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Faculty Handbook

Faculty Engagement in Maintaining and Improving WISR’s Learning Community and Methods

WISR faculty meet together regularly, at least monthly, to discuss and to fine tune and to improve continually our approaches to working with students—individually and through seminars and other group collaboration.  In these meetings, we plan seminars, problem-solve together about our work with students who have special challenges and needs, plan quarterly All-School Gatherings to bring the majority of our learning community together, develop online learning options, and discuss WISR’s future directions.  Faculty engage in evaluations of their teaching throughout the year based on informal student feed-back and discussions with other faculty, and formally there are annual evaluations based on written feed-back from students on anonymous questionnaires and discussed with the President, who is also the Chief Academic Officer.  Sometimes Board members, most of whom are experienced academics as well, contribute to our discussions of how to improve the quality of education at WISR.

Faculty Responsibilities for Giving Students Continual and Timely Feedback

Policy Regarding Faculty Keeping Track of their Feedback  to Students:

Because WISR faculty often meet with students by phone rather than face to face, State regulations require that we document when we receive a paper from a student (e.g., draft of a paper, final paper to be given credit, syllabus form or draft of syllabus, or other draft of plan or ideas submitted by student for our feedback) we must log the date received as well as the date we give the student feedback. Faculty may wish to keep track of their feedback to students, using this Log of Feedback Form.  However, so long as faculty log the required information, they can, if they wish, develop you’re their own form for this purpose.   Faculty are to submit their completed forms to the President every three months—end of December, March,  June and September, and initially on December 31, 2013.

Policy Regarding Faculty Feedback to Students:

Faculty are required to give students rapid feedback on drafts of papers and theses. Typically, faculty give students feedback on papers that are 20 pages or less, within 7 to 10 days.  Faculty may need as much as three to four weeks to read and give feedback on longer papers, and especially on drafts of theses and dissertations.  Faculty acknowledge receipt of e-mails and papers within several days, and schedule face to face meetings and phone conferences with students, making every effort to find mutual convenient days and times to talk–usually within 7 to 10 days from the date when the student first requests a meeting or phone conference.  Faculty are to keep track of their feedback to students, as noted above.  Students are encouraged to meet with someone on the faculty at least once every two weeks.

WISR Policy on Academic Freedom

WISR affirms the principles stated in the “1940 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure” by the American Association of University Professors (http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/contents/1940statement.htm ). In particular, WISR affirms the importance of mutual respect to the inquiry that is so important to academia in general and to WISR in particular.

WISR places an emphasis on encouraging students and faculty to use inquiry in conjunction with action—in identifying and seeking to address community problems and needed directions for social change. We further respect each learner’s essential right to engage in free, uncensored inquiry. Of course, we also acknowledge that inevitably there will be disagreements among learners as to what inquiry should be conducted, what actions should be pursued, and on occasion even what core values should inform our work. At WISR, in the spirit of academic freedom, these differences are welcomed, and viewed as opportunities for further inquiry—indeed, ideally advancing collaborative inquiry among learners at WISR. They must not be cause for repudiation or retaliation.

Consistent with AAUP principles, WISR learners are free to express their own opinions and conduct their own research without fear from institutional censorship or discipline, both within WISR and in the public arena.

WISR Counseling Referral Guide

WISR faculty are to use these guidelines, suggestions and resources when you are working with students who may be in need of professional counseling support and assistance:

Counseling Referral Guide

Use of Required Academic Forms

For students enrolling in Fall of 2018 or after, the needed academic forms (e.g., self-assessment form, log of collaboration, etc.) are available on WISR’s Learning Management System, using the Google Education Suite.

For students enrolled prior to Fall of 2018, they have the option, for now, of using the new LMS or completing their studies, using similar course syllabi but not through the LMS. 

For these students, and for faculty working with them, to needed academic forms here. 

Care of WISR’s Facility

Faculty are entitled to have keys to WISR’s storefront facility, and to use the space freely and responsibly–faculty and students may use the space, including the public computers, in order to do their work and to meet with one another.  Those who unlock the building are responsible for locking it, turning off lights and computers and closing all windows, unless they ask someone else staying after them to be responsible for these tasks.  Food should be disposed of properly (garbage outside, dishes and glasses that are used should be washed, coffee maker turned off), recycle items as appropriate and throw other trash.

Remind students of these responsibilities for taking care of our facility, and instruct students in properly library check out procedures:  1) priority books in designated locations should be borrowed for 7 days or less; 2) all books should be listed on the students’ file card, listing the title of the book and the date checked out, with the card filed alphabetically by the student’s last name. When using the copier, be sure to leave a contribution of $.05/page.

Policies and Procedures Manual

WISR’s Policies and Procedures Manual articulates:
1. Job Descriptions and Duties of WISR Faculty
2. Governance and Decision-Making at WISR
3. WISR Personnel Policies
4. Compendium of Special Policies and Procedures Implemented by WISR’s President or Faculty, or Passed by the Board of Trustees–for the Information and Guidance of WISR Faculty, Staff, Students and Board
5. List of Topics Covered by WISR’s Official Catalog


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