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The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

Faculty Information for Fall Quarter 2020

To: All Faculty, College of Liberal Arts
Date: 09/10/2020
From: Philip J. Williams, Dean; Debra Valencia-Laver, Associate Dean; Penny Bennett, Associate Dean for Student Success; Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti, Associate Dean for Diversity & Curriculum
Cc: CLA Dept. Chairs; CLA Dept. Coordinators
Subject: Faculty Information for Fall Quarter 2020

SYLLABUS: 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 for Fall 2020 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

Sample syllabi statements are available to help you communicate your commitment to making our classrooms inclusive spaces. 

OFFICE HOURS: Pursuant to new 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 fully on-line instruction and work-from-home requirements for Fall 2020, the college requests that faculty assign at least half of their office hours as synchronous 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.

STUDENT SCHEDULES: 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 an/or print out a copy of your class schedule multiple times during the quarter.
  • If you need to withdraw from a class after the Add/Drop period, there are special procedures/forms for that process. Please obtain that information from the Office of the Registrar.

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 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 Dean’s office for approval.

WITHDRAWAL FORMS: : Students who need to request to withdraw from a class after the ADD/DROP deadline but prior to the end of the 7th week may do so with a special COURSE WITHDRAWAL PETITION form available online from the Office of the Registrar. This request must be for serious and compelling reasons (medical/personal/financial). The form must be signed by the instructor of record for the class, the student’s advisor or department chair, and the department chair of the department offering the course. A PETITION TO WITHDRAW form for after the end of the 7th week and prior to the last day of class is also available from the Office of the Registrar. This request must be for EMERGENCY (medical/personal/financial) reasons only. This form must be signed by the instructor, the student’s advisor or chair, and the Dean of the college (rather than the chair of the department) offering the course.

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 Friday, November 6, 2020. These requests should be addressed to Associate Dean Debra Valencia-Laver ( NOTE: Information about Final Exams for Fall 2020 will be updated to reflect the on-line nature of instruction for the quarter. Classes in the asynchronous mode will have final exam times determined by the time and date of the originally scheduled synchronous class.

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, November 6, 2020. For the University’s Policy on Final Exams, including the approved list of valid reasons for Special Student Arrangements to take early exams, see

CHANGE OF GRADE: Grade changes may be made only for clerical or administrative errors such as mistakes in averaging points or inputting grades to grade sheets. Corrections for clerical errors are due no later than the seventh week of the following quarter via the on-line grade change procedures. Students have up to one year to complete work in a course for which they received an I. After one year, the I converts to an F, and students must re-enroll in the course to get a grade (senior project may be the exception). An online version of the paper form, available on the Office of the Registrar website, is required to make any grade changes (including for Incompletes) after the end of the 7th week of the quarter following the term the grade was first recorded. A change from an I to a grade made within the year, does not need signatures from the chair and dean (see form for instructions).

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 appointments 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, etc.

CLA Advising Center Hours and Contact Information (virtual advising only):
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Closed for lunch from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Zoom Drop-in Advising: Monday - Friday 9am-12pm & 12-4pm Phone: (805) 756-6200
Location: Building 47, Room 22B

CLA Advisors: Sabrina Canady (Lead), Katie Harris, Alejandra Cebreros and Alec Koehler.

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

DEAN’S CONTACTS ON STUDENT ISSUES: Associate Dean Penny Bennett ( is the Dean’s main contact for undergraduate student issues (e.g., substitution forms, change of major, Academic Probation/Academic Disqualification). Graduate student issues should be addressed to Associate Dean Debra Valencia-Laver ( Issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion may be directed to Associate Dean Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti (

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