General information necessary for survival: University and Course Policies


1. Statement on disabilities anbd special needs

Please address any special needs or special 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

I also invite everyone to feel free to talk to me about how I can make your learning experience most educational.

2. Non-discrimination policy: The UNI Policy Statement on Anti-discrimination and Harassment Policy makes clear: "It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa that there will be equal employment and educational opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by federal and/or state law. This includes the provision of a campus environment that is free from illegal discrimination and harassment. The University will not tolerate any form of illegal discrimination or harassment and will not condone any actions or words from employees or students that constitute such." For additional information, contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, 117 Gilchrist Hall, 273-2846.

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

It is not acceptable for the work or ideas of another scholar to be presented as a student's own or to be utilized in a paper or project without proper citation. To avoid any appearance of plagiarism or accidental plagiarism, it is important that all students become fully cognizant of the citation procedures utilized in their own discipline and in the classes which they take. The plea of ignorance regarding citation procedures or of carelessness in citation is not a compelling defense against allegations of plagiarism. A college student, by the fact that s(he) holds that status, is expected to understand the distinction between proper scholarly use of others' work and plagiarism.

A student who is found to have improperly used others' work must expect to be penalized for such action - even if the argument is made that the action was taken with innocent intention - and the student's instructor will normally judge such work unacceptable. But it should be noted that the assignment of a low or failing grade for unacceptable work is not in itself a disciplinary action - even if the assignment of such a grade results in the student's receiving a lower grade in the course, including F, than s(he) would otherwise achieve. Such a response by an instructor is part of the normal grading process; if a student feels that s(he) has grounds to protest a grade received through this process, the student has access to the academic grievance procedure which the university has developed to deal with all student academic grievances.

On the other hand, cheating and plagiarism are issues which can affect a student's status at the university in more serious ways. As an educational institution, the university maintains standards of ethical academic behavior, and recognizes its responsibility to enforce these standards. Therefore, the following procedures of academic discipline prevail at the University of Northern Iowa.

If a student is determined by an instructor to have committed a violation of academic ethics, the instructor may take additional disciplinary action including, but not limited to, grade reduction for the course in which the infraction occurs, even if the reduction is over and above the normal consequences resulting from the grade merited by the unacceptable work.

In cases where such disciplinary action is taken, the instructor is obliged to report the action in writing, to the student, to the instructor's department head, (and, if the student is from a different department, to the head of the student's department), and to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs. The Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will notify the student in writing that such action has been taken, and will maintain a file for each student so disciplined. (This file is confidential and is independent of the student's normal university records.)

A student wishing to appeal or dispute the disciplinary action taken may seek redress through the university academic grievance structure. In the case of a successful grievance, the evidence of the disciplinary action taken by the instructor will be expunged from the student's file by the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs.

In cases of particularly flagrant violations of academic ethics relating to cheating or plagiarism, the instructor may feel obliged to recommend suspension from the University of Northern Iowa for a period ranging from the term in which the infraction occurs (with a loss of all credit earned during that term) to permanent suspension from the university.

Such recommendations are sent in writing to the department head and the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs, the latter of whom informs the student in writing that the recommendation has been made. In such cases, the academic appeals procedure is automatically invoked by the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs. Until the mandatory academic appeal in such cases has been completed, the recommended suspension is not in effect. In cases of a successful appeal to such action, the materials relating to the successfully grieved disciplinary action will be expunged from all university records.

Finally, the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will regularly monitor all files relating to disciplinary action taken against specific students. If the monitoring reveals a history of disciplinary actions taken against a particular student (excluding any actions which have been successfully grieved) such that there are three or more instances of such action subsequent to any academic grievances generated by such actions, the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will, as a matter of course, institute proceedings for permanent suspension of that student. The procedures demand that the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs notify the student in writing that suspension procedures have been invoked, and there is an automatic appeal to the university academic grievance structure in all such cases.

All parts of the academic grievance structure (including those stipulated in the immediately preceding paragraph) apply in such cases, except that the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs, as the disciplinary officer, functions in the role of the instructor in an academic grievance relating to a specific class.

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 by the University Faculty Senate at UNI will be upheld in this course in regards to cheating and/or plagiarism. Specifically, article 3.01 states that:

  • 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 utilize the Academic Learning Center’s assistance with writing, math, science, reading, and learning strategies at no cost to currently-enrolled UNI students:

The Writing Center offers 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 319-273-2361. The Writing Center also offers GRE Essay and PPST Writing preparation workshops, and the Online Writing Guide at

Math and Science Services serves as an academic resource to bridge the learning gap that exists once the student leaves the classroom. Students may walk in during the semester to review for an exam, ask questions about preparing and studying for an exam/class, discuss confusing concepts, complete homework, meet with a study group, or study in a quiet setting. Individual consultations with trained staff are available by appointment. Visit us in 008 ITTC. Call 319-273-2361 to set up an individual consultation. In addition to tutoring services, we offer content-specific workshops and GRE Quantitative and PPST Math preparation courses. Register for workshops and courses at

The College Reading and Learning Center helps students transition to college-level reading and learning expectations at UNI. Students work with trained Academic Coaches by signing up for workshops, scheduling appointments, or walking in. While appointments are not always necessary, contact the College Reading and Learning Center at 008 ITTC or 319-273-2361 to ensure that an Academic Coach is available at a time convenient for you. Additionally, students can register for workshops and PPST Reading and GRE Verbal preparation courses at or attend weekly walk-in study groups. 

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). 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

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 are expected to attend class, and the responsibility for attending class rests with the student. Students are expected to learn and observe the attendance rules established by each instructor for each course. Instructors will help students to make up work whenever the student has to be absent for good cause; this matter lies between the instructor and student. Whenever possible, a student should notify the instructor in advance of circumstances which prevent class attendance.” I have tried to structure my classes in such a way that it is not possible to satisfactorily complete the requirements without attending the course.

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 (link). 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 as 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.