Start of Semester Memo

January 2022

The items below address many of the principles and practices by which the College educates our undergraduates. A few minutes spent in a review of these guidelines will eliminate a lot of confusion and save us all a lot of time in the semester about to begin.


Every College student has an Association Dean to whom you can direct inquiries or whom you can alert to special situations with students. The Association Deans, each of whom teach in one of the College's Departments, stand ready to clarify the policies described in this memorandum. There are several ways to determine the name of a student's Association Dean.

  • If you are an advisor (non-major, major or graduate student), you can find the name of the student's Dean in our eAdvising system. Click on Search (on the left); uncheck “Only show my advisees”; enter the student’s name or computing ID and then click on "Filter".

  • You can ask the staff in your department to look up in the information in SIS.

  • Faculty with SIS Admin Access: Check the "General Info" tab in SIS. Scroll down a bit and look for Student Groups. Not everyone has this access.

  • Call the Monroe Hall staff at 434-924-3351.

  • If you cannot find the name of a student’s Association Dean (or if it is easier for you), email the student's full legal name and your concern to Your message will be forwarded to the correct Association Dean.

  • Email Rachel Most ( for assistance.

See also the web site For Faculty Advisors & Major Directors for links to key resources.

The College's homepage carries information that instructors and students have found helpful in earlier semesters; note the recent addition of a Directory and Glossary. The "Advising Newsletter", where Departments announce late breaking news about courses is a good resource for new course offerings and major/program changes. The College also has a Facebook page and we regularly post announcements regarding talks, new classes, policy changes, etc. Please send items for posting to Abigail Holeman in Monroe Hall.

Students can make an appointment with their Association Dean by calling 434-924-3351. They can also use our Dean of the Day (drop-in advising for "quick" questions) which we offer Monday through Friday (via Zoom) from 2:30-4:00.


Faculty can access information on advisees through SIS and through the College's online advising system. In SIS, after the first few weeks of a semester, advisors can review the performance of their advisees from the previous semester and learn about the imposition of any academic sanctions by following these steps in SIS:

  • Navigate to the student's Student Center

  • Click on the Academics Tab

  • On the left, scroll down slightly and click on the relevant term

  • On the right, look for ACADEMIC STANDING STATUS
    Data unavailable typically means good standing as there is no notation of probation or suspension. However. no students were placed on probation in spring 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021.

Departmental staff have access to UBI reports that provide data on the standing of all students in a major.


Course instructors do not have the authority to waive or modify the add, drop, withdrawal, or grade option deadlines, final examination schedule, guidelines for Incompletes, or any other rules of the Faculty. The Undergraduate Record lays out the general academic guidelines and policies by which the College operates. The Association Deans in Monroe Hall do not make College rules; we implement the policies approved by the Faculty by way of the Committee on Educational Policy and the Curriculum (CEPC). Every student has the right to appeal negative decisions to the Committee on Faculty Rules (CFR), made up of faculty who do not have responsibilities in Monroe Hall.


Sound pedagogy, common sense and Provost policy require that students receive in writing at the outset of a course notification of how it will progress, how it will be conducted (attendance, for example), daily or weekly assignments, information on office hours and information on how the grade is determined. This includes DMP classes, independent study classes, research classes, etc.

A key element in the resolution of disputes that arise occasionally between instructors and students is this very notification. Items for inclusion are the grading policy, dates of quizzes and final examination, attendance policy, your office hours, and how to reach you. Students adding late should receive this information when they enroll. If your course is not already included in the Collab offerings, please consider signing up. Instructions can be found at Instructors and students find that Collab enhances teaching and learning by improving communications among the participants in a class.

It is important to let students know how your class will be run and the best place for that information is your syllabus. Per Provost policy, every class must have a syllabus and students should know before the beginning of classes what your requirements are (academic and behavioral). Include the consequences for breaching those expectations. You can find examples that you can use to let your students know what to expect here.

Make clear to your students what to expect. If you are beginning your class online, write to the students in your class todayand tell them generally how your class will be structured and what will be expected.

All required class meetings, including common exams, etc., must be scheduled in SIS prior to the start of course enrollment.

Statements and Assignments Related to Violence Prevention

Sample syllabi statements related to violence prevention.
Extra credit assignments related to violence prevention.
Paper and journal topics related to violence prevention.

Mandatory Reporting

See the Just Report It web site for details.
UVA's Title IX Policy
Title IX and VAWA information.


Because of the number each year of misunderstandings among students about the definition of academic fraud, instructors are encouraged to address this subject in their classes. It is also recommended that these standards be distributed in writing to the class and posted in Collab.

See also the following:

Honor Committee web site.
From Cheating to Authentic Learning (article and resources by Judith Giering and Michael Palmer)


The College's add, drop, and withdrawal dates carry no provision for any one-time grace period, student rumor to the contrary. Please include the drop, add and class withdrawal dates on your course syllabus and announce them in class. You are also encouraged to have, if possible, at least one graded assignment before the withdrawal date.


Once a department has set the enrollment capacity number, colleagues manage enrollments in their classes by

(1) Using the SIS Wait List OR
(2) using the SIS Permission List

Course Action Forms are no longer accepted. In extenuating circumstances Faculty should use the SIS Ad Hoc Permission Function.

Instructors can request the creation of a permission list by writing to Students who add into a course via SIS are deemed to be legitimately enrolled. Faculty who wish to control their course enrollments are encouraged to use the Permission List (this assumes no wait list has been created). For technical support with the Permission List write to; for advice on whether to select a permission or a wait list, please contact Rachel Most.

A wait list cannot be changed to a permission list once enrollment has started if the wait list contains students.

Students on your class roll are not to be disenrolled unless they fail to present the publicized prerequisites or fail to appear for the first scheduled meeting AND have not sent notice to you or the Department. Instructors may request their department staff to drop such students, but it is the student’s responsibility to verify his or her schedule by the enrollment deadlines. Dropping a student in Collab does NOT remove the student from your class roster in SIS; adding a student in Collab does NOT add the student to your class roster in SIS.




This grading option is no longer available to students. All required classes (e.g., general education classes, majors, minors, etc.) must be taken for a grade.

Click here for the COVID FAQ page for faculty and staff.


Note the following; more detail may be found here.

  • Regular attendance in classes is a vital part of the educational process. At the University of Virginia, students are expected to accept the responsibility of attending classes regularly and promptly.
  • Students must be enrolled in classes by the College's add deadline; students who are cancelled and/or who miss this deadline must wait until the following term to return.
  • Only enrolled students may attend classes.
  • It is recommended that instructors state their attendance policies to their classes. The instructor is not obligated to allow students to make up missed work; it is the instructor’s decision whether students may be allowed such a privilege.


Once you post a final grade a student may never do extra work to raise the grade. See Grade Changes for more information.


Serious illness or death within the student's immediate family, religious holidays (see Provost's policy) and participation in NCAA athletic contests are all understandable reasons for missing class. I urge you not to penalize students who are absent for such reasons. These students have the obligation ahead of time to make the necessary arrangements for make-ups. Students not attending class, or attending so irregularly as to be making no progress in the course, may be excluded. Up to the Withdrawal deadline, the resultant grade is a W; thereafter, an F. This policy is reasonable, however, only when announced to the students in advance. You also are not obligated to provide makeup tests for students whose absence is not warranted by the above circumstances.

Students occasionally disappear from class for extensive intervals. When that happens, or should you have serious concerns about the well-being of a student, please alert the student's Association Dean in Monroe Hall; they will follow up with you.


Click here for UVA information for Faculty and Staff.
Click here for UVA information for Students.
Training Programs


You must contact the Office of Risk Management first and follow all States guidelines for travel and COVID. Click here for academic field trip information. You cannot require a trip that takes place outside of the regular class meeting time.

See also Provost Policy SEC-046: COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirement – Travel Restrictions on International and Domestic Travel for Business & Instructional Purposes.


The Student Disability Access Center (SDAC), located in the Student Health and Wellness Building (550 Brandon Avenue), can provide screening services when instructors suspect the possibility of a learning disorder. SDAC makes recommendations to faculty in terms of proposed classroom accommodations for students with disabilities and other medical conditions which are covered under federal legislation. If you would like to refer a student to SDAC services, the student can fill out an electronic application through the SDAC Online Services portal.

Melvin Mallory is the ADA Coordinator in the Equal Opportunities and Civil Rights office. The ADA coordinator helps to resolve issues, provides information and conducts training, and serves as the University’s primary resource about services and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. 

Brad Holland is the University's Ombudsperson. He can be reached by phone at 924-7819 and via email at For further information consult the webpage.

A student's Association Dean can also respond to requests for information or assistance.


Neither the College/Monroe Hall nor Student Health provide written excuses for students; nor do we validate their reasons for absences or failure to meet course requirements. Only when a student is called out of town on an emergency or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to contact instructors, will the student's Association Dean notify Faculty. In other instances instructors, in responding to requests from students for accommodation in the completion of course requirements, may find it helpful to solicit from students a written statement, pledged on their Honor.

Best wishes for a healthy, successful and productive semester! All of us in Monroe Hall look forward to working with you during the semester. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Rachel Most, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs