Checking-In with Stressed Faculty

As academic integrity practitioners, we often talk about academic integrity and assessment design. We make checklists of things faculty should and should not do to foster honest student work. We talk at them, and insist that faculty take on the additional burden of following whatever academic integrity policy is in place at your institution. But when was the last time we listened to their needs and concerns?

One of the best ideas from the last ICAI Annual Conference was a Faculty Listening Tour. This is an opportunity to engage your faculty, and build trust with them as stakeholders. While you should always include faculty in the creation of an institution’s policy, the relationship should not end when the policy is enacted. Instead, it is our responsibility to continue to develop trust.

As you check in with faculty, you can address what challenges they face in their courses. Do they know where the resources are located, and are they interested in learning more? What can the academic integrity practitioner do to support the faculty’s needs while continuing to uphold the integrity of the institution?

If you are interested in conducting your own Faculty Listening Tour, here are a few tangible steps to get you started:

  1. Create your own proposal with specific learning objectives. Remember, though, that the purpose of these meetings will not be for you to present on the institutional policy. Rather, you are attending these meetings to listen to faculty concerns and build trust.
  2. Contact the department heads and ask if you can join a previously or regularly scheduled department meeting. You may want to attach the proposal to the request.
  3. Schedule what meetings you can, as you can. Some faculty may not have room for you until later in the semester. This process will likely not be done before the start of the next academic year.
  4. Be open to feedback. Your faculty may love the policy at your institution, and regularly report. However, maybe there are legitimate concerns about the policy, or about how these issues may impact a student. You are there to learn how you can support the faculty.
  5. Consolidate the information you gather at each meeting. Using your learning objectives from step 1, see what you have learned from each unit you are able to speak to, and if there need to be any changes, you can address them when the Listening Tour is complete.
About the Author
Courtney Cullen is the Program Coordinator in the Office of Academic Honesty at the University of Georgia. Cullen processes appeals for the Petitions Subcommittee and works to support the initiatives of the Office of Academic Honesty. Cullen is working towards a Ph.D. in Higher Education, and received both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs from UGA.
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