Expectations for faculty and teaching fellows

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022

To: FAS Faculty and Yale College Instructors, Teaching Fellows

cc: FAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, GSAS Dean’s Office, FAS Steering, Poorvu Center, Registrar’s Office, Provost’s Office, FAS Chair’s Assistants

[Summary: This message outlines the responsibilities that all faculty members and graduate students are expected to fulfill when they collaborate to teach. Below you will find details on faculty responsibilities, teaching fellow responsibilities, shared responsibilities, and part-time acting instructors.] 

Dear Yale College Instructors and Teaching Fellows,

With classes now begun, we write with details of the responsibilities that all faculty members and graduate students are expected to fulfill when they collaborate to teach.
We begin with a reminder that Yale College and Graduate School instruction will transition to in person on February 7th and continue in person for the remainder of the semester. A message sent by Provost Strobel yesterday detailed the process by which faculty members may request accommodations related to in-person teaching. Teaching Fellows follow a similar process, available here. Instructors may not make ad hoc hybrid or remote arrangements with their TFs.

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty members are expected to attend all their classes. When they cannot, they should reschedule class or ask a faculty colleague – not a teaching fellow (TF) – to substitute. The Associates in Teaching program is not an exception to this guideline. Although Associates in Teaching participate in the course in all respects and may independently teach some of the classes or give lectures, the faculty member is expected to be present in all classes.
Faculty members’ other responsibilities include:
  • preparing their own course materials, including syllabi, papers, essays, lectures, homework assignments, problem sets and examinations, and scoring keys;
  • reserving and printing course materials;
  • obtaining audiovisual equipment;
  • maintaining course websites;
  • managing the distribution of students in sections at the start of the term;
  • recording grades and reporting them at the end of term;
  • administering their own examinations;
  • grading graduate students’ examinations and graduate students’ coursework that requires qualitative evaluation;
  • meeting weekly with their TFs

Teaching Fellow Responsibilities

Graduate students in their teaching years are expected to teach as part of their academic training, as specified in their letters of admission, unless the Associate Dean waives their teaching obligations. No graduate student may teach a lecture course independently or supervise teaching fellows.
Obligations for TFs vary, but they may include the following:
  • leading discussion and review sections;
  • supervising laboratories;
  • grading homework assignments, papers, essays, laboratory reports, and examinations, the materials for which should be provided by or prepared in conjunction with the faculty. To avoid conflicts of interest, whenever possible TFs should not be assigned to evaluate the work of graduate student peers. However, in courses requiring extensive quantitative work, TFs may score quantitative homework and exams submitted by graduate students, using detailed scoring keys provided by the faculty instructor. In these instances, the faculty member should review the TFs scoring and must assign the final grade. In no instance may TFs perform qualitative grading of work submitted by other graduate students.

Shared Responsibilities

TFs are expected to return graded materials to students promptly, as determined in collaboration with the faculty member.
Faculty members are expected to visit at least one section taught by each TF assigned to their course and to offer feedback and suggestions. This is a core responsibility of faculty toward their students, both graduate and undergraduate. All faculty who are provided with TF support are expected to meet their TFs weekly to coordinate class activities and help TFs learn to teach undergraduate courses, prepare for sections, and grade examinations.

Part-Time Acting Instructors

Departments appointing graduate students as Part Time Acting Instructors (PTAIs) are expected to supervise instruction through regularly scheduled meetings with PTAIs in courses where sections have a common curriculum and through consultation before and during the semester in seminars taught independently.
With best wishes for the semester,
Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn
Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Marvin Chun
Dean, Yale College
Lynn Cooley
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences