Most frequently asked questions by part-time instructors

Will I have a WMU ID?

WMU picture identification cards are obtained on the second level of the Bernhard Center in room 215. The part-time faculty appointment process must be completed before an ID card will be given. Your WIN (ID) number will be printed on the back. This ID can be used for as long as you are employed by WMU. It is only valid/activated, however, during the semester/session you teach. It will be validated automatically each time you are appointed.

What is the process for obtaining a parking sticker?

You must take your contract letter and car registration to the Public Safety Building on the corner of West Michigan and Knollwood Avenues. Unfortunately, this is not the same building you go to for your ID

Where can I park?

Parking lots that are designated “R” are for faculty and staff. Parking maps can be accessed through the WMU web site. The address is http://maps.pp.wmich.edu/image.pl?Coord=250,187&Img=P&Zoom=1

How do I get a parking permit/map for a guest speaker?

Make your request for a guest parking permit from the chair/director’s office coordinator. Guests will be issued a one-day permit that can be used in faculty/staff “R” lots.

Will I receive a library card to us in WMU libraries?

Your photo ID serves as your library card. It will be valid during the semester/session that you teach. Cards for the Kalamazoo Public Libraries are available to any person living within a 60 or so mile radius of Kalamazoo. You must show your driver’s license to obtain the card.

Is there any other “paper work” that I have to complete?

The department/school will require an updated vita prior to the beginning of the semester/session. Your vita provides information necessary for completing several documents including required Graduate Faculty Status Forms for those teaching graduate-level courses.

Federal law requires the completion of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Federal Government’s Immigration Reform and Control Act). Please see the office coordinator for information on where and how to complete this form. (You will need to provide two pieces of identification for employment eligibility purposes. Most faculty find it easiest to provide a social security card and driver’s license.)

A W-4 form is available online, http://www.wmich.edu/payroll/doc/forms/w4_form.pdf .

How and when do I get my paycheck?

Your check will be mailed to your home. Direct deposit is also available. Paychecks are issued every other Tuesday. There are nine pay days in each semester – four per Summer I or Summer II sessions.

How do I get a “course pack” compiled and ordered?

The Copy Desk at the Bernhard Center (387-4466) will create these for you. Allow one month for copyrighted materials and three days for material with no copyright. The Course Packs are then sold at the WMU Bookstore near the textbooks (with the name of the professor and course number). You are not restricted to using the Copy Desk. Dollar Bill (998-3813) also provides course packs and has been used by some of the full-time faculty.

When do I get a class list?

Faculty can access class lists through Self-serve Banner. This access is available to the instructor(s) of record for each section of each course. Detailed instructions for faculty on how to access class lists can be found through the following web site: http://www.wmich.edu/registrar/faculty-staff/instructors/classroster.html .

Is there a standard syllabus? Are there educational standards for this course that I must meet?

Syllabi should include the following two paragraphs:

  1. Accommodation for disabilities
    Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Ms. Beth Denhartigh at 387-2116 or at beth.denhartigh@wmich.edu  at the beginning of the semester. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the instructor.
    and also:

  2. Student academic conduct
    You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the academic policies and procedures in the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalogs (found online, http://catalog.wmich.edu) that pertain to Student rights and responsibilities. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity, and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

Are there grading policies/guidelines?

Course grades are entered by the instructor of record through GoWMU at the end of each semester. Grading is opened the Monday following the last day to withdraw for the semester and grades are due by noon on the Tuesday following the last day of the semester or session. Students will not be able to see their grades online until the grade roll process is completed in the Registrar’s Office. This is done shortly after noon on the day grades are due and nightly thereafter.

Change of grade – grades can only be changed by the instructor who gave the grade. The change of grade form is available through GoWMU; the form can be completed, printed, signed and returned to the Registrar’s Office. WMU catalog policy allows students 60 business days after the end of a semester to contact an instructor regarding a question on a grade given in that semester.


Honor points


A 4.0 outstanding, exceptional, extraordinary:
BA 3.5  
B 3.0 very good, high pass
CB 2.5  
C 2.0 satisfactory, acceptable, adequate
DC 1.5  
D 1.0 poor
E 0.0 failing
X 0.0 failure (unofficial withdrawal)
W   official withdrawal
I   incomplete
CR   credit
NC   no credit
AU   audit (noncredit enrollment)


The ‘E’ and ‘X’ grades:

Note that although both the ‘E’ and the ‘X’ grade count as 0.0 in the GPA calculation, there is a difference. A student who completes all work in the course, but whose work is failing should receive the ‘E’ grade. A student who has either never attended class or who has discontinued attendance and does not qualify for an incomplete should receive the ‘X’ grade.

Can I publicly post grades?

FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a federal law which protects the privacy of student records. More information on FERPA can be found online.

What you need to know about FERPA:

Posting of grades

Grades cannot be posted by Social Security number, nor by WIN, nor by any portion of the SSN or WIN. The only way grades can be posted is by the use of randomly assigned identifiers that only the student and the instructor know. These must then be posted non-alphabetically.

Keep in mind that students can see their end of the semester grades a few hours after the grading deadline through Gowmu, so posting final grades is not necessary. Midterm grades are available to students as soon as the instructor enters them in GoWMU.

Return of assignments

Homework, quizzes or tests cannot be left in a public location for students to pick up.

What information on students can be released?

Directory information, as defined below, is the only information the University may disclose without consent, unless the student has requested that it not be disclosed. If a student has requested confidentiality, this is noted on the student record in Banner.

WMU has defined directory information as:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • email address assigned by WMU
  • curriculum and major field of study
  • dates of attendance
  • enrollment status (full/part time)
  • degrees/awards received
  • most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of athletes

If you have any question on whether or not to release information, call the Registrar’s Office, 269-387-4300.

What should I do if I suspect a student of cheating?

Academic conduct policy

The Office of Student Conduct is charged with coordinating the student academic conduct process as well as providing resources and information for faculty, staff and students. More information is available on: http://www.osc.wmich.edu/. This office coordinates all hearings and procedures related to charges of Academic dishonesty.

Academic honesty policy

If a student is uncertain about an issue of academic honesty, he/she should consult the faculty member to resolve questions in any situation prior to the submission of the academic exercise. Violations of academic honesty include but are not limited to:


     Definition: Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.

     Clarification: Students completing any examination are prohibited from looking at another student’s examination and from using external aids (for example, books, notes, calculators, conversation with other) unless specifically allowed in advance by the faculty member.

Students may not have others conduct research or prepare work for them without advance authorization from the faculty member. This includes, but is not limited to the services of commercial term paper companies.

Fabrication, falsification, and forgery

     Definition: Fabrication is the intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise or University record. Forgery is defined as the act to imitate or counterfeit documents, signatures, and the like.

     Clarification: “Invented” information shall not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of results or academic exercise. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and then “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.

Students shall acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a student shall not take a quotation from a book review and then indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.

Falsification of University records includes altering or forging any University document and/or record, including identification material issued or used by the University.

Multiple submission

     Definition: Multiple submission is the submission of substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from instructors of all classes for which the student submits the work.

     Clarification: Examples of multiple submission include submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without all faculty members’ permission; making revisions in a credit paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work.


     Definition: Plagiarism is intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgement of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge. Instructors should provide clarification about the nature of plagiarism.


Direct Quotation: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged, in the text by citation or in a footnote or endnote.

Paraphrase: Prompt acknowledgement is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part, in one’s own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: “To paraphrase Locke’s comment…”and then conclude with a footnote or endnote identifying the exact reference.

Borrowed facts: Information gained in reading or research which is not common knowledge must be acknowledged.

Common knowledge: Common knowledge includes generally know facts such as the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials which add only to general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be footnoted or endnoted.

Footnotes, endnotes and in-text citations: One footnote, endnotes, or in-text citation is usually enough to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences are drawn from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and acknowledgement made. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, acknowledgement is required.

Faculty members are responsible for identifying any specific style/format requirement for the course. Examples include but are not limited to American Psychological Association (APA) style and Modern Languages Association (MLA) style.


     Definition: Complicity is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

     Clarification: Examples of complicity include knowingly allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the materials to be tested before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported; taking an examination or test for another student, or signing another’s name on an academic exercise.

What do I need to know about posting final grades?

Final grades are due at noon on the Tuesday following the end of Fall and Spring semesters and Summer I and Summer II sessions. Grade submission is completed on-line through the same site where class lists are obtained.

Faculty submit grades through Self-serve Banner. This access is available to the instructor(s) of record for each section. Detailed instructions for faculty how to submit grades can be found here.

 How do I change a grade?

Change of grade forms can be found on the Faculty Menu in GoWMU.

When can I give an “Incomplete?”

From the undergraduate catalog:

“This is a temporary grade, which the instructor may give to an undergraduate student when illness, necessary absence, or other reasons beyond the control of the student prevent completion of course requirements by the end of the semester or session. The grade of ‘I’ (incomplete) may not be given as a substitute for a failing grade.”

The grade of ‘I’ must be removed (using a change of grade form) by the instructor who gave the grade. A student has one year from the time the incomplete is given to make up the work and have the grade of ‘I’ replaced. The instructor can designate a shorter time than 1 year if desired.

Extensions beyond the one year deadline are granted; in a situation where the instructor is convinced that the student should be given more time to complete the work, the instructor should either email or write to the Registrar’s office and the extension will be granted.

Instructors receive notification from the Registrar’s Office about 6 weeks before all incompletes they have granted expire.

For undergraduates, incomplete grades for which an extension has not been requested, will be converted to an ‘E’ about one month after the year has expired.

Incomplete forms can be found on the Faculty Menu in GoWMU.

The instructor should indicate the length of time allowed for the student to complete the work. When the length of time is not indicated, the student is given one year to complete the work. Please keep this in mind when speaking with the student about your expectations. You will be responsible for reviewing the student’s work and changing the grade from “I” to a letter grade when the work is completed.

When and where do I hold the final exam?

From the 2008-2011 AAUP contract:

38.§3 FINAL EXAMINATIONS. In every class taught, all faculty shall give a final examination, i.e., some form of comprehensive evaluative academic exercise appropriate to the course content and according to the published schedule of examinations, during the last week of the semester (which shall be set aside for final examinations), or at or near the scheduled conclusion of the session. The final evaluative exercise may be distributed before the time scheduled for the final exam providing that it is due and collected on the day during the final week of the semester on which the final exam has been scheduled. Exceptions to the requirement of scheduling a final examination (or other appropriate evaluative activity) may be granted, in writing, at the discretion of the appropriate chairperson and/or dean, upon request from the faculty member.

WMU has an official “exam week” at the end of Fall and Spring semesters. Exams for courses which meet during daytime hours are to be given during that week at special times other than the normal class times. A schedule of those times is available through the Registrar’s website, on the calendars tab. Contact the department/school office coordinator with any questions.

If a student wishes to drop my class, what should I tell them?

A student can drop a course through the fifth day of the term through GoWMU. A student can withdraw from a course from the day after the drop/add period through the Monday of the tenth week for fall/spring semesters (fifth week for Summer sessions). Students wishing to drop some, but not all of their courses, after that date must complete a Request to Late Drop a Class form. The student must be passing the course and obtain the approval of the instructor. The student needs to have the instructor sign the late drop slip; the student then brings the slip to the Registrar’s Office. Text on the late drop slip is:

“Students who wish to drop a course after the Monday of the tenth week in the Fall/Spring semesters and after the fifth week of Summer I/Summer II sessions because of a genuine hardship (i.e., illness, death in the immediate family) must obtain the approval of the instructor. Students must be passing the course and provide supporting documentation.”

Students should be advised to consult with their academic advisor and the Financial Aid office before withdrawing from a course.

Students wishing to withdraw from all courses after the Monday of the tenth week of the fall or spring semester must complete a “Request to Withdraw from All Courses” form. The student must obtain the sign- off from a college advisor, a financial services counselor and if an international student, an international student services representative.

A student can file an appeal for a late withdrawal after grades have been submitted. The appeal form is on the Registrar’s website: http://www.wmich.edu/registrar/pdf/forms/appeal-late-withdraw.pdf. The student must complete this form and return it to the Registrar’s Office. Once received, the Registrar’s office will send the instructor a form to complete providing information on the student’s progress in your course.

Students who are not passing, or can not obtain instructor approval, must wait until the term ends and appeal for a late withdraw through the Registrar's Office. After a final grade has been recorded, an Appeal For a Late Withdraw would need to be made with the Registrar's Office.

What computer services are available to part-time instructors?

University Computing Services will send you information regarding an e-mail account, etc.

Do students formally evaluate my teaching?

Yes. WMU uses the Instructor Course Evaluation System (ICES) developed by the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You will receive information about this process from the department/school. Should you like additional information, it can be found through the following WMU web site: http://www.wmich.edu/poapa/ICES/index.html

Frequently asked questions to be addressed by the individual department or school

Is a copy machine available to use?

Are supplies available for my use?

Will I have a work space/office in the school/department?

How will the department/school communicate with me?

Is clerical support available to me, i.e., typing and duplication?

How do you get “overheads” made?

Where do I get audio-visual equipment?

Is there a list of films/videos that are available for my use?

Am I required to use certain textbook(s)?

Whom should I contact with my questions about teaching this particular course?

What do I do if I am ill on the day of class?

What do I do when students request late admission to my class

Office of the Registrar
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5256 USA
269 387-4300 | 269 387-3545