General information necessary for survival: University and Course Policies


1. Statement on disabilities and special needs: I invite everyone to feel free to talk to me about how I can make your learning experience most educational. Please address any special needs or accommodations with me at the beginning of the semester or as soon as you become aware of your needs. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request (SAAR) form from Student Disability Services (SDS) (phone 319-273-2677, for deaf or hard of hearing, use Relay 711). SDS is located on the top floor of the Student Health Center, Room 103. Also see

2. Non-discrimination policy: UNI Policy makes clear: "The University of Northern Iowa adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in public institutions of higher education. The University prohibits discrimination against any employee, applicant for employment, student or applicant for admission on the basis of any protected class. Protected classes include: age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, or any other protected category under applicable federal, state, or local law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any complaint process on campus or with other human rights agencies." For additional information, contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, 117 Gilchrist Hall, 319.273.2846.

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. The UNI Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy outlines prohibited conduct and reporting processes. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources here:

Title IX Officer Leah Gutknecht, Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management, 117 Gilchrist, 319.273.2846,

Title IX coordinator for complaints against students: Leslie William, Dean of Students, 319.273.2332,

Title IX coordinator for complaints against faculty, staff, visitors, or others: Gwenne Berry, Associate Director Office of Compliance and Equity Managemet, 117 Gilchrist, 319.273.2846

Title IX coordinator for complaints involving the Department of Athletics: Jean Berger, Sr. Associate Athletic Director Athletics Administration, North DOME

Counseling center: 103 Student Health Center, 319.273.2676

Violence Intervention Services: Joan Thompson, Victim Services Advocate, 101 Wellness and Recreation Center,, 319.273.2137

24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line: Riverview Center, 888.557.0310

Campus Police/Public Safety: Emergency 911; Police 319.273.2712

3. Academic Ethics: Plagiarism, cheating, improperly sourced work, and other academic misconduct will not be tolerated. UNI Academic Regulations are clear on this:

The culture of The University of Northern Iowa is characterized by a long-standing commitment to student learning and to excellence in teaching. This commitment has been established through the development of an open, ethical and caring community that promotes diversity, honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, trust and civility among its members. This community has created a culture based on core values that include intellectual vitality, intellectual and academic freedom, the well-being of its members and service to others.

In order to realize its commitments and values, all members of the UNI community must demonstrate academic integrity and ethical behavior and foster academic integrity and ethical behavior in others. Those who violate UNI’s standards of academic ethics must be held responsible for their misconduct.  Those who observe violations of academic ethics have a responsibility to address it.

Any work which violates the academic ethics policy of UNI will receive zero credit and, if the violation is serious enough, the student may receive an F in the course as well as additional disciplinary actions. For clarification, see the "Academic Ethics Policies".

The guidelines set forth In the UNI Academic Regulations will be upheld in this course in regards to cheating and/or plagiarism. Sectins 3 and 4 are reproduced here:

  • Responsibilities of Students

    Students have responsibilities to become educated about the standards of ethics and behavior in the academic community and to adhere to those standards in all of their academic work. Students fulfill their responsibilities by:

    1. Reading and becoming familiar with the Academic Ethics policy;
    2. Understanding and avoiding actions that violate the Academic Ethics policy ;
    3. Undertaking a commitment to act with honesty and integrity in completing any and all academic work;
    4.  Understanding and applying the proper methods of attribution and citation in all written, oral and electronic submissions;
    5. Making sure they understand the requirements and expectations for academic work of each of their professors and to seek clarification from the faculty member when they are unsure if their behavior will violate those expectations;
    6. Maintaining University standards by reporting acts of academic misconduct to the faculty member for the course or another academic administrator such as a department head or dean.
  • Academic Ethics Violations
    1. Plagiarism
      1. Copying information word for word from a source, including cutting and pasting information from an electronic text, without using quotation marks and giving proper acknowledgment of the source or providing a proper citation.
      2. Paraphrasing, or putting into one’s own words, the text of a source without providing proper acknowledgment of the source or providing a proper citation.  The paraphrasing leads the reader of the text to believe that the ideas and arguments presented are one’s own.
      3. Paraphrasing extensive portions of another source, even with citation.  The extensive paraphrasing leads the reader of one’s own text to believe that the ideas and arguments presented are one’s own or it results in one’s own contribution to the work being minimal.
      4. Presenting any work or part of a work or assignment that has been prepared by someone else as one’s own.  This would include using unauthorized assistance in preparing the work or acquiring written work from another person, purchasing a paper or assignment from a commercial organization, using the work of another person or obtaining the answers or work from any other source.
      5. Reproducing, without proper citation, any other form of work of another person such as a graph, experimental data or results, laboratory reports, a proof, or a problem solution, in full or in part. 
    2. Misrepresentation Misrepresentation is a false statement of fact.  Examples in the academic arena include but are not limited to:
      1.  Arranging for another student to complete course work for one including taking an exam on one’s behalf.
      2. Taking credit for work one didn’t complete, such as taking credit for a team assignment without participating or contributing as expected by one’s instructor or team mates.
      3. Turning in the same or substantially similar written work to satisfy the requirements for more than one project or course, without the express, prior written consent of the instructor or instructors. If the work is from a prior term’s course one would need the express written consent of the current instructor.  If you want to submit the work in more than one course during the same term one needs the express written consent of all instructors who will receive the work.
    3. Fabrication Fabrication means falsifying or misusing data in any academic exercise. Examples include but are not limited to:
      1. Falsifying data collected during a research activity.
      2.  Presenting falsified data in a paper, manuscript, or presentation.
      3. Making up a source for a citation.
      4. Citing a source the writer did not use.
      5. Altering and resubmitting assignments, tests, quizzes or exams to gain additional credit.
    4. Cheating  Cheating is the use or attempted use of any unauthorized assistance in any academic exercise.  Examples include but are not limited to:
      1. Copying from someone else’s assignment, paper, quiz or exam.
      2. Looking on someone else’s exam before or during an examination.
      3. Unauthorized use of notes or other aids during a quiz, exam or other  performance evaluation.
      4. During a quiz or exam, using an electronic device that contains unauthorized information.
      5. Communicating or attempting to communicate answers, hints or suggestions during an exam using any means including electronic devices.
      6. Collaborating, without prior permission from one’s professor, in the preparation of assignments, lab reports, papers or take home exams.
      7. Using another person’s answers for an assignment.
      8. Providing test questions to other students either orally or in written form.
      9. Stealing or attempting to steal an exam, exam questions or an answer key.
    5. Impeding fair and equal access to the educational and research process. Examples of this include but are not limited to:
      1. Tampering with, damaging, hiding or otherwise impeding other students’ access to library materials or other related academic resources.
      2. Attempting to prevent access by others to the computer system or destroying files or materials in the e-learning system for the course.
    6. Misrepresenting or misusing one’s relationship with the University. Examples of this include but are not limited to:
      1. Falsifying, misusing, or tampering with information such as test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation or other materials required for admission to and continued enrollment and access in the University’s programs or facilities.
      2. Altering, forging or misusing academic records or any official University form regarding self or others.
      3. Presenting false information at an academic proceeding or intentionally destroying evidence important to an academic proceeding.
      4. Making a bad faith report of an academic integrity violation.
      5. Offering bribes to any University representative in exchange for special favors or consideration in an academic proceeding.
    7. Facilitation Facilitation occurs when you knowingly or intentionally assist another in committing a violation of any of the previous sections of this academic ethics policy.

4. Grievance procedure: UNI Policies and Procedures, 12.01 Student Academic Grievance is meant to

Provide a process for the redress of academic grievances for graduate and undergraduate students within the framework of academic freedom, the integrity of the course, and the prerogative of the faculty to assign grades.  

For more information on undergraduate and graduate student processes see (link).

5. Academic Learning Center: The Academic Learning Center asked the following be included in all syllabi:

I encourage you to use the Academic Learning Center for assistance with writing, math, science, and college reading and learning strategies. For more tutoring information, go to or visit our office located in 008 Innovative Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC).

Services Available at No Charge for Currently-Enrolled UNI Students:

  • One-on-one writing feedback for all UNI undergraduate and graduate students. Certified Writing Coaches work with students to help them successfully manage all phases of the writing process, from getting started, to citing and documenting, to editing and proofreading. Schedule appointments at 008 ITTC or 319-273-6023.
  • Assistance for students in transitioning to college-level reading and learning expectations at UNI. Students may work with trained and certified Academic Coaches by scheduling appointments at 008 ITTC or by calling 319-273-6023.
  • Workshops to help students retain and understand course material, become more effective learners and test-takers, or more effective readers. Register for workshops at by clicking the ALC Workshops and Registration tab.

Fee-Based GRE Courses:

  • GRE Review Courses are offered to help students prepare for the Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GRE. To learn about fees, schedules, and registration, go to

6. Privacy Policy: The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, is a federal law designed to protect student privacy. This means that only you have legal access to your grades, Your parents, friends or significant others have no right to discuss with me your course performance. You have the option to sign a waiver of these rights, but if you have not signed such a waiver, I am not allowed by federal law to discuss your grades with anyone but you. Please realize: if your parents contact me to talk about your grades, federal law prohibits me from doing so.

Just as I will seek to do everything possible to protect your privacy, please respect my privacy and contact me only in the ways I have provided you on the syllabus. In other words, do not contact me at home. You are welcome to contact me at work, through phone, email, stopping by my office during office hours, or setting up an appointment with me outside of office hours should there be a time conflict.


1. Written work format: All written work is expected to be typed and stapled (do not use paperclips; fancy folders are unnecessary). If you are delivering an oral presentation, you need to turn in a typed outline. Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and structure are expected. Do not use cover sheets (save a tree); instead, please provide all pertinent information in the top left corner of the first page. For example:

First name Last Name
Class Name: Number
Month Day, Year
Name of assignment

Other than the identifying information, all work should be double-spaced (unless otherwise indicated), and in 12 font with normal (1 inch) margins (unless you are writing in UNI MA thesis format). Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs.

2. Work expectations: UNI Academic Regulations make clear: "Students must adhere to each faculty member’s policies regarding attendance and make-up work." Even when students have reasonable cause to miss class, "Students are still responsible for demonstrating achievement of course learning goals, even when absences are necessary or reasonable."

In addition to attending class, students also are expected to spend time out of class learning the material. The general guideline it that 1CH is the equivalent of approximately 3 hours of work (meaning 1 hour spent in class calls for 2 hours of out-of-class preparation) each week over the course of a whole semester. So, if you are in class for 3 hours a week (or are enrolled in a 3CH course), then you ought to be spending at least 6 hours every week outside of class reading, researching, writing, studying, etc. This standard is the basis on which the Registrar's Office assigns hours of University credit for courses. For graduate students, the ratio is more like 1:5 than 1:2.

3. Due dates: Papers, assignments and tests should be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the day they are due. Work not handed in at the beginning of class will be considered a day late. Late work will receive 10% (or one letter grade) reductions for each day handed in past the deadline. You may "stop the clock" if you discuss the late assignment with me prior to when it is due. If something beyond your control occurs, please contact me as soon as possible to explain why an assignment will be late. You may email me ( or phone me (273-2714). You may request to "stop the clock" be emailing a request that contains the following:

a) the new due date and time

b) the reason for the need to stop the clock, and

c) what you believe to be an appropriate penalty for the late assignment.

4. Completion expectations: All assignments must be completed to pass the course, even if this means you do a late assignment for no credit.

5. Style: Use either MLA or APA citation format on all papers. Buy a copy of the most recent style manual to see format suggestions.

6. Incompletes: If, for some reason, you need to request an incomplete for a course, please see the procedures outlined in the "The Making Up of Incomplete Work" section of the catalogue of courses (incomplete work policy). According to UNI policy, "The Incomplete is restricted to students doing satisfactory work in the class who, because of extenuating circumstances, are unable to complete the work of the course. The Incomplete is limited to assigned work during the final sixth of the term."

7. Grade appeals: You are welcome to seek a grade change on any specific assignment or test if you believe it was graded incorrectly. To do so, you will need to submit your appeal in writing during the class period immediately following the return of the graded assignment. In the appeal, you will need to do the following:

a. Identify which assignment or test question you are appealing.

b. Justify why your answer or performance deserved more points. In this section, you are expected to cite course readings, lecture notes, and/or assignment descriptions. In other words, make a case and provide evidence for why your answer is correct.

c. If you are seeking partial credit, then quantify what amount of grade change you think is warranted.

Please remember to attach the test or graded assignment to your appeal so that I can reference it.

Note: this is an appeal process for a specific assignment. Please refrain from generic appeals for improved grades (aka end-of-semester "grade grubbing"). I work very hard grading and providing detailed feedback. In the process, the grade you earn is the one I assign to you. Toward the end of the semester, or after the semester ends, do not seek a change in your grade to reflect what you think it should be, unless you believe I have incorrectly added the points you earned. I do not negotiate grades. Essentially, when you ask to have a grade changed, you are asking for me to be unfair -- to grade you with a different standard than I grade others. Here is something for you to think about: Consider how this “grade-grubbing” appears to your professors, whom you may later need to write you a letter of reference or recommendation. What image do you want to leave with your professors?

Most students want to do well in their classes. As your professor, I also want you to do well, which requires that you work diligently and meet the course requirements. If you become concerned about your grade, please see me immediately. Do not wait until semester’s end, when most of the course assignments are completed and there are no additional opportunities for you to raise your grade by earning more points. I will not find extra points to add to your total points, no matter how upset you might be. Please note: There is NO extra credit in my classes.

8. Email Accounts: For all my courses, it is a requirement that you obtain and use your university email account (even if you only set it up in order to have emails forwarded to another account). I use email to communicate changes to the syllabus, assignments, etc. You should check your email daily for class announcements. If you drop this class, you will need to visit the computer center and have your name removed from the class.

It is acceptable to communicate with me via email. However, recognize that these emails are examples of professional communication, not interpersonal chats. Use your emails to me to practice professional email etiquette (what might be expected at work). Thus, be sure that in all emails you properly address me, identify yourself, and make an appropriately worded request that contains specific information about the nature of the request. For example, if you are asking me if you can do something, be sure the body of the email includes, at a minimum, the word “please”. I will not respond to what I consider rude or inappropriately worded emails or emails that lack an appropriate salutation and sender identification. Additionally, do not email assignments to me. I do not accept them via email, with rare exception, and only then with prior approval.