Teaching and Advising

1. Teaching Load. Amherst tries to keep the teaching load at a level that permits the Faculty to devote considerable time outside of class to students and to scholarly or creative work. Generally, Faculty teach two courses each semester. Departments have historically adapted this norm to their individual circumstances. Faculty are encouraged to teach outside their own departments through participation in interdisciplinary and interdepartmental courses and seminars.

2. Teaching Evaluations of Tenured Faculty Members.  Each tenured faculty member (other than those on phased retirement) evaluates his or her teaching in one course each year by means of her/his choice. Among these may be end-of-semester student evaluations, videotaping of several classes, observation by one or more colleagues, or retrospective evaluations by students who have taken the course. (Those holding half-time FTE appointments evaluate one course every two years.) Whatever the form(s) of evaluation, the content and results belong to the faculty member, are confidental, and any record may be destroyed by the faculty member at any time. (Voted by the Faculty, May 2007)

3. Advising. All members of the regular Faculty, except first-year faculty, participate in College advising for underclassmen and in advising students majoring in their departments.

4. College Advising. The Dean of New Students assigns all entering students to a member of the Faculty who serves as that student's College advisor for his or her freshman and sophomore years whenever practicable. College advisors are responsible for discussing their advisees' programs of study with them, paying attention to the advising guidelines published annually in the Catalog. They are also asked to consult with their advisees' class deans, especially, but not only, if one of their advisees appears to be experiencing academic difficulty. A number of academic support services are available through the Dean of Students Office.

5. Major Advising. All faculty members, except first-year faculty, have the responsibility for advising students majoring in their departments about general curricular matters, matters related to the major and senior honors work.