May 26, 2024  
UA Little Rock Academic Publications 
UA Little Rock Academic Publications

Faculty Handbook 6. Course and Student Policies

Faculty Handbook Chapters

 1. Mission, Role, and Scope      5. Policies Governing Faculty Service    
 2. Constitution of the University Assembly      6. Course and Student Policies   
 3. Organization and Accreditation      7. Employee Policies for Faculty    
 4. Faculty Employment/Evaluation Policies      8. Laws, Resources, & Academic Offenses     
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Section Topics

This section provides information relating to faculty responsibilities for academic programs and courses as well as policies related to student matriculation.


All faculty are expected to be involved in their programs’ assessment of student academic achievement, which involves collecting information that will be used to make decisions to improve the programs’ curriculum, instruction, and advising. Assessment at UA Little Rock is designed to help the academic programs—whether undergraduate, graduate, or core—focus on what should be taught and whether it is being taught successfully.

Programs are encouraged to use a variety of assessment methods, including both locally developed and standardized assessment instruments, and both quantitative and qualitative methods. Faculty participate in assessment in all its phases: design, data collection, interpretation of the results, and implementation of any changes. Assessment activities and results for both program and core assessment are reported annually. An Associate Vice Chancellor for academic affairs coordinates the assessment program.

Athletes’ Faculty Class Reports

From time to time UA Little Rock faculty members may be contacted by a student in order to complete an academic progress report form from the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services. The student-athlete in question will bring the academic progress report form to the faculty member to complete. The student signs a release, as shown on the form, so that the information about the student’s performance in class may be shared with the Coordinator. The goal is to increase the academic success of student-athletes by permitting timely intervention when needed.

Faculty members should cooperate and provide the information requested if and when they receive the Academic Progress Report form in regard to student-athletes enrolled in courses they are teaching.

(UP 404.2). FS 9/13/2011)

Book Orders and Sales

Book Ordering
Faculty members are responsible for submitting term book orders by the State-mandated deadline. Summer and Fall adoptions are due on March 15 (University deadline) and the State-mandated deadline is April 1st. Spring adoptions are due on October 15 (University deadline) and the State-mandated deadline is November 1st. Contact the campus bookstore or department chair for more information.

For additional information, see 404.16, 3/1/2007)

For the state law, Act 175 of 2007, see

Sale of Books
Under University policy instructors [faculty] are not permitted to sell books or other instructional materials to students. When students are required to purchase books or other instructional materials in any academic program, the instructor of record must arrange for sale of the required articles through the campus bookstore or other approved outlets.

Neither the university, any department of the university, nor any employee of the university shall demand or receive any present or promised gift, payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services, or any other thing of value as an inducement for requiring a student or students to purchase a specific textbook for coursework or instruction offered by the university.

It is not a violation of the provisions of the policy for an employee of the university to receive, whether or not as a result of the employee’s request: Sample copied, instructor’s copies, or instructional material of a textbook required for coursework or instruction offered by or through the university; or subject to the provisions of the following paragraphs, compensation from the sale or publication of proprietary materials. An employee may receive compensation from the sale, use, or publication of proprietary materials which is pursuant to and as provided for in a written agreement with a third party entered into prior to the effective date of this policy, to the extent allowed by the university policies in force immediately prior to the effective date of this policy.

Proprietary Material Royalties

Compensation from the sale, use, or publication of proprietary materials pursuant to an agreement made after the effective date of this policy, or pursuant to a written agreement in effect prior to such date but amended after the effective date of this policy, constitutes a conflict of interest, making the use of proprietary materials, subject to the following:

  1. An employee must disclose the conflict of interest in writing to obtain prior written approval from the department chair and dean to require the purchase of the employee’s proprietary materials by the employee’s students. The request for approval shall include a description of and a justification for the use of the proprietary materials.
  2. The request for approval must state that all compensation received will be contributed to a unit, department or college of the university for use that benefits student welfare at the university, with priority given to use that will benefit students academically.
  3. By the deadline established by the university for the reporting of outside employment, an employee receiving permission under the terms of this paragraph to use proprietary materials shall provide a report acceptable to the employee’s dean on compensation received and its disposition.
  4. Violations of this policy shall be reported within ten business days to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for academic affairs, who shall within the ten business day window, forward the report to the general counsel of the university and the Legislative Council of the Arkansas General Assembly.
(UP 405.5, 9/14/2011)

For Textbook Royalties: Conflicts of Interest Pertaining to Textbooks, see

(UP 404.20, 7/7/2007)

Attendance Policies

Class Attendance and Withdrawal Policy
Each course instructor has the prerogative of setting specific attendance requirements for his or her courses. The course attendance policies must be stated in the course syllabus. In some courses. active student participation is an integral part of the course. and the instructor may base a portion of the student’s grades on attendance and participation. In general, students are expected to attend class regularly and complete all assignments and examinations. Students who miss class are responsible for finding out about the material covered. homework assignments. and any announcements or examinations.

Instructors are not required to adjust their class attendance policies nor to provide make-up exams to accommodate personal student travel. family or employment activities. The instructor has the discretion to allow a student to make up work that is missed.

(FS 4/21/2017)

Closed Class Exception
A faculty member may receive a request from a student for permission to enroll in a class that is full and which has been closed to additional enrollment. The faculty member must refer such requests to the department chairperson.

Dismissal of Classes for Speakers, Concerts, and Similar Activities
Dismissal of classes for speakers, concerts, and similar activities shall be at the discretion of each faculty member. Any announcement by the University or another sponsoring group that a lecture, concert, or other events will be given shall not be construed as requiring that classes be dismissed. Exceptions to this policy, however, may be made by a majority vote at a meeting of the University Faculty Senate.

(UP 404.10. 9/13/2011)

Drop/Withdrawal from Classes

Withdrawing from an Individual Course (Drop Date)
A student can drop a course up to the 5th day of classes through the schedule change process. Dropping a course in this time period will not result in a record of the drop on the student’s transcript. From the 6th day through the 41st day of classes, a student wishing to drop a class submits a request to the Office of Records and Registration. A student cannot withdraw from a course after the 41st day of classes, except as noted below. The cut-off dates in this paragraph refer to the day of classes in a 15-week semester (five days = one week). In shorter semesters the cut-off dates will be adjusted proportionately.

Drop/Withdrawal for non-attendance. non-payment or emergency
On or before the 10th day of classes. students who have not attended class or who have not met their payment obligations will be administratively withdrawn.

Students may be withdrawn from a class by the instructor at any time during the semester due to extenuating circumstances, such as medical or family emergencies or excessive absences. Students must be notified that they will be withdrawn from a class. and may appeal that action through the grade appeal process. provided that they file the appeal within five business days of the notice. The withdrawal will not be final until the appeal is completed. and students may continue to participate until the final decision is made. On or before the 10th day of classes. students who have not attended class or who have not met their payment obligations will be administratively withdrawn.

Students may be withdrawn from a class by the instructor at any time during the semester due to extenuating circumstances, such as medical or family emergencies or excessive absences. Students must be notified that they will be withdrawn from a class. and may appeal that action through the grade appeal process. provided that they file the appeal within five business days of the notice. The withdrawal will not be final until the appeal is completed. and students may continue to participate until the final decision is made.

Withdrawal from UA Little Rock
Students voluntarily withdrawing from all classes in a term from UA Little Rock must complete the University Withdrawal Form and have an exit interview with a staff member in the office responsible for financial aid if the student is receiving financial aid. The last day to officially withdraw from the university without a grade penalty will be set by the Registrar.

(FS 4/21/2017)
For the full policy on grade appeals, go to Student Grade Appeals policy.

Grades and Grading System Grades

Undergraduate Grades

Permanent letter-grades are here indicated, together with the grade-point value of each grade:
A – superior work 4 grade points
B – good work, above average………………………3 grade points
C – average work…………………………………………2 grade points
D – passing work, below average…………………..1 grade point
F – failing work…………………………………………….0 grade points

Graduate Grades

Permanent letter-grades are here indicated, together with the grade-point value of each grade:
A – superior work 4 grade points
B – average work………………………………………….3 grade points
C – unacceptable work…………………………………..2 grade points
D – failing work……………………………………………..1 grade point
F – failing work………………………………………………0 grade points

Other grading symbols:
Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) may be given in certain courses instead of the usual letter grades.

A student may elect to take no more than one course each semester on a CR/NC basis if the course instructor concurs provided this agreement is established at the start of the course. This course may not be used to meet the general education requirement, major requirements, or minor requirements. Courses in which a department requires CR/NC grading are not included in this limitation.

I – incomplete course work
The designation, I, or incomplete, is appropriate where the instructor deems that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented timely completion of course requirements. The designation is given by the instructor only after consultation with the student and after the student has been informed in writing of the work to be completed and the date by which the work must be completed; additionally, a copy of the written notice must be filed with the department chairperson.

Expiration Date
The work must be completed and the instructor must submit the change to the appropriate grade by the date grades are due during the next nine-month academic semester (fall or spring) for undergraduate courses, and within one year from the date grades were due for graduate courses. If the instructor does not convert the incomplete grade or submit an extension request within the allowable time frames the Incomplete grade will expire.

Extension of Incomplete
A request to extend the deadline to complete an I must be completed by the instructor and forwarded to the Office of Records and Registration prior to the Expiration Date. The extension request must include a specific date by which all course work will be completed, and this date will be the new Expiration Date.

Regardless of any extensions that may have been granted, an unconverted I grade will expire on the date that grades are due in a semester where the student has applied for graduation.

Once an I expires, it will be administratively converted to an F on a date to be set by the Registrar.

In Progress (IP) Grade - graduate only
The In Progress (IP) grade is distinct and different from the Incomplete (I) grade. An IP is used for thesis, dissertation, or other similar classes that have a time obligation that is longer than the traditional semester or session. IP indicates that the student is making satisfactory progress in that class. Students who do not make satisfactory progress will be granted no credit (NC). The IP grade is not calculated into the grade point average. In most cases upon the completion of the required work, the instructor will assign a grade of CR. An IP that has not been converted to a grade by the date that grades are due in a semester where the student has applied for graduation will be administratively converted to NC on a date to be set by the Registrar.

Repeated Grades
If a student repeats a course for credit, only the last occurrence of the course shall be counted toward credit hours or cumulative grade points, except in circumstances of academic integrity. The earlier grade will remain on the transcript with an “E” indicating exclusion from the grade point average. If there have been any changes in course numbers or titles, the student must obtain approval from the chairperson of the department offering the course to be assured it is an identical course. Once a degree has been awarded, a course included in that degree may not be repeated for credit.

Final examinations in summer term courses are given during the last scheduled class session.

Midterm Grades
Any student has the right to an evaluation of his or her grade in a course prior to the end of the drop period. Faculty are expected to facilitate the availability of grades to all students. In addition, faculty will inform students of mid-term grades for all semester-long 0 level, 1000 level and 2000 level courses offered during the fall and spring semesters. Each faculty member is expected to select appropriate times for the periodic evaluations which are necessary or desirable during the course of the semester, but the complexities of an academic institution make it necessary that all faculty members comply with an orderly schedule of final examinations. (FS 4/25/08; UP404.14)

Reporting Grades
The schedule and method of reporting grades to the student are determined by the Registrar’s Office. (FS 3/30/18))

Grade Changes
The course instructor has the responsibility for assigning grades. In the event that an instructor cannot issue a grade, the chair of the department offering the course may issue the grade, using whatever evidence is available.

Grades must be submitted to the Registrar by the date assigned in the academic calendar (see Calendar and Schedules Policy, 404.11). If the grade has not been entered by this deadline, the symbol MG (missing grade) shall be entered. Missing grades should be changed to a final grade no later than three business days prior to the first day of classes in the subsequent academic term.

Grades may be changed through the Grade Appeal process, through the conversion of an Incomplete to a grade, through the conversion of an IP to a grade, and through the Grade Change Process.

For the full policy on grade appeals, go to Student Grade Appeals policy.

Grade Change Process
Under some circumstances not covered by an Incomplete or In Progress, a grade may be changed by the course instructor through submission of a grade change request. The request must be reviewed by the chair of the department offering the course.

(The graduate grade change policy will be implemented beginning Fall 2019).

Law School Grading Policies

Grading at the William H. Bowen School of Law (the “Law School”) is governed by the Law School’s Academic Rules which comply with the American Bar Association Standards for the Accreditation of Law Schools. This section does not apply to the Law School.

Student Course Evaluations

At the end of each course, departments provide an opportunity for students to evaluate their instructors. Results are tabulated and provided to the faculty member as a means of evaluating his or her teaching.

Department Chairs use the results in the yearly evaluation of faculty. Results of student evaluations usually include both statistical and narrative feedback, and neither is shared with the faculty member until after grades have been formally submitted. The office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs administers students’ evaluations of their instructors at the Law School.

Student Records Access

The University adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (Buckley Amendment). Under this act, students have a right to access personal records, may challenge the content of records, and have the assurance that their records will be kept confidential.

(UASP 515.1, 4/29/2016; UP 514.6, 4/1/2010)

For additional details, see the FERPA Annual Notice and Student Academic Integrity and Grievance Policy.

Student Travel and Field Trips

Student Trip Authorization
Faculty who wish to take students off-campus for course-related experiences should secure approval in advance through appropriate channels and on appropriate forms to ensure compliance with any insurance, university, or other applicable policies or regulations.

A Student Trip Authorization form must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration 10 calendar days in advance of the trip. A class roster, listing each student and the UA Little Rock T number, must be included.

Authorization to Operate State Vehicles and Private Vehicles
An Authorization to Operate State Vehicles and Private Vehicles on State Business form must be submitted to the Office of Finance & Administration and authorization of comprehensive liability insurance must be signed by each driver.

For additional information, see

(UASP 535.1 6/6/2016; UP 404.18, 9/13/2011)

Syllabus, Office Hours, and Regular and Substantive Contact Policy

Every approved course[1] must have a concise statement outlining the main points of study and the procedures used in the course. This statement must be delivered[2] to the student at the beginning of the course, no later than the end of the schedule adjustment period. Changes during the operation of the course must be communicated to the students in a timely manner. A multi-page syllabus must include page numbers.

This statement must contain the following:

  1. The university-approved[3] course prefix, number, course description, and prerequisites.
  2. The university-approved disability statement (see Faculty Senate legislation, (i.FS_2011-12_01, 9/23/2011)
  3. The university-approved inclement weather policy. (215.1)
  4. An academic integrity statement.
  5. The program-approved[4], measurable course learning objectives[5] as required by the Credit Hour Policy. There must be at least one course objective.
  6. Any deviations from the Standard Credit Hour.
  7. The instructor-approved required materials, such as textbooks and technologies needed to participate in the course.
  8. The instructor’s attendance policy (see Attendance and Withdrawal Policy, 404.4)
  9. The instructor’s grading policy, which must describe how the final grade will be determined and what course assignments (e.g., exams, homework, artifacts, projects) will be required.
  10. The instructor’s late/make-up policy.
  11. The instructor’s statement on Regular and Substantive Contact. which is a clear statement explaining the following:
    1. Office Hours: The method(s) and scheduled time(s) the instructor will use to be available for student-initiated contact (for example, virtual office hour meetings, message/email, phone call, chat, face-to-face meeting, a combination of several, or other) during business hours, as well as an expectation for method of contact outside of business hours (i.e., weekends and holidays);
    2. Instructor Presence: The expected regularity of instructor-to-student interaction[6] and how it is distributed throughout the term (this will vary based on the type of course, modality, length of course term, and specific course activities). If there is a need for interruption of interaction for an extended time period, the instructor should announce this interruption to the class.
  12. ​​​​​​The Instructor may include additional information beyond these required items.

See the full policy at Syllabus, Office Hours, and Regular and Substantive Contact – 404.8.


1. Excludes ad hoc courses, such as independent study courses, seminars, colloquia, and special topics. The specific offering of such ad hoc courses requires a learning agreement that contains all information detailed in this policy that is relevant to that course.
2. Delivery may be through electronic means such as email or blackboard through paper delivery.
3. See Article JII of the Constitution (covering Undergraduate Council and Graduate Council) and Article IV of the Constitution.
4. In the case of general education courses, the approval step may require action by the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies.
5. From the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies glossary: 

“Learning objectives are statements about how a student will demonstrate achieving the learning outcome. The learning objectives are more specific than the learning outcomes and each outcome has 1 or more learning objectives. Learning objectives often use Bloom’s Taxonomy and provide the basis for assessment of student work. For clarity, it helps if a learning objective has one action, rather than multiple actions packed into one.”

6. Interaction includes but is not limited to in-class lectures, laboratory instruction, discussion board feedback, replying to messages from students, posting assignment grades and feedback on student work, commenting on journals, biogs, or other assigned work, use of virtual meeting space (chat room, video conference, etc.), email contact within or outside course management system, phone or text contact,faculty-provided supplemental notes, lectures, discussion posts, or videos in response to general student progress in the course (e.g. analysis/synthesis of recent course content, or summary of class progress, or an explanation of common errors on a recent assessment).