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The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

Faculty Information for Winter Quarter 2024

To: All Faculty, College of Liberal Arts

From: Philip Williams, Dean
Josh Machamer, Associate Dean for Operations
Kate Murphy, Associate Dean for Student Success
Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti, Associate Dean for Diversity and Curriculum

Cc: CLA Dept. Chairs; CLA Dept. Admin. Coordinators

Subject: Quarterly Faculty Information - Winter 2024

Date: January 8, 2024


CLASS SYLLABI: All students need clear direction about course expectations in the form of a syllabus. According to Academic Senate Resolution AS-644-06, “every instructor shall make available to each student in [their] class, during the first class meeting, a written course syllabus providing: Instructor's contact information including office hours and office location; a list of required text(s) and supplementary material for the course; methods and expectations for assessing/grading student performance for the course; attendance requirements and make up policy (if applicable); other information the instructor deems necessary to assure the student's understanding of the nature, requirements, and expectations of the course, and that course learning outcomes be communicated to the student via the syllabus or other means appropriate to the course (AS-739-12, and per the Provost’s memo dated August 22, 2013). “Instructors should review the syllabus with students for a portion of the first class meeting.”  

Please note: Syllabi should be made available to students in an accessible electronic form (e.g., via Canvas). The instruction “Instructors should review the syllabus with students for a portion of the first class meeting.” may be interpreted broadly, though any questions that students have about the syllabus should be answered in a timely manner.

Important: Various campus resources as well as sample statements for CLA syllabi, including regarding classroom climate, disability, undocumented status, and class attendance, can be found via this link.

OFFICE HOURS: Pursuant to university policy (AS-886-20), all Cal Poly faculty are expected to conduct office hours each week for student consultation scaled to their teaching assignment. Minimum weekly office hour scheduling shall be scaled to instructional assignments as follows:   

Instructional WTU



> 0 up to and including 4 WTUs

1 office hour 2 office hours

> 4 up to and including 8 WTUs

2 office hours 3 office hours

> 8 up to and including 12 WTUs

3 office hours 4 office hours

> 12 WTUs

4 office hours  

“Tenure-line faculty whose instructional assignments have been reduced to zero WTU but who are involved in research or other projects involving supervision of students shall hold a minimum of one regularly scheduled in-person office hour.” In accordance with this policy, “Asynchronous communication (e.g., email) with students and ad hoc appointments to meet with students are expected normal instructional duties distinct from scheduled office hours.”

Due to the unique nature of instructional modes for AY2023/2024, the college requests that faculty assign at least half of their office hours as regularly scheduled rather than by appointment and encourages the use of interactive technologies such as Zoom meetings to help create more personal interactions with students when meeting for office hours. Faculty office hours should be posted on department websites by the beginning of the second week of instruction. 

University Office Hour Policies 

STUDENT SCHEDULES & ENROLLMENT: Guidance about add-drop processes and schedules, grade change rules, examination schedules, and general standards for classroom conduct and integrity in one’s academic work will assist in preventing student issues from occurring during the quarter. Since registration procedures continually change, please highlight the following in messaging to students (e.g., on the syllabus, in an on-line announcements section, via a separate email) a few times during the quarter.  

  • Correct enrollment is your responsibility. Please check your class schedule multiple times during the quarter.
  • If you need to withdraw from a class after the end of the Add/Drop period (Thursday, January 18), there are special procedures/forms for that process. Please obtain that information from the Office of the Registrar website

IMPORTANT: Encourage students to review their records to confirm that they are enrolled in all courses they think they are and not in any courses they think they're not. This should be done before the end of the ADD/DROP period. Students who do not intend to take a class or who stop attending a class AND who have not dropped the class by the end of the ADD/DROP period OR who have not been approved officially to withdraw from the class by filing an appropriate petition by the due date (see reverse) risk getting an F or WU (same as an F) in that class. Please refer to the Student Planning Calendar link at

LATE ENROLLMENT ADJUSTMENT FORMS: Online forms are available from the Office of the Registrar for students whose enrollment is incomplete on the Add/Drop deadline. A fee is involved. These forms need to be processed through the CLA Advising Center and require instructor approval.

WITHDRAWAL FORMS: Students may petition to withdraw from a course or the entire term after the Drop Deadline and prior to the final 20% of instruction for serious and compelling reasons, which may include medical, mental health, financial, or personal reasons. Most petitions during the first 80% of the term are approved. During the final 20% of instruction, students can petition to withdraw for serious and compelling reasons beyond their control. Those reasons require verification and approval from the student’s dean or designee. The appropriate withdrawal form and additional information can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s Drops, Withdrawals, and Leaves page. See the planning calendar for the dates of relevant deadlines for each quarter.    

The withdrawal form requests that the instructor of record provide a comment on the student's attendance and academic performance. Please note that the instructor's signature on this form is to attest to the comment provided; the instructor is not approving or denying the petition. The petition is approved/denied by the student's college, typically the associate dean. If CLA faculty have questions about withdrawals, please contact Associate Dean Kate Murphy (  

FINAL EXAMINATIONS: CAM requires that all courses with a lecture/seminar component have final assessments/examinations, unless their catalog descriptions indicate otherwise. Exams/Assessments for lab only, activity only, and one-unit courses take place at the last regularly scheduled class meeting. All other finals/assessments take place during finals week at the time indicated in the course schedule, unless a change is approved by the Dean’s office. Requests from faculty to change the scheduled time of a course final (i.e., for the entire class) should be supported by good reasons, consistent with CAM regulations, endorsed by the department head or chair, and received in the Dean’s office by the end of the 7th week of instruction (Friday, February 23, 2024). These requests should be addressed to Associate Dean Josh Machamer (

[See Winter Final Exam Schedule for more information]

Requests from individual students to change exam times may be approved by department chairs (if the instructor consents) only for good cause (serious illness, permanent job interview, family emergency). Such requests do not require approval from the Dean's Office. Barring emergencies, the deadline for individual requests is Friday, February 23, 2024. For the University’s Policy on Final Exams, including the approved list of valid reasons for Special Student Arrangements to take early exams, see

Exam Times for Asynchronous Class Sections: 
Faculty teaching asynchronous courses are strongly encouraged to give asynchronous final assessments. Doing so has several advantages:

  • It helps students who chose to take an asynchronous class because they have an inflexible or unpredictable work schedule.
  • It helps students who chose to take an asynchronous class because classes are in the middle of the night in their time zone. 
  • It prevents time conflicts with other finals.

If a synchronous final must be given, faculty can choose to give said final on the Saturday preceding finals week using a standard final exam time block (7:10-10:00 AM, 10:10-1:00 PM, 1:10-4:00 PM, or 4:10-7:00 PM) or in one of the 7:10-10:00 PM time slots M, T, W, or R of finals week. 

Students should be informed of the time and date of the final exam as soon as possible, and no later than the first day of class. 

If a student has a time conflict between a final for a synchronous/in-person course and an asynchronous course, the instructor of the asynchronous course must offer the student an alternate time to take the final exam. 

CHANGE OF GRADE: Grade changes may be made only  for clerical or administrative errors such as mistakes in averaging points or inputting grades. Corrections for clerical errors should be made by the  seventh week  of the following quarter via the online grade change function within the grading roster (found via Faculty Center in the portal). Students have up to one year to complete work in a course for which they received an  I  or  RP. After one year, the  I/RP converts to an F or the grade listed as "grade without further work" on the Incomplete contract and students must re-enroll in the course to get a grade (senior project and thesis courses may be the exceptions). The grade change function within the grading roster allows changes for up to four years in the past. Any grade change for a course (such as senior project) taken more than four years ago needs to be changed using the AdobeSign grade change form, available on the portal in the Academics tab.

ADVISING: In addition to faculty advisors in the departments, the College of Liberal Arts has professional advisors dedicated to providing effective academic advising in an encouraging and welcoming atmosphere. They are available for virtual and in-person appointments (45 minutes) to assist students with registration, academic planning, general education and other degree requirements, referral to support services, advice about major changes, academic policies and procedures, graduation checks, etc. The CLA Advising Center also offers virtual drop-ins for quick questions (up to 15 minutes).  

Faculty with advising questions are encouraged to email or call (805) 756-6200. A peer advisor will direct the query to the first available professional advisor. 

CLA Advising Center Hours and Contact Information:

CLA Advising offers students both in-person and virtual appointments. Drop-ins are all by zoom. Most advisers telecommute two days per week but the office is staffed Monday-Friday. 

CLA Advising is Open:  
  • 9am-12pm & 1-4pm, Monday-Friday 
Zoom Drop-in Advising Hours: 
  • 10am-12pm & 2-4pm, Monday - Thursday 
  • Extended drop-in hours first week and around registration: Mon-Thur 9-12 & 1-4  


Location: Building 47, Room36R

Phone: (805) 756-6200

CLA Advisors: Sabrina Canady (Lead), Alejandra Cebreros (Multicultural Advisor), and Katie Harris. CLA Retention Specialist Kara Hitchcock and CLA Advising Graduate Intern Maria Valencia also meets with students.

Which advisor should a student see? 
Based on availability, any advisor can help with any question. But here are a few areas of particular expertise: 
  • Alejandra: Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP); CLA Underrepresented Students Network (USN); College Possible Program
  • Katie: Academic probation; LAES advisor 
  • Sabrina: Supervises CLA Advising peer advisors; Block scheduling; LAES advisor; ADTs; Transfer Onboarding Group member
  • Kara: Informal time off (ITO) and leave of absence (LOA); Cal Poly Scholars 

InIn addition, Assoc. Dean Kate Murphy handles: students of concern; former returning students; disqualification (DQ) and dismissal. 

ADVISING WEB SITES: Additional information about advising-related issues can be found at: and Additional information about advising is also addressed in the Catalog and from the Office of the Registrar

STUDENT ISSUES/CONCERNS: Associate Dean Kate Murphy ( is the Dean’s office main contact for undergraduate student issues (e.g., substitution forms, change of major, Academic Probation/Academic Disqualification) and graduate student issues (e.g., formal study plans Academic Probation/Academic Disqualification).  

Associate Dean Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti ( is the Dean’s office main contact for issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

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