Arts and Science Faculty Handbook

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts and Science

This booklet is intended to provide you with a summary of information, as well as an outline of procedures to assist you in delivering your course(s) at Nipissing University.

Further information can be found in the University’s Academic Calendar and assistance may be obtained from the staff in the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science, F207. (All page references in this document are to the 2018-2019 Nipissing University Academic Calendar.)

Electronic mail (e-mail) is the primary communication tool at Nipissing University. Part-time faculty are encouraged to access their e-mail regularly.

Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Pavlina Radia, Dean of Arts and Science, ext. 4290,

Sarah Tedesco, ​Office Administrator, ext. 4120,

Sandra Brownlee, Secretary, Dean of Arts and Science, ext. 4291,

Diane Sheldon, Secretary, Arts and Science Office, ext. 4366,

Department Chairs 2019/2020



Peter Nosko

Biology & Chemistry

Haibin Zhu

Computer Science & Mathematics

Sarah Winters

English Studies

John Kovacs


Katrina Srigley


David Tabachnick

Political Science, Philosophy & Economics

Steven Arnocky Psychology

Amir Erfani

Sociology & Anthropology

Susan Srigley

Religions & Cultures

Sal Renshaw

Gender & Equality

Laura Peturson

Fine & Performing Arts

Richard Wenghofer Classical Studies and Modern Languages

Program Coordinators 2019/2020

Coordinator Program

Wayne Borody


Natalya Brown


Logan Hoehn



Academic Policies and Regulations

All university policies and regulations can be viewed in the Academic Calendar. The following is a list of student related Academic Policies and Regulations as approved by Academic Senate.

Appointment Information

Contract Details

Contract Details

For part-time instructors, laboratory and service course instructors an updated resume is required.  All part-time faculty contracts are sent electronically through WebAdvisor.  For full-time faculty the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Guidelines and a copy of the Collective Agreement will be provided, upon acceptance of the academic appointment.  The Collective Agreement for part-time instructors and full-time faculty may be viewed at: (search: right hand corner:  CASBU collective agreement)

Right of First Refusal

Right of First Refusal

As per Article 16.7 of the Collective Agreement members will achieve the right of first refusal to teach a course as long as they have taught that course a minimum of three times within seventy-two (72) months and have served at the University thirty-six (36) months from their initial appointment.  The right of first refusal is provided for a specified course at a specified site and via a specified delivery mode.  This right is contingent upon, and its maintenance rests upon, a demonstrated record of continued successful teaching, professionalism, and recent and relevant experience in the area of study.

E-mail Accounts

E-mail Accounts

An internal e-mail account will be assigned for all full and part-time faculty who teach courses in the fall/winter session.  Part-time faculty may access their e-mail in the faculty computer lab (A131A) and in the part-time faculty offices (H350).

Travel Policy

Travel Policy

In an effort to reduce the deficit, the Budget Committee is continuing its efforts to find ways to reduce expenditures.

Please see attached a copy of the updated Travel Expense Policy, taking specific note of the revisions with respect to mileage expenses for University travel.

Effective September 1, 2016, University related travel by personal vehicle will be paid at the rate of $0.41/km if, when considering factors such as cost, time, distance, etc., the mileage expense is deemed the most economical means of travel. Vehicle rental is generally the preferred method of vehicle travel.

To assist in determining the most economical means of vehicle travel, a Travel Vehicle Rental/Mileage Comparison tool has been developed and is available on Web Advisor under the Financial Information section. This tool is easy to use and will provide the employee and supervisor with a comparison between the cost of driving a personal vehicle and renting a vehicle. In most cases, the most economical means of travel will be to rent a vehicle. 

It is advisable that all travel plans be discussed with your supervisor prior to travelling so that a mutual understanding can be agreed upon with regard to reimbursement for vehicle travel.

We encourage employees to use rental vehicles while on University business as they will be covered by the University’s liability insurance.  In the case of an accident while driving your own vehicle, your personal insurance will be the first respondent followed by the University insurance coverage. 

Winter tires will be added to the calculation from November to April.  The gas price will be updated using the average gas price in Ontario on the date of update.  The update will occur on a bi-weekly basis.

Low Enrollment Courses

Low Enrollment Courses

At the discretion of the Dean or the Associate Dean, courses with unusually low enrollment may either be cancelled or taught at a reduced stipend. These options will be discussed with the instructor before the final decision is made.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Severe Allergic Reactions

There are a growing number of people who suffer from food and chemical allergies (environmental sensitivities) that can cause moderate to severe allergic reactions. Typical allergic reactions and symptoms can run from recurrent headaches, weakness and dizziness, puffy and irritated eyes, hives and other skin rashes to migraines, laryngitis, sinusitis, asthma and anaphylactic shock. In an effort to make Nipissing University a safe and healthy environment for everyone, we encourage students and staff to identify allergies that you may have that could result in allergic reactions. Such voluntary identification for students can be made to student affairs or their professors. This will enable Nipissing professors to make others aware in their classes of a potential problem of allergic reactions to certain foods or scents/chemicals without identifying anyone in person. A Fact Sheet on Allergies/Sensitivities can be found on the Human Resources Health & Safety webpage.


To request an office and mailbox keys please fill out the form at:

Key Request Form

Part-time and sessional faculty must return office and mailbox keys at the end of the term.

Office Assignment

Full-time faculty will be provided with an office. Part-time instructors will be allocated a shared office space.


Please visit our website at the following:


Photo Identification

University photo identification cards are necessary for library use and are available in University Technology Services (A139).

Course Delivery and Evaluation

Course Delivery and Evaluation

Class Breaks

If a course is offered in a three or more hour block, a 15 minute break should be allowed during each class.

Instructor Availability

All faculty members (full-time and part-time) are expected to make themselves available to students outside class hours for a minimum of three hours per week.  Regular office hours should be posted for this purpose and also provided to the Department Chair.

Mid-term Tests

Mid-term tests are determined solely by the instructor; however they should be no longer than two hours and are to be held during regular class time. A student’s request for an alternative time for a mid-term test, because of illness or other circumstances will be approved at the discretion of the instructor.  It is the responsibility of the instructor to make the alternate arrangements and supervise the test.  Regular classroom test accommodations for students with disabilities follow the same procedures as outlined in the Final Examinations section of this handbook with the exception that the professor is responsible for providing a copy of the test to Student Accessibility Services (B230) in advance, or at the time, of the test sitting.

Prerequisite Exemptions

A student who would like to enrol in a course without the stated prerequisite must obtain approval from the instructor. Once approval is granted, the instructor must inform the Registrar’s Office so the student may register. Should the student appear on the class list without the stated prerequisite, the student will be allowed to stay in the course at the discretion of the instructor. In some cases, students may have transfer credits from another university or college, or may have experience that could be considered in lieu of the stated prerequisite. On occasion when the instructor of the course is not readily available to approve a prerequisite exemption, approval may be granted in consultation with the department chair and the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science.


Upper year students at Nipissing University normally advance register through an on-line process of course selection for Fall/Winter in the winter term of the previous academic year. Registrations for Spring/Summer normally begin in mid-March. First year students register in July during our New Student Orientation. Students register on WebAdvisor.  Students seeking prerequisite exemptions will do so at this time.

Students register on a first-come, first-served basis to the maximum enrolment established for a course.  When courses reach the maximum enrolment, students may add their names to a waiting list. As places become available in courses, students are contacted by the Registrar’s Office in the order in which they appear on the waiting list. For details on the Waiting List Policy, please refer to that section of the Academic Calendar.

Study Week

Nipissing University provides a study week in October and February for students in the Faculty of Arts and Science (except for those students in the Environmental Biology and Technology major). The University is open during study week, but there are no classes. Please refer to the “Academic Year” section of the Academic Calendar for the exact dates for the study weeks. (This section of the Calendar will also list all statutory holidays.)


Please contact the Campus Shop.

Computer and Gmail Usage:

Please note that the University provides your work computer, internet access and gmail service.  The items indicated are therefore intended for University business use and as such are considered University property; accordingly, your computer internet and email use is not private and is subject to FIPPA regulations.

Please note however that research and teaching materials are excluded under FIPPA regulations

Class Cancellations

Class Cancellations

This document should provide you with the process for creating a class cancellation via WebAdvisor and the Colleague UI application.

The class cancellation system allows faculty members to manage the cancellation of any meeting of a course section that they are associated with through the WebAdvisor application.

These cancellations will be displayed on the My Nipissing student portal and a notification email will be sent with the cancellation details to the appropriate students.

These cancellations can be completely managed via WebAdvisor including the creation, update and deletion.

Creating a Class Cancellation via WebAdvisor

To create a cancellation via WebAdvisor simply log into WebAdvisor and from the Faculty menu select the Cancel/Reschedule class option under the Faculty Information menu.

You will be presented with a list of those course sections that you are assigned to.

Select the section for witch you wish to submit a cancellation and then the date range for the cancellation. The system will then present you with a list of classes that fall within that date range.

If you enter only the start date the system will assume that the end date is the same as the start date, so effectively the cancellation will only be for one day.

Restriction: You must select a course and a day.

NOTE: To create a cancellation you must have at least one section assigned to you.

By default, the system will flag all the meetings for the days selected as cancelled. You can use the Unselect All or Select All to turn all the flags on or off.

The Comments field is optional, this field allows you to include some form of message that will be displayed to the viewer and included in the body of the notification email that is sent to students.

If the class is being rescheduled, you can include that information here as well. The reschedule info box is optional. This includes the Rescheduled date, Start Time, Stop Time and Room. If you enter these details they will be displayed on the My Nipissing portal and be included in the notification email sent to students.

You can use the delete flag to delete a cancellation.

Once the Submit button is pressed a notification email will be sent to all affected students and the cancellation will appear on the My Nipissing student portal within 15 minutes.

Note: The cancellation of the type other needs to be approved by the dean

Class Lists

Official class lists can be accessed on Web Advisor prior to the beginning of a course. Professors must ensure that all students in attendance are officially registered. If a student does not appear on the class list, direct them to the Registrar’s Office immediately. Students who do not have the prerequisite(s) for the course may have an asterisk (*) before their names. Please discuss this situation with these students and refer to the section on prerequisite exemptions in this Handbook.

Student Opinion Surveys

Student Opinion Surveys

Senate regulations require that student opinion surveys be administered for every course and lab/seminar offered at Nipissing University, on or before the last day of classes. (You will find student opinion surveys in your mailbox prior to the date of the final lecture or lab.)  The instructor must leave the room during the administration of the student opinion surveys and a student must be assigned to distribute and collect the forms. The class should be allowed at least 20 minutes of privacy to complete the forms, after which the assigned student will collect and place them in the envelopes provided. The envelopes must be sealed immediately and delivered to the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science in F207.

Once the survey results are summarized in the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science, the surveys along with the statistical summaries will be given (or mailed) to the instructors.  The Dean and Associate Dean will also receive the statistical summaries.  The full-time members of the relevant department(s) may also have access for those courses taught by part-time instructors. The comment sheets will be provided only to the instructor.

Course Outlines

Course Outlines

Instructors are required to provide an electronic copy of their course outlines to and to their classes.  For spring and summer courses, instructors must also provide a course outline well in advance of the start date of the course.  The outline should include the scope of the course, the textbook(s) and a course grading scheme.  Course outlines created by other instructors are considered intellectual property and therefore should be used for consultative purposes only.

Final Grades

Final Grades

Grade Book Manual

All final grades must be submitted on WebAdvisor via Grade Book.  If a faculty member has forgotten their user name or password they should contact the UTS Helpdesk (ext. 4342) for assistance.

If a student’s name does not appear on the class list the student is not officially registered in the course.  The student should contact the Office of the Registrar immediately.

For each course, faculty will enter their final grades into the Student Information System (SIS) within five calendar days of the exam or if there is no final exam, within five days of the end of the term.  Once the Dean’ has approved the marks submission, grades will be available for viewing on the SIS.

There are four options for the marks submitted:

1)               a numeric grade from 1 to 100 (no decimals)

2)               “INC” if you have granted an incomplete (an “Incomplete Grade Form” must be submitted to the Dean, this form can be found on our Website.)

3)               “SAT” or “U”  for practical courses (e.g. clinical nursing)

4)               “Z” if the student has a grade of “0” (WebAdvisor will not accept a grade of “0” however a “0” will be recorded on transcripts.)

Final exam papers must be turned into the Registrar’s Office.  These are kept on file until the deadline for student appeals has passed.

Senate policy requires that final grades be submitted to the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science for approval by the Dean, within five calendar days of the final examination (p ).  Any extension of this deadline requires approval in advance by the Dean.  The Dean's approval indicates that the marks submission is consistent with existing practices and policies of the Faculty.   In order for students to meet graduation deadlines (June Convocation) grades for individualized study courses must be submitted on grade book by the end of April at the latest.

Numeric grades are required when submitting final marks as follows:

               Exceptional Performance                                  80 -100%

               Good Performance                                           70 -79%

               Satisfactory Performance                                  60 -69%

               Minimally Competent Performance                  50 -59%

               Failure                                                                0-49%

Requesting an Incomplete Grade (INC)

Requesting an Incomplete Grade

·INC's must be requested through Grade Book before any final grades can be submitted. Once you receive notification from Grade Book that the INC has been approved by the Dean, final grades can be submitted for the course.

·Please note: Unless the INC is a result of a special exam being written, all students must first submit a paper Incomplete Grade Request Form to our office before the request is submitted in Grade Book.

Any student assigned an Incomplete grade must normally complete all course requirements within 30 days after the end of the examination period or the last day of the course if there is no final examination for that course. If after that period the course is not completed, a grade of zero will be assigned to those components not completed.

Instructional Support

Faculty and Administrative Support Services (FASS) and Print Plus

The Faculty and Administrative Support Services Department (FASS) offers faculty and administrative staff a wide variety of support services including:  word processing, web support, multiple choice and evaluation scanning, OCR scanning, final exam processing, master CD creation, miscellaneous creations (brochures, posters, graphics, business cards, notepads, etc.) and copyright approval.  Faculty and staff have the added convenience of being able to have their work directly routed from FASS to Print Plus, a division of FASS, thereby taking advantage of the many additional services offered. 

Print Plus is a full service in-house document production centre, serving the entire University community.  Services include full colour and black and white printing/duplicating, binding (cerlox, spiral, tape), booklet making, CD duplication, scanning and cleaning, padding, folding and collating, cutting and trimming, shredding, and coursepack creation.  All internal charges for products/services are based on a cost-recovery pricing strategy.  Print Plus also maintains the many photocopiers located throughout the University.  Faculty members will be allocated a photocopy account number and amount and may do low volume copying at the following locations A209, A308, F203, H140, and H348.

Complete details on services provided by FASS (F208) and Print Plus (F103) and the hours of operation may be obtained from the department. The highly skilled staff are available to provide advice and guidance.


The Library Committee allots funds for the purchase of scholarly material.  Both full-time and part-time faculty may order books from these funds. Instructors should contact the department chair for budget specifics. Unexpended funds may be pooled for special purchases.

Library hours vary with the academic sessions. Please check with the library staff regarding times. All full-time and part-time faculty must secure a photo identification card from University Technology Services, A139, in order to borrow books from the Library.

The Library will place books on reserve at the request of faculty members. Faculty should consult the library staff for details. If a substantial amount of material is to be placed on reserve, please consider packaging the material and having it sold in the Campus Shop. Packaging may be provided through the FASS Office.

Room Booking

We now have an online form for booking rooms and space on campus. You can find the form at:

Booking Space Form

All internal requests for classrooms, meeting rooms, and general areas bookings should be made through this form. Once the form is completed and submitted you will receive an automatic reply stating " Thank you for filling out the Booking Space/Classrooms on Campus form.  You will receive confirmation of your booking request once it is completed. Below is the information you submitted:" along with a description of your request.

Once your booking has been approved you will receive and email (classroom requests) confirming your booking detai

Stationary Supplies

Faculty may obtain classroom and office supplies through the Stores area located in Shipping and Receiving, F101.  These supplies may include: chalk, files, folders, overheads, pens, etc.  These supplies will be billed to the faculty supplies cost centre.  The cost centre number may be obtained in the Office of the Faculty of Arts and Science or from your department Chair.

Technology Services

University Technology Services (A139) provides computing and AV equipment support services for faculty, staff and students. Technology Helpdesk, ext. 4342, for your computing and audio-visual needs.

Academic Structure, Policies and Procedures

Academic Structure, Policies and Procedures

Academic Services - Advising

Students in the Faculty of Arts and Science may be referred to an Academic Advisor for advice on any academic matter including: course selection, program planning, degree requirements, academic policies or procedures, academic appeals and petitions, letters of permission, and second degrees. Students should also be referred to an Academic Advisor if they are in academic difficulty.  Academic Advisors regularly consult with faculty on academic matters concerning students.  This may include assessment of transfer credits or issuance of letters of permission.

Grading Standards & Practices Policies


1. Informing Students about Grading Practices

Each Arts and Science course instructor shall include, as part of his or her discussion with the class about course grading: (i) an outline of Nipissing’s grading standards (that is, what grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D” signify, according to the Nipissing University Academic Calendar).

2.  “Mastery” Courses

(a)    The delivery of courses which are effectively graded entirely according to a “mastery” approach should be discouraged in Arts and Science, since university-level courses generally include significant theoretical content.  (Note: at the discretion of the instructor, individual components/items within courses—to a maximum of, say, 30% of the final grade—can continue to be evaluated via mastery.)

(b)   Notwithstanding (a), all Arts and Science courses which are effectively graded entirely according to a “mastery” approach shall be identified by the Dean’s Office, and furthermore, shall require Senate recognition and approval as such.

(c)    Once approved by Senate each mastery course in Arts and Science shall be graded according to a simple pass/fail system, and shall not be counted when academic averages are computed for purposes of making academic promotion/status decisions (good academic standing, academic probation, or required withdrawal) and/or awarding scholarships or other academic prizes that are essentially based on academic average.

3.   Assigning Minimum Weight for Invigilated Items

(a)     For first- and second-year level Arts and Science courses, at least 50% of the final grade shall be based upon invigilated items (final exams, in-class tests, in-class presentations, participation, etc.); any exemptions from this regulation shall require the approval of the Dean of Arts and Science.

(b)     For third- and fourth-year level Arts and Science courses, the 50% minimum in (a) shall be considered a discretionary guideline, but not a requirement.

4.   Courses with Multiple Sections

(a)     All sections of multiple-section Arts and Science courses taught simultaneously at any location shall employ the same grading scheme (that is, the same weights shall be assigned in each section for final exams, tests, essays, assignments, labs, participation, etc.), and this grading scheme shall be agreed upon in advance by the various instructors.

(b)     Final examinations in any such multiple-section Arts and Science course shall include an agreed-upon common section, which comprises at least 40% of the final exam mark.

(c)     Instructors seeking exemptions from (a) or (b) shall be required to obtain the approval of the Dean of Arts and Science. 

5.   Grades for Courses with Multiple Markers

In the case of Arts and Science courses in which the same items are graded by multiple markers, all markers shall be required to share periodically with one another summarized (non-identifying) grades, and they shall further be required to discuss (via e-mail or at meetings called for this purpose) such grades in order that consistency of grading across all markers be achieved to the greatest extent possible.

6.   Intervention/Action on Final Grades by the Dean

Where the Dean of Arts and Science feels that an individual instructor or an entire discipline/department has failed—to a significant degree—to meet the “Final Grade Distribution Guidelines” outlined in 5, above, the instructor(s), in consultation with the Dean, shall be reminded that Nipissing’s grading standards should be adhered to and/or that grading practices should be adjusted in the future.

Individualized Study Courses

All request must be submitted on webadvisor

Policy on Individualized Study Courses

  1. In order to be eligible to take any individualized study course, undergraduate students must be entering (or already registered in) the third or fourth year of a four-year program. In addition, the desired course(s) must be in the student’s declared program(s) of study. In the case of a course which is only an elective, a minimum overall average of 70% is required as well.
  2. Any student who meets the above criteria and wishes to take an individualized study course during the following Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter Session must apply in writing to the discipline concerned no later than February 15. This application shall include a brief outline of the proposed topic or project, the proposed faculty supervisor and the signature of one faculty member in the discipline (normally the intended supervisor) who has been consulted and who supports the request.
  3. In the case of individualized study courses which are program requirements, any student who will be entering the final year of the degree program (and who will therefore need the course in order to graduate) shall be permitted to take the course, provided he/she has submitted an appropriate application as outlined above. However, it must be clearly understood that, until final approval is granted (usually after a meeting of the discipline held for this purpose), there is no implied guarantee that the proposed topic/project, the designated faculty supervisor or the chosen session will be accepted.
  4. Individualized study courses which are electives (and therefore not required) are a privilege rather than a right. The approval of applications for such courses shall consequently be subject to the availability (and willingness) of faculty supervisors, as well as to budgetary considerations.
  5. In making decisions concerning applications for individualized study courses in any discipline, required courses shall be given clear priority over those which are merely electives. In particular, elective individualized study requests shall be approved only after all requests for required courses have been accommodated.
  6. Each applicant for an individualized study course shall be informed in writing of the outcome of his/her application by March 1. When the course in question is a degree requirement, the application shall either be approved as submitted or approved with specified alterations (which may include changes in topic, supervisor and/or session). In the case of elective individualized studies, applications may be approved as submitted, approved with specified alterations or rejected (on the basis of content, availability of supervisors or budgetary considerations).
  7. Only after students have received written approval to take an individualized study course will they be permitted to advance register and/or register for the course.