appointments by calling the above number or visiting The Writing Center website ( and filling out a form.

Since the Writing Center is administered through the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies, it is a special resource for WRD teachers—best used if instructors continually remind students of the Center’s existence.  It can best serve students if its staff knows the design and intent of specific writing assignments; thus instructors should remind students to bring all relevant writing assignment information and prompts with them to their appointments.  Because the Writing Center’s job is to help students with the writing process, consultants will not proofread student writing.

The Writing Center offers a variety of services:

·     Handouts on a range of topics such as audience and purpose, resume writing, comma rules, organizational strategies, etc.;

·     Writing workshops on subjects such as finding a topic for writing, using electronic reference techniques, defining an audience for writing, etc.;

·     Reference books on many aspects of writing such as writing across the curriculum, technical writing, grammar, etc.;

·     Computers for use by students who come in for consultations;

·     Consultation on teaching pedagogy and methods;

·     A Peer Tutoring Program in which students may receive assistance from other students.