In most departments, the DUS has responsibility for coordinating the interests of the department’s faculty members with the needs of the department in undergraduate instruction. You advise the chair on what is required or desirable in order to maintain the quality and range of the department’s undergraduate offerings. You consult with course directors, the chair of the department, and the director of graduate studies about the staffing of laboratories and multi-section courses. In conjunction with the department chair, you negotiate with members of the department and with directors of special programs in Yale College about the participation of your department in those programs. You claim the time of members of your department for advising majors, supervising and evaluating senior projects, and awarding departmental prizes. If you do not do it yourself, you appoint a colleague or colleagues to supervise the procedures for matters of first-year student placement in August and September.
The DUS is expected to introduce new faculty members to their responsibilities in the department and to the usages of Yale College. You inform them of their undergraduate teaching duties before their arrival at Yale. After their arrival, you brief them on the Yale College grading system, on the regulations relating to the conduct of courses or teaching methods used in the department, and on their various obligations to Yale College and its students. If a new member of the faculty is teaching a section of a multisection course, you introduce the new instructor to the course director. You should be especially alert to the problems of an instructor who has had no previous experience in an American university, or who has limited previous teaching experience. In departments where such is the practice, you might encourage new faculty members to visit the classes of experienced colleagues or to make use of the resources at the Center for Teaching and Learning, and you may yourself, with their consent, visit their classes or ask other experienced teachers to do so.
A letter on undergraduate teaching written by Richard Brodhead, Dean of Yale College from 1993 to 2004, can be found in PDF format in the Appendix section. A letter on teaching and grading written by Mary Miller, Dean of Yale College from 2008 to 2014, is available on the Yale College Faculty Website.
Even senior members of the department will almost always welcome a brief review by the DUS of the regulations of Yale College that most concern them as instructors of undergraduates. At the first departmental meeting in the fall, you might outline some of the rules contained in the Academic Regulations in the YCPS, including grades, independent study courses, course withdrawals, reading period and final examination period, work missed during the term, postponement of final examinations, work incomplete at the end of term and the mark of Temporary Incomplete, cut restriction, and auditing. Your colleagues may in fact regard you as an expert on all of the academic regulations contained in the YCPS, so you should attempt to get to know them well.
In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), instructors must make available to students information regarding the price of books for each course offered. At your first departmental meeting, you might wish to review Yale’s method for compliance with HEOA regulations. The Instructors’ Handbook contains a summary of the law and information about compliance methods.