Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Teaching Handbook

General Teaching Procedures

  1. Meet and dismiss classes on time. (It is suggested you have a watch as most rooms do not have clocks nor are there bells.)

  2. Do not cancel classes. If you are forced to miss a class, follow the procedures outlined below:

    1. It is important to not miss classes during the first week of classes, the last week of classes, or during the final exam and grading period.
    2. If forced to miss a class period for any reason, you must notify the department immediately either by voice mail (x2568) or e-mail to the department secretary or the associate chair.
    3. If you know in advance about an absence, notify the department in writing or e-mail to get approval from the associate chair.
    4. Do not cancel your class. You are responsible to find a substitute. The substitute must be an experienced teaching assistant or math instructor. You must inform the department office of the name of the substitute.
  3. Distribute a Syllabus. If a departmental syllabus is not available for the course you are teaching, you will need to provide one of your own for your students. Copies of all syllabi should be submitted to the departmental secretary. The syllabus includes:

    • your name
    • phone number(s) where students can reach you or leave messages
    • your e-mail address
    • your office hours
    • course name and number
    • course outline/class schedule
    • course prerequisites
    • method of grading
    • policies regarding missed assignments, quizzes and tests
    • attendance requirements (if any)
    • general calendar, listing drop and withdrawal dates, project due dates, test dates, and final exam date and time
    • list of required textbooks and materials
    • list of required readings and assignments
    • resources available to assist the students with the material in the course (the Mathematics and Resource Center - MLRC)

    You should regard the syllabus as a contract between you and the students. Since the syllabus will serve as a resource for resolving issues should a dispute arise, please include sufficient information regarding the course and your expectations.

  4. General records. You are required to maintain records pertaining to the activities of your class, such as attendance records and student grades. You must keep your records through the subsequent semester; this is important, since these will be examined in the event of a dispute or question initiated by a student. You must submit your final grade sheet and one copy of final exams to the department secretary at the end of the semester.

  5. Office hours. Graduate Assistants who are instructors for their own course are to have at least three office hours per week and post the times on their office door as well as give the times to the secretaries on the forms distributed via your mailboxes. Be sure to hold your posted office hours. Two of your office hours are to be held in the Math Learning and Resource Center (see 6 below).

  6. Learning Resources. Students seeking tutoring assistance should be directed to the Mathematics Learning and Resource Center which has tutoring available at Carlson Library.

  7. Rosters. Class rosters will be available online. Information related to accessing your rosters through the university's "Faculty and Advisors Portal Services" can be found at the Registrar's Faculty Resources page.

  8. Announce Course Prerequisites. Your students must have met prerequisites for your course. As mentioned in (3) above, course prerequisites should appear on your syllabus. The department actively checks student records to ensure that students satisfy the prerequisites for your courses. During the first week of the semester, you will receive a list of students who potentially are misplaced. It is your responsibility to speak with those students on your list who are in attendance, and, if you can confirm that the information you have received is accurate, to advise those students that they are not prepared for your class and that they should speak with an advisor. To identify the students with whom you need to speak, please follow these steps:

    1. Without specifying any reason, ask the student whose names are on the list to meet with you briefly after class. You may write the names of these students on the board or display them on a transparency at the beginning of class.
    2. After class, meet with the students individually and inquire as to whether the placement test scores and grades in prerequisite courses are correct. Once possible source of inaccuracy, for example, is that grades for transfer courses may not have been properly recorded.
    3. For students who cannot offer a satisfactory explanation of why they should be in your course, ask them to see their advisor.

    If you have any questions about these policies, please consult with the associate chair or the coordinator of the course.

  9. Registration Policies for Add/Drop and Withdrawal. (Pertinent dates can be found on the Academic Calendar.)

    • Adding a class or Registering Late. If your class is below the prescribed course capacity, a student may add a class during the first three (3) calendar days of a semester without a signature. Between calendar days 4-15, inclusively, a student may add a course by obtaining the signature of the instructor. In the case that your class has reached its capacity and is therefore closed, but there are still available seats in the classroom, it is possible that students may still be signed in by the associate chair. If your class is closed, all inquiries regarding enrollment should be referred to the associate chair.
    • Dropping a Class. During the first 15 calendar days of the semester a student may drop a class with no record on his/her transcript.
    • Withdrawing from a Class. A student may withdraw from a class during calendar day 16 through Friday of week 10, inclusively. A grade of "W" will appear on the student's transcript. It is the responsibility of the student to submit to the Records Office the official form to "Withdraw". It is very important to remind students of these deadlines.
  10. "IN" Grade. The university policy for assigning the grade "IN" (Incomplete) can be found along with other grade options. Here is the excerpt:

    "This grade of IN is assigned only in extraordinary cases when unexpected conditions prevent the student from completing the requirements of the course within the term of enrollment. The student must complete the required work before the end of the following semester in which the grade is received (excluding summers); otherwise the grade will be converted to a grade of F by the Office of the Registrar. The student may initiate a request for an additional semester to complete the work for the grade (excluding summers). The extension is granted upon the approval of the faculty member and the Associate Dean of the college offering the course. The incomplete grade will not be considered in computing the student's grade point average."

    In addition, please note the following procedures for giving the grade of Incomplete:

    1. Get the associate chair's approval to give the "IN".
    2. Fill out the "Incomplete" Grade form (available from the department office) with the student so it is clear to both parties what is necessary to complete the course.
    3. Give the associate chair the completed and signed form.
  11. Announce Final Exams According to the Schedule. The University final exam schedule is set by the University and must be followed as printed. There is no policy which would exempt students from taking final exams.

  12. Class Procedures. Follow the syllabus and try to keep pace. Check with the faculty member that coordinates the course you are teaching as to departmental syllabus, testing, etc. That individual can also assist you regarding the pace of the course and coverage of material. If you have comments or complaints about course content, talk with the course coordinator or the associate chair. Do not change the course unilaterally as you are responsible to deliver the material as outlined in the course syllabus.

  13. Graded Materials Graded assignments are a means of evaluating student progress, and graded assignments should be given to students as early as possible and periodically throughout the semester. Because students need to know their standing in your class in advance of the drop and withdrawal deadlines, you should grade and return some material by the 15th calendar day of the semester and have graded and returned at least one midterm by the end of the 8th week of the semester. The general rule is that there should be at least three or four midterm exams during the semester. If you give weekly quizzes, then three midterms would suffice. Not only will periodic grades be a continual way to record student progress, but they also will be a way for you, as the instructor, to evaluate how well the material is being conveyed to your students.

  14. Final Grades. Grades are due the first Tuesday (fall semester) and Wednesday (spring semester) following exam week and all instructors are expected to have their grades submitted online by this time, with a copy submitted to the department secretary. You can find information about the university's new system of online grade submission on the Registrar's Faculty Resources page.

  15. Academic Dishonesty. The University has guidelines regarding academic dishonesty on the Student Life policy page. Should you encounter this in any of the classes, please contact the associate chair immediately. Also, for any case where academic dishonesty results in lowering of a grade, it is imperative that the associate chair and the department office be informed.

  16. Teaching Evaluation. Every instructor is required to administer the department's standard student evaluations of classroom instruction each semester. These are available to students to fill out online and it is suggested to dedicate a portion of each class time for them to fill it out. (In the past envelopes containing evaluation sheets will be distributed during the last three weeks of the semester. These are to be filled out according to the instructions given and returned to the department office a designated student by the Friday of final exam week.) Results will be made available to you in the subsequent semester. New Part-time instructors and teaching assistants can expect to be observed and evaluated during their first term teaching for the department. As time permits peer evaluations will also be done on continuing part-time instructors and teaching assistants.

  17. Student Problems. If any problems on procedures, student relations, testing, etc. occur, please confer with the associate chair.

  18. Disciplinary Action. In the circumstance of repeated and flagrant lapses of responsibilities, disciplinary action may be taken in the form of a letter reprimand, the docking of pay, or termination of the assistantship or employment. Investigation of such violations will include a mandatory visit to your classroom.

  19. Professionalism. In accepting this teaching position, you have made a serious commitment, not only to the department, but to your students. Perhaps the most important aspect of professionalism revolves around honoring this commitment and being able to meet the aspects of it that you have set forth for your students. Aspects of professionalism include the following:

    • Respect your students. It is important that you are sensitive to and respect the needs and backgrounds of your students.
    • Having respect for your own position and maintaining a professional attitude. You should exhibit enthusiasm for your position, but be careful to avoid being overly authoritarian or too informal in maintaining discipline.
    • Meeting your commitments to the class. Not only should you be on time and hold class for the full amount of time, but you should always come to class prepared, return student work on time, and keep the office hours that you have established.
    • Being prepared for a variety of reactions and emotions during class discussions. Students may also exhibit varied responses to the grades they earn. In both of these instances, professionalism entails maintaining calm objectivity.
    • Avoid confrontation with an irate student and do not allow one student to intimidate another during class discussions.
    • Helping to keep rooms clean by not allowing smoking or eating in the classrooms, as University policy mandates.
    • Remaining calm and orderly during a possible emergency within the classroom or building and following established Emergency Preparedness guidelines, which include:
      • Contacting security at 419.530.2600 in the event that a medical emergency arises, or if an altercation erupts
      • Contacting 911
      • Following established University safety guidelines during fire alarms and tornado drills
  20. Class Preparation. The key aspect to classroom management is class preparation. You should have a plan for class every time you teach. This daily plan should extend to encompass the goal of the semester and serve to make connections from day to day. A plan that is conceived well should also serve to establish connections to the world outside of the classroom. You should be sensitive to the career goals of your students, and work to incorporate their interests into your plan.

    A typical plan would include:

    • Objectives for the day
    • Organization of lecture
    • Alternative activities
    • Examples you intend to use
    • Intended assignments

    Strict adherence to a plan is not always possible; therefore, it is important that you are able to be flexible with this plan, and allow for changes. This may necessitate some over-planning on your part.

    Since some plans may require materials beyond those provided in the classrooms, it is your responsibility to have any extra materials or aids ready for usage in your classroom. Any materials that you need to order should be ordered at least a week in advance, if possible.

  21. Student Complaints. You should be aware that, though they are rare, it is our responsibility to follow up on every student complaint. In case of a complaint, our first step will always be to contact you to obtain your perspective on the matter. Such a discussion may be followed by a visit to your class. These visits can be for any reason -- to check on the activity of the instructor, on the behavior of the students, or simply on troublesome interactions between the two. It is our intent to communicate with you clearly and promptly regarding any difficulties in regard to your teaching. It is always our hope that as we work together any problems can be resolved before they become serious.

Math Placement Test Web Sites

There is a Math Placement Test website and the undergraduate catalog also details the course prerequisites.


    1. Offices Space. Check with the department secretaries regarding your office assignment. If your office requires a key, it will be ordered through the department secretary and you can pick it up at the Plant Operations Building. When you leave the University, you will return your key to Plant Operations and obtain a receipt to take to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics showing that you returned your key.

    2. Departmental Office - 2040 University Hall. The department secretaries are in the office from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except on staff holidays. The office is open during lunch hour with few exceptions.

      The department phone numbers are 419.530.2568 and 419.530.2232. Every office has a phone. Dial 9 for an outside line. There is no long distance service available from any of the part-time or graduate assistant offices.

    3. Mailroom 2020F. You will receive all mail and departmental notices there. Separate mailboxes will be set up at the Scott Park campus for those instructors who will be teaching there. Please check your mailbox regularly and read your mail - especially departmental notices. All outside mail comes to a department mailbox in the University Hall mailroom. It is picked up and distributed by the department secretaries at least once a day.

    4. Testing Center. The department has no room set aside for make-up work by students, including missed tests. Missed tests should be made up in the Testing Center located in the Field House, room 1080 (phone: 419.530.2011). Secretaries do not proctor exams, tests, or quizzes. If you allow make-up work, the arrangements are your responsibilities. Please do not abuse the testing/retesting facilities as this could lead to the University discontinuing the service.

    5. Class Rooms. Classes are scheduled in various buildings on two campuses. There are online campus maps available. The location of your classes will be taken into consideration. Any consideration of changes in classroom assignments must go through the department. If you desire such a change, please contact your associate chair. DO NOT contact Registration to change your room assignment. Remember that while this might work for you, you may now have made scheduling problems for all of your students! This is especially true when trying to change a room from one campus to the other.

    6. Course Preparation. As a rule, graduate assistants and part-time instructors are responsible for writing, typing and collating their own class materials. The department secretaries will duplicate the material for you. The department needs a 24-hour notice for duplicating your class materials to guarantee that you have them on time.

    7. Supplies. Limited office supplies, including chalk, white board marking pens, and transparencies, are available for the teaching of your classes. The University Bookstore is located in the lower level of the Student Union Building and has a wide selection of supplies that you may purchase.

    8. Classroom Technology. There is an online description of all University classrooms for your convenience. If you have need of it, technology beyond what is already present may be available, and is arranged through the Audio/Visual Services Department in Carlson Library. Please call x2656 to coordinate classroom technology needs.

    9. Desk Copies. All course texts are ordered by the department for the classes you teach and are available in the Bookstore in the Student Union and/or Bookstore at the Scott Park campus. Desk copies of books for classes you teach are obtained from the department office and are to be returned to the office at the end of the semester.

    10. Identification. No one can use the facilities at Carlson Library without a University ID Card. They are available at 1610 Rocket Hall.

    11. Parking. For graduate assistants, you will pay your parking fee when you pay for your other fees when registering.

    12. Libraries. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics maintains a small library in Room 2060, which is accessible through the lounge. Carlson Library has in open stacks the Mathematics collection under Library of Congress Cataloguing. Journals, which may not be circulated, are in Carlson. You will need your ID card to check out books.

      Also, the Lucas County Public Library has many locations throughout the area and they can be located by consulting the local phone book. University of Michigan libraries are about an hour's drive north on Route 23. Library loans and journal searches are available through the Information Desk at Carlson Library.

    13. Payday. Checks are issued every other Friday. Information available on check stubs now will be securely posted on UT's Web site, in the "Self Service" section of the MyUT portal. A link will forward you to your pay stub information in an online format. This is an encrypted site. Employees who do not have direct deposit must pick up their paychecks. You may go to the cashier's office in Rocket Hall (Main Campus) to pick up your "live check" from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm each pay date. For security purposes, you must show proper identification at the time of pick up. Your check can be distributed only to you. Checks that are not collected by 4:30 pm on the Friday pay date will be mailed to employees in Monday's regular mail. The University will not issue pay to anyone not having a federal social security number. The Payroll Department will hold your pay until you have a social security number and have completed the proper tax forms. See the department secretary if you have any questions.


The departmental copy code (see the department secretaries) is for making less than 20 copies and is to be used by graduate assistants only for copying items that are required for their teaching duties. The duplication of a large number of copies (20 and over) needs to be done through the department secretaries. Please submit documents to be copied at least 24 hours ahead of the time that you will need them.

For personal copying, you can use your University ID (Rocket Card) by making a deposit to your Rocket Account. Deposits can be made online to your Rocket Account -- and are available immediately. You can also make deposits through the Cashier's Office located in Room 1790 of Rocket Hall; by mail; and at Value Transfer Stations in Rocket Hall, the Student Union and other locations on campus.

Last Updated: 8/26/22