Faculty Information

Working together to support students.

We offer these brief summaries of topics related to student success for professors at William & Mary. More extensive information about Student Accessibility Services and Community Values & Restorative Practices is also recommended for our faculty partners.

Academic Struggles

Faculty members often talk with students who are concerned about their academic performance. You should be aware, though, that our office has professional staff members who work with students on developing effective study skills, habits, and strategies. Consider referring students who you identify as needing additional academic assistance.

Absences (Undergraduate)

Because regular class attendance is crucial to academic success, we encourage you to notify us, as well as the student, any time a student has missed one too many classes. When we receive your notice, we initiate a procedure to locate the student within 24 hours to discuss what their academic or personal issues may be. Our office can assist students experiencing unexpected or difficult circumstances by providing both direct support--study skills assistance and accessibility services--as well as referrals to other appropriate resources, like their academic advisor, the Counseling Center, the Health Center, and Career Services.

Disruptive Behavior

According to the Student Handbook, the definition of disruptive behavior is "conduct which obstructs or disrupts a normal function." If a student is disrupting your class to the point that you find it difficult to teach or students are finding it difficult to learn, then disruptive behavior is occurring.

You should be able to handle most inappropriate behaviors at the time of the disruption. However, some may require consultation, College judicial action, or immediate emergency response. To learn more please read our recommendations for managing and responding to disruptive behavior in the classroom.

Illnesses/Unusual Circumstances

Class attendance policies are set by individual faculty. In rare occasions, when extenuating circumstances occur that cause students to miss class, assignments, exams, etc. Students can utilize the Student Emergency Notification Policy.

For absences related to illnesses that do not require hospitalization, the Dean of Students Office will NOT provide notice. However this letter from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies will explain the appropriate protocol.

eHonor Code Infractions

It is the responsibility of each W&M student to uphold the Honor Code. Students must also reject dishonorable conduct in others. If an honor system is to be effective, students and all university community members must report suspected violations of the Honor Code by students. Please refer to the Resources for Faculty section for more about the Honor Code.

Grades and Test Scores

Posting grades or returning graded work in ways that connect confidential information to "personally identifiable" information is a violation of FERPA.

Blocked Information

Giving out directory information about a student who has requested confidentiality is a violation. In addition, it may cause the student harm. Faculty members can check to see if a student has placed a block on his/her records by contacting the Registrar.

Re-disclosure

Re-disclosing information that has been shared with you by another faculty or staff member without authorization or reason is a violation. Disclosure must follow one of the provisions of FERPA listed above.

Parental Release (Undergraduate)

You must have permission from the student before you can release any information to their parents or legal guardians. Students may give general permission to release information about academics, financial matters, or honor code/student conduct information.

Please utilize Passphrase or call our office to learn how to navigate working with parents before you discuss information concerning a student's academic performance including grades, notification of academic warning, academic probation, required academic withdrawal, or conduct/honor code related issues.

Rescheduled/Deferred Exams (Undergraduate)

The Office of Academic Advising has an exam rescheduling procedure.

The Dean of Students Office manages the rescheduling or deferring exam process during final exam periods. We reschedule/defer exams for the following reasons:

  1. Medical circumstances (physical and psychological) verified by a healthcare professional
  2. International student travel complications without alternatives
  3. Family emergency, such as death of a close family member
  4. Conflict with a religious holiday/service
  5. Interview or training for a permanent job that cannot be rescheduled
  6. Interview for graduate or professional school
  7. Activities at which the student is formally representing the College
Religious Accommodations

William & Mary urges its administrators, faculty members, and staff to be sensitive to the religious holidays of organized religions. All persons should be able to participate in the essential practices of their faith without conflict with academic requirements, as long as such practices are in accordance with state and federal regulations and consistent with safety regulations of William & Mary. William & Mary offers the following guidelines:

  • As soon as possible and no later than the end of the drop/add period, each student has the responsibility to inform his or her instructor of religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with classes and other required academic activities. Each student has the responsibility to arrange his or her course schedule to minimize conflicts. It is understood that when scheduling options exist for religious observances, the student has the responsibility to minimize conflicts.
  • Based upon prior agreement between the instructor and student, a student who misses a class meeting because of a scheduling conflict with religious observances should be allowed, whenever possible, to complete without penalty the work missed because of such absences. A student who is absent from a test or presentation because of the observance of a religious holiday should be able to reschedule it without penalty. Absence from a final examination requires that the examination be rescheduled in advance through the established process for rescheduling of final examinations by the Dean of Students Office. Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  • Faculty members and administrators in charge of scheduling campus-wide events should avoid conflicts with religious holidays as much as possible.
Letters

You may receive a letter or email from the Dean of Students Office confirming that a student is dealing with significant issues at the time. We may not be able to give you full information due to privacy commitments, but we invite you to communicate with us if you know of any other circumstances affecting the student's academic success.