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3.4.5 Academic policies

The institution publishes academic policies that adhere to principles of good educational practice. These are disseminated to students, faculty, and other interested parties through publications that accurately represent the programs and services of the institution. (Academic policies)

Judgment of Compliance

The University publishes academic policies that adhere to principles of good educational practice using a number of publications and online resources. All policies are available online through the Academic Affairs webpage [1], Faculty/Staff webpage [2], or online via the Faculty Handbook [3]. The Student Guidelines provide select academic policies related to students [4]. In order to increase the likelihood of students finding appropriate policies, select policies are also provided in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, the Graduate Orientation Booklet, the online Schedule of Classes, and the Registrar’s Office website [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. A webpage providing links to pertinent policies particularly relevant to students such as academic dishonesty, student absences on religious holy days, and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is available for faculty to list in their syllabi [10]. In select situations, specific e-mails are sent to the affected students. For example, students approaching graduation (90 hours) are informed through e-mail and on the registration screen that they are required to be advised [11].

In addition to the sources mentioned above, academic policies, procedures and information are disseminated to faculty through representative membership of various policy-making bodies that include the University Faculty Senate, the Academic Affairs Council, and the Academic Policy Council [12] [13] [14]. Minutes and/ or committee reports from these groups are also posted on the University website [15] [16] [17]. In addition, annual University–wide faculty meetings, and New Faculty Breakfasts hosted by the Provost are designed to provide updated information to faculty members. Faculty members are also required by The Texas State University System to be informed of System Rules and Regulations, which are available online [18].

The administration, in consultation with the faculty, creates and reviews academic policies. There is a review cycle designed to have all policies periodically reviewed to ensure that policies adhere to the current principles of good educational practice. Reviewed policies are retained, updated, or eliminated. In the case of complex policies (e.g., Faculty Grievance, Faculty Merit, etc.), ad hoc sub-committees comprised of faculty and administrators may be created to generate the initial draft. In this review process, additions, changes, or deletions are reviewed by the Academic Policy Council and the Faculty Senate. Prior to the final review by the Academic Policy Council, all policies are reviewed by the System Attorney. The online Academic Policy Manual provides links to the policies and the year of the most recent revision [19].

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Policies and Procedures - Academic Affairs, Webpage
[2] Policies and Procedures Link from Faculty/Staff Webpage
[3] Faculty Handbook, SHSU
[4] Student Guidelines, Policies
[5] Policy List - Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[6] Policy References - Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009
[7] Policy References - Graduate Orientation Booklet
[8] Schedule of Classes, Online
[9] Registrar’s Office Webpage
[10] Student Syllabi Guidelines
[11] Mandatory Graduation Advising E-mail
[12] University Faculty Senate
[13] Academic Affairs Council, SHSU
[14] Academic Policy Council, SHSU
[15] University Faculty Senate - Meeting Minutes - Directory
[16] Academic Policy Council - Meeting Minutes - Directory
[17] University Faculty Senate - Committee Reports
[18] The Texas State University System, Rules and Regulations
[19] Academic Policy Manual  - Curriculum and Instruction Section - Last Revised Dates

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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111