3. Classroom

"The spirit, purposes, and blessings of gathering" occur in many places on this set-apart and special campus . . . and "the power of righteous unity can pervade [the] classrooms" (David A. Bednar, "The Spirit and Purposes of Gathering," BYU-Idaho Devotional, 31 October 2006, p. 5).

3.1 Faculty Commitment

Faculty members are charged to facilitate deep and significant learning. In that effort, they seek to broaden students' perspectives without causing doubt of fundamental tenets of the gospel. They create a safe and innovative learning environment, select classroom media carefully, and treat sacred topics with respect. Faculty members strive to ensure that each class period is used meaningfully. They work collaboratively and collegially with faculty peers and academic leaders within their department and across all departments and offices of the University. They create an atmosphere of kindness and helpfulness in all interactions with students (see 3.5.1 Social Relationships with Students and 2.3.1 Teaching).

3.1.1 Academic Freedom

Brigham Young University-Idaho invites faculty members and students to pursue secular knowledge in a climate of religious belief. This model consciously embraces all truth, regardless of its source. 

Individual freedom lies at the core of both religious and academic life and is based not only on a belief in the value of free inquiry, but also on the gospel principle that humans are moral agents. Faculty members and students are encouraged to seek knowledge in the sacred as well as the secular; to learn through their hearts, by the Spirit, and with their minds; and to honor both the written word of God and continuing revelation.

Faculty members and students are entrusted with individual academic freedom and are encouraged to pursue truth according to the theories, methodologies, and practices that characterize scholarship in the various disciplines. This trust encompasses the freedom to explore a variety of ideas.

The Board of Trustees and the academic leadership of BYU-Idaho expect faculty members to protect the fundamental interests and the doctrines of the Church, the individual faith of Church members, and the mission of the University at all times. Faculty members are free to discuss and analyze Church doctrine and policy. However, faculty members should not engage in expression with students privately or in public that knowingly contradicts or opposes Church doctrine and policy. Faculty members should not deliberately attack or deride the Church, the University, or their leaders, nor should they violate the Honor Code.

3.1.2 Learning Model

BYU-Idaho has articulated a Learning Model, which gives faculty members and students a common vocabulary for discussing learning and teaching. Rooted in both gospel principles and educational research, the Learning Model emphasizes individual responsibility, collaborative and reflective learning opportunities, and the need for learners and teachers to rely on the guidance of the Holy Ghost to achieve desired learning outcomes.

The principles of the Learning Model fortify the effort to build a Zion-learning community. Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho:

    • Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a principle of action and power
    • Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost 
    • Lay hold on the word of God
    • Act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching
    • Love, serve, and teach one another

The processes of the Learning Model invite students to be proactive participants rather than passive subjects. Faculty members create opportunities for students to prepare, teach one another, and ponder and prove.

Faculty members implement the principles and processes of the Learning Model in a variety of teaching methods: discussions, lectures, demonstrations, independent research, projects, experiential learning, and performances. They also use the Learning Model across all modes of delivery. In every situation, faculty members invite the Spirit in such a way that all "are edified and rejoice together" (Doctrine and Covenants 50: 22).

3.2 Meetings and Schedule

To serve more students, BYU-Idaho has adopted a scheduling system that allows for maximum use of facilities.

3.2.1 Day Classes

On-campus classes are not scheduled on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 2:00 pm to allow students to attend Devotionals and Forums (see 1.3.3 Devotionals and 5.2.4 Forums). 

Classes lasting 1 hour may be scheduled at 

      7:45 am (every day)
      9:00 am (every day)
      10:15 am (every day)
      11:30 am (every day)
      12:45 pm (every day)
      2:00 pm (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
      3:15 pm (every day)
      4:30 pm (every day)

Classes lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes may be scheduled at

      8:00 am (Tuesday and Thursday)
      9:45 am (Tuesday and Thursday)
      11:30 am (Tuesday and Thursday)
      3:15 pm (Tuesday and Thursday)

Classes lasting 2 hours or 2 hours and 15 minutes may be scheduled at

      7:45 am (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
      9:00 am (Tuesday and Thursday)
      10:15 am (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
      11:30 am (Tuesday and Thursday)
      12:45 pm (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
      3:15 pm (every day)
      4:30 pm (every day)

Labs lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes may be scheduled at

        8:00 am (every day)
      11:00 am (every day)
       2:00 pm (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
       3:00 pm (Tuesday and Thursday)

Classes which do not fit in any of the categories described above must be cleared by the Registrar's Office and the associate academic vice president for curriculum. Faculty members may not arbitrarily adjust the starting or ending times of classes.

Request for Exception to Class Schedule Template Form

3.2.2 Evening Classes

Academic departments schedule on-campus evening classes between 4:30 pm and 10:00 pm. Classes are not scheduled on Mondays beginning at 7:00 pm to allow students to attend Home Evening.

3.2.3 Online Classes

Online classes begin and end with the regular semesters, although the coursework is primarily done by the students asynchronously. 

To gain experience teaching online and to monitor how a particular course is working, faculty members may apply to teach online courses on the same basis and with the same training as other applicants. Faculty members must obtain permission from their department chair and may not be teaching other overload courses in the same semester.

Course leads and department chairs may also apply to teach an online section once per year as part of their regular load.

Online Instructor Hiring Policy

3.2.4 Room Assignments

Faculty members are typically assigned to classrooms by their department chair, with the assistance of department office assistants. Each department has been assigned "primary" and "secondary" classrooms which must be scheduled by certain deadlines, usually two semesters in advance. Remaining rooms are designated "open," and any department may schedule them on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Faculty members may occasionally need to move a class to a different room or to an outdoor venue for a particular activity. Campus Scheduling can help identify available spaces and make the reservations.

Campus Scheduling

3.3 Duties and Opportunities

Faculty members are given wide latitude regarding policies and practices inside their classrooms, although some departments have set standards for particular programs or courses. New faculty members should discuss those standards with their department chair and course leads.

3.3.1 Syllabus

Faculty members are required to publish a syllabus for each class they teach. The syllabus serves as a contract between faculty members and their students and is a principal means of conveying expectations and setting a positive tone.

Each syllabus should contain a course description and the anticipated outcomes (which may be established on the department level), a list of materials the students need to purchase, grading and attendance policies, the final examination schedule, information on how and when to contact the instructor, and an invitation for students with special educational needs to identify themselves in a timely manner. Additionally, a class calendar should either be incorporated into or attached to the syllabus (see 3.3.14 Grades and 3.3.16 Academic Honesty).

Each semester, faculty members keep a record of past syllabi for accreditation and grading disputes (see 3.3.15 Records Retention).  

3.3.2 Prayer

Faculty members are invited to open classes with prayer. In some settings, singing a hymn may also be appropriate. Such activities should take only a brief portion of the class period.

3.3.3 Names and Titles

Remembering students' names and becoming acquainted with them is an ideal way for faculty members to show they care about the students in their classes. 

Faculty members are encouraged to ask students to address them as either Brother or Sister. Faculty members are considered unranked professors. The use of the academic title Professor of or Doctor of in external communications, including email signatures, is permissible.

3.3.4 Attendance

Faculty members have the right to impose grade penalties on students for absences, whether or not students make prior arrangements. Reasonable standards should be set that take contagious illnesses and emergencies into account, and these should be clearly presented in the course syllabus and distributed at the outset of the semester. Faculty members are encouraged to contact students who miss class repeatedly or for an extended period.

Faculty members work with students individually to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related challenges, jury duty, National Guard, or other legal responsibilities. Likewise, faculty members make reasonable accommodations for students with extended illnesses or attendance at funerals of a close family member (parent, spouse, parent-in-law, child, sibling, or grandparent). In limited cases, emergencies involving a spouse or child of a student may also affect attendance (see 3.5.3 Pregnant Student Accomodations).

Faculty members should not require a note from a doctor or the Student Health Center for absences of less than one week. Students experiencing extended illnesses should be counseled to visit with the Admissions Office regarding medical deferment. When such cases occur after the last day to withdraw (approximately the eighth week of the semester), students should be referred to the Dean of Students Office.

The Dean of Students Office communicates with faculty members by email in behalf of students who experience significant difficulties. Faculty members are encouraged to be helpful in assisting students through these challenges.

Students on school-approved field trips must show a signed Authorized Absence form to the faculty members whose classes they will miss, at least one week in advance, so that arrangements can be made for completing assignments. Such students may not be penalized for class attendance points; however, they are not relieved from any academic work (see 3.3.21 Field Trips).

Authorized Absence Form

3.3.5 Out-of-Class Work

For standard and guided instruction courses, faculty members assign approximately 2 hours of out-of-class work for each hour spent in class. The out-of-class work for lab courses is usually less. Faculty members strive to ensure that sufficient academic rigor is involved in the assignments they give and that the assignments are aligned in a meaningful and substantive way with course learning outcomes (see 2.2.1 Teaching Load).

3.3.6 Textbooks and Supplies

Faculty members order textbooks and classroom supplies one semester in advance. Program directors or course leads usually select titles for adjunct faculty members. Faculty members order textbooks and supplies in a way that accomplishes their academic purposes while also attempting to lower student costs. 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires all institutions receiving federal financial aid to publish, at the time of registration, a list of all required and recommended books and other course materials for all classes offered at the University. This effort makes transparent the true costs of education.

In Foundations courses, course leads specify teaching materials for CFS and visiting faculty.

When changes occur in instructors, the number of students, or textbook titles before a semester begins, faculty members should contact the University Store as early as possible. If textbooks on the shelf need to be returned to the publishers due to such changes, departments may be required to pay freight and return charges. If textbooks have been purchased from students during the buy-back period, the University Store attempts to sell the books to wholesalers or on the internet to recoup the money expended. Departments may be charged for the difference between what was paid for the books and the funds recouped by selling them.

Publishers often send faculty members examination copies of textbooks. The University prefers that unneeded textbooks be returned to the publishers rather than sold to book buyers who visit campus. The University Store can assist with these returns.

On-Campus Publicity, Advertising, and Solicitations Policy

3.3.7 Copyright Clearances

Copyright is automatically granted by law to authors and creators of artistic and scholarly works, giving them exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, modify, display, and publicly perform their works. Faculty members must be aware of copyright implications for a wide range of materials and technologies. Violations related to copying printed materials, audio and video recordings, computer programs, databases, and information retrieved from the internet create potential legal liability for the University and for the faculty members involved.

When it is unclear whether a work's copyright is protected, faculty members should assume that it is. Faculty members must plan instruction far enough in advance to allow ample time to seek permission to use copyrighted materials. If permission is granted, faculty members follow all of the grantor's instructions. If permission is denied, faculty members do not use the materials. 

Faculty members may be able to use copies of limited portions of published materials without securing permission if after weighing several factors favors a reasoned conclusion for fair use. To act in "good faith" an individual should consider the four Fair Use Factors to determine if the intended use is a fair use. These factors include (i) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (ii) the nature of the copyrighted work; (iii) the amount and substantiality of the portion taken in relation to the copyrighted material as a whole; and (iv) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted material. 

If faculty members intend to use the same material each semester as part of the regular course content, they must seek permission from the copyright holder. If the copyright holder requires a fee for use, department chairs will generally pay that from department budgets. Department chairs are responsible for monitoring ongoing permissions and costs associated with continued use of content from semester to semester. The Intellectual Property Rights Specialist is available to assist with the process of securing permissions.

Faculty members and students may perform or display (but not copy) artwork or music in the course of face-to-face teaching in a classroom or other place normally devoted to instruction without securing permission from the copyright holder as long as the activity directly relates to instruction and is not merely being shown to entertain students.

Faculty members must obtain written permission from students to use their work in any way, and the work should be clearly identified and credited.

University Copyright Policy

3.3.8 Media

Faculty members carefully review audio-visual materials to ensure their value in meeting specific academic purposes. The selection of music videos, film clips, commercials, documentaries, or other media should facilitate intellectual growth while protecting spiritual sensitivities. Faculty members are guided by the Honor Code, the standards set forth in the 13th Article of Faith, and the guidelines found in For the Strength of Youth.

Faculty members counsel with their department chair prior to showing potentially sensitive materials in class. Many students are passing through a difficult period in their maturation and struggle with even subtle suggestions of immoral behavior, immodest dress, or extreme violence. In these situations, faculty members should respond in a spirit of kindness, respect, and helpfulness. Where appropriate, faculty members may provide alternative activities for students who are uncomfortable with some materials.

3.3.9 Sensitive Topics

To prepare students to function and excel in their chosen career fields and in their future communities, faculty members must, at times, cover issues that may be considered controversial or sensitive by some students. Such subjects are approached by faculty members in an attitude of faith and humility and with academic integrity. 

While the gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses all truth, both revealed and discovered, there are many areas of inquiry that cannot, at present, be fully resolved. In teaching sensitive subjects, faculty members show students all appropriate portions of the spectrum of serious thought and opinion and do so in a manner that is respectful of others' views. This is done in such a way that students' testimonies are strengthened and their academic knowledge enhanced.

Principles for Teaching Sensitive Topics at BYU-Idaho

3.3.10 Guest Speakers

For academic presentations, faculty members should select guest speakers who are qualified by education, training, or experience to discuss topics that will advance student learning. Additionally, the personal lives of guest speakers should provide an appropriate model for students; they should have a reputation for integrity and for observance of the moral values inherent in the Honor Code. 

Guest speakers must be approved before any contact is made with a potential speaker. General Authorities of the Church (including those on emeritus status) should not be invited. Faculty members ask their department chair to approve the names of guest speakers who visit a single class or multiple classes gathered in a single venue. Requests are submitted on the Speaker Request Form one month in advance. Clearances are valid for one year. Political candidates are not permitted to speak on campus during their campaigns.

Faculty members should inquire about the fees that the guest speaker requires and discuss how those fees will be covered with their department chairs. Students may only participate in those costs through formal class fees.

The person who invites a guest speaker to campus provides written confirmation to the guest for the topic and length of the presentation, technology needs, and travel and lodging arrangements. That person also notifies the guest speaker about parking procedures, related hosting arrangements, campus dress and grooming standards, and presentation expectations (language; smoking, alcohol and coffee; inappropriate visuals, etc.).

Advertising for classroom guest speakers may be hung inside the classroom and posted on the class I-Learn site. Advertising beyond that scope requires additional approvals. For other details on advertising, see the Guest Speaker link below (see 5.2.4 Forums).

Guest Speaker Policy
Speaker Request Form
Political Neutrality Policy
University Communications Planning & Approvals

3.3.11 Electronic Devices

Faculty members may authorize or prohibit the use of specific electronic devices (such as laptops, clickers, readers, tablets, and internet enabled phones) in their classrooms as situations warrant.

3.3.12 Testing Center

The Testing Center provides a proctored, out-of-classroom testing environment to assist students and faculty members in the learning and teaching process. The Testing Center can accommodate paper, computer-based, and online tests that are summative in nature. If the exam is formative (e.g. contains multiple retakes, significant test aids, or is a quiz), the exam should be held in class or online without a proctor. 

The quiet, secure setting is ideal for tests which require more than a regular class period to complete. If an examination requires less than a regular class period, faculty members are encouraged to give it in their scheduled classrooms. The Testing Center can scan answer sheets electronically and supply data analysis for in-class exams.

Faculty members are encouraged to submit tests and answer keys two days before tests open - and no later than noon on the workday before they open. Results are available the next workday after the tests close. Faculty members may not open tests or retrieve results on Saturdays.

If a student engages in inappropriate behavior during a test, the Testing Center will collect evidence and notify the teacher (see 3.3.16 Academic Honesty).

 Testing Center

3.3.13 Final Examinations

In order to properly conclude a semester's learning activities, faculty members in some courses require examination days at the conclusion of the semester. The University does not require faculty members to use final examination days, but it does establish a calendar that provides 90-minute test blocks for each course offered more than once per week during regular daytime classes.  All faculty have the option of using these blocks during the examination days or using the last day of regularly scheduled class periods to administer final exams. Final exams should not be given prior to the beginning of examination days. 

Due to congestion in the Testing Center during examination days, faculty members are encouraged to use their scheduled rooms for final examinations that can be administered in 90 minutes or less. The regularly-assigned classroom is also available for projects, presentations, and other activities.

Faculty members have the right to require students to attend the final examination for a course. Students are obligated to be available through the official end of the semester, which includes all instructional and final examination days. They should not make travel plans before the semester ends and should not request to take final examinations early.

Faculty members should put the final examination date, time, and expectations in the syllabus distributed at the beginning of the semester. Regardless of whether or not a faculty member intends to use the examination days, he or she should hold class through and including the official last day of classes (typically Wednesday of the final week).

Departments and teaching teams are encouraged to implement consistent testing practices across all sections of courses.

3.3.14 Grades

Faculty members control the grading structures in their classrooms, and they should clearly outline their policies and expectations in published syllabi. The University recommends the following guidelines:

    • A represents consistently outstanding understanding, application, and integration of subject material and extensive evidence of original thinking, skillful use of concepts, and ability to analyze and solve complex problems.
    • B represents considerable or significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material which would prepare a student to be successful in next level courses, graduate school, or employment.
    • C represents sufficient understanding of subject matter. The student demonstrates minimal initiative to be prepared for class. Sequenced courses could be attempted, but mastering new materials might prove challenging.
    • D represents poor performance and initiative to learn and understand and apply course materials. Retaking a course or remediation may be necessary to prepare for additional instruction in this subject matter.
    • F represents failure in the course.
    • P represents passing in the course but is not calculated into the GPA.
    • W represents a withdrawal from the course and is not calculated into the GPA. If a class is dropped during the first 22 calendar days of a semester (including weekends and holidays), or the first 15 calendar days of a block, no annotation will be made on the permanent academic record.
    • UW represents an unofficial withdrawal from a course. It is given when a student does not complete proper withdrawal procedures; has record of non-attendance; and does not complete any work, tests, or class-related assignments after the last day to withdraw. The UW is calculated into the GPA at a failing grade value.
    • I represents incomplete work and is a conditional grade given under extenuating circumstances (such as serious illness, personal injury, or death in the immediate family) that hinder classwork and occur after the tenth week of a semester. The student must have a passing grade at the time of the incident and must be able to complete the remaining work on an individual basis working with the instructor.
    • NR represents the grade was not reported by the instructor. 
    • T represents a temporary grade that is assigned for courses that do not fall within normal academic deadlines of any given semester (such as internships).
    • IP indicates that the course is in progress.
    • AU indicates a course taken for audit.

The University standard is that students must receive a minimum grade of C- in all major and minor courses to statisfy graduation requirements. Furthermore, departments or Foundations teaching teams may determine that certain courses will have set criteria that all teachers and students must meet. Faculty members support one another in maintaining such grading standards.

Throughout the semester, faculty members do their best to keep current in grading assignments and recording scores so that students may monitor their progress.

Faculty members are required to submit final grades in a timely manner so as not to adversely affect students. (Late grades may affect a student's ability to secure financial aid, obtain internships, enter graduate school, and finalize employment.)

Grade changes after a semester has ended are initiated by faculty members and approved by department chairs.

Grading System

3.3.15 Records Retention

Students have one year to petition a grade change. Faculty members should keep grade sheets for the remainder of the current year plus one calendar year. In the case of a grade dispute, communication, class rolls, and grade sheets relevant to the disputed grade should be maintained for seven years, the term of the University catalog.

3.3.16 Academic Honesty

Faculty members communicate to students verbally and in course syllabi the expectation for academic honesty: students should be honest in all their dealings (see Articles of Faith 1:13). Students should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct. 

Faculty members are responsible to investigate incidents of academic dishonesty, determine the circumstances, and take appropriate action. They may choose one or more of the following:

    • Reprimanding a student in writing or orally in a private setting
    • Requiring work affected by the academic dishonesty to be redone
    • Administering a lower or failing grade on the affected assignment, test, or course

If an affected student disagrees with the action, he or she may file a formal grievance. It is, therefore, important that faculty members have dated records of the work in question and their interactions with the student.

After a faculty member has taken appropriate actions to resolve an incident of academic dishonesty, the violation should be reported to the Student Honor Office for tracking purposes. If the occurrence is sufficiently egregious or if a pattern of misconduct is discovered, additional action may be taken by the University.

In situations involving the violation of a public law (such as entering an office and stealing an examination), the act is also reported to University Security and Safety (see 3.5.7 Student Grievances in Campus Courses and 3.5.8 Student Grievances in Online Courses).

Academic Honesty Policy

3.3.17 Course Assessment

The Faculty Development Office administers student evaluations and provides reports according to an established schedule:

    • Courses taught by new adjunct and new pre-CFS faculty members are evaluated each semester for the first three years.
    • Courses taught by visiting faculty members are evaluated each semester.
    • Courses taught by CFS faculty members and adjunct faculty members who have taught at BYU-Idaho for more than three years are evaluated at least every third year in all classes taught that year.
    • Foundations courses are evaluated each semester.
    • Online courses are evaluated each semester.

Department chairs and college deans may request a special evaluation at any time. Although these evaluations become part of the annual interview process for a CFS faculty member, their greatest value is for faculty members to review student feedback and make improvements.

Additionally, faculty members are expected to assess their courses on a regular basis using informal observations by peers, written responses by students to open-ended questions, in-class discussions, or student feedback teams. The regular student evaluation instrument can be customized with faculty-generated questions, as well.

Faculty Development Office personnel can assist faculty members with course refinements (see 2.4.12 Professional Development Support).

Faculty Development

3.3.18 Supplemental Space or Equipment

Occasionally, faculty members may need alternate space or equipment that is not standard in their assigned classrooms. A faculty member should contact the Scheduling Office to arrange for alternate locations or for items such as tables or chairs (not to exceed fire code capacity of room). Additionally, audio / visual equipment such as projectors, screens, portable sound systems, easels can be scheduled with Event Services. These items will be delivered, set up, and retrieved.

Scheduling Office
Event Services

3.3.19 Classroom Maintenance

Custodial crews clean campus buildings before classes begin each day. Faculty members are expected to see that furniture which is moved during a class activity is returned to an orderly condition before leaving the room. They should erase chalkboards or whiteboards, roll up projector screens (when possible), and log off computers and TEC stations. 

Maintenance needs, such as broken furniture or defective equipment, should be reported promptly to a department's office assistant.

3.3.20 Late Passes for Students

Faculty members may allow students to be in a building between 11:30 pm and 1:00 am by requesting late passes. Department chairs must approve the late passes, which are building, room, and date specific (see 2.4.9 Building Access and 4.3.10 Late Passes for Students).

3.3.21 Field Trips

Faculty members taking students on field trips provide them with signed copies of the Authorized Absence form at least two weeks in advance so students may show the form to the teachers whose classes they will miss. 

Students participating in school field trips are allowed to make up in-class activities and are not penalized for their lack of attendance. Even so, faculty members exercise prudence in scheduling field trips so as not to impact students' other classes adversely. As a general rule, there should be no more than one field trip - outside of allotted class time - per class per semester. Exceptions to this should be reviewed with the department chair.

Field trips include two faculty members at all times. Faculty members taking their students on overnight field trips should submit an Overnight Student Travel Authorization Form, a participant list, and travel itinerary at least three days prior to leaving campus to the Travel administrator. A minimum of two students of the same gender must be assigned to a room. The sharing of beds is not allowed. Faculty members may not share rooms with students unless they are immediate family members.

All field trips and funding for school vehicles must be approved by department chairs; overnight field trips must also be approved by the college dean and the Travel administrator. In addition to participants' personal insurance, supplemental field trip insurance is available for purchase by the department. More information on field trip insurance is located on the field trip insurance summary link.

Overnight Student Travel Authorization Form
Authorized Absence Form
Field Trip Insurance Summary

3.3.22 Optional Out-of-Class Activities

Students participating in optional, out-of-class activities are required to sign a waiver. Departments should store the waivers for one year in the case of no accidents or damage and for five years in the case of accidents or injury.

Waiver Form

3.3.23 Travel Study Programs

A faculty member desiring to teach a course on an existing travel study program must first obtain clearance from the chair of the department where the course is based. The faculty member provides the department chair with a proposed syllabus, a suggested itinerary, and an overview of how and where instructional contact will occur. The department chair has full authority to approve or deny requests for travel study courses or instructors, to establish academic criteria that must be met, and to accept or reject the proposed syllabus. If accepted, the syllabus is kept in the department's permanent files. 

Proposals for new travel study programs must be endorsed by department chairs and college deans before being forwarded to the academic vice president and the director of International Study Programs. Departments or individual faculty members interested in submitting proposals should consult with these individuals so that they understand the criteria for and limitations of these programs.

Students participating in travel study programs must be admitted to BYU-Idaho, in good academic standing, and enrolled in at least one course offered during the tour.

Travel Office Policies
International Study Programs

3.3.24 Compensation for Academic Tour Directors and Assistant Directors

Academic tour leaders receive stipends to compensate for administrative responsibilities. Professional Development Leaves associated with a tour may be approved in place of stipends and are approved through the college associate dean with appropriate outcomes and deliverables. Tour leaders do not receive both PDL and a stipend.

Determination of the stipend amount or PDL for each tour is left to the discretion of the department chair or college dean. Requests for exceptions to this policy are reviewed by the director of International Study Programs. Stipends are paid out of the Academic Office budget. For additional information, contact the Academic Office. 

3.4 Resources

Faculty members work with department chair to establish class fees and to secure teaching materials. Every effort is made to keep costs low for students and to be frugal in the use of resources supported by sacred funds.

3.4.1 Class Fees

Class fees must be approved by President's Council one academic year in advance. They are requested by submitting a proposal in the course management system. Fees are attached to course sections by the department office assistant or by a Student Records employee when the courses are set up each semester. Class fees are collected by the Bursar's Office.  

3.4.2 Classroom Materials

Faculty members should consult with their department chair regarding expenses for materials needed for instruction. Students may be asked to purchase materials through the University Store or from off-campus vendors. 

Faculty members may receive permission to distribute purchased materials in class; however, in such cases, their department chair must request permission from the Bursar's Office to establish online "store fronts" for collecting payments directly from the students' account. Faculty members should not accept money (whether in the form of cash, checks, or credit cards) from students (see 4.4.3 CASHNet Services).

3.4.3 Book Club Orders

Book club orders (such as Scholastic) should be arranged so that BYU-Idaho students pay online, directly to the company, rather than making payment through faculty members. Faculty members should not receive a personal benefit from book club orders placed by their students. Any bonus points accrued must be redeemed on materials used by students.

3.4.4 Food

Although candy or other small items may be used as object lessons during a class exercise, University funds generally should not be used to purchase food for classes.

On an infrequent basis, faculty members may hold potluck events with their classes; however, faculty members must be sensitive to students who may not have the financial ability to participate.

Due to the difficulty of cleaning lecture halls and classrooms with fixed seating, faculty members who teach in such rooms should arrange for different venues when food is shared.

To maintain health standards for food distribution, faculty members may not share food in any rooms located in the Manwaring Center unless the food is purchased through Food Services.

Some areas of campus have food restrictions (BYU-Idaho Center auditorium, running track, etc.). Liquids may not be taken into any computer lab on campus.

Faculty members who wish to have students sell food in booths on campus must seek approval through their college dean and the associate academic vice president for support services. Food Services should be consulted for additional information regarding food handling procedures.

3.4.5 Classroom Business

On a limited basis, faculty members may request permission from their department chair, college dean, and the academic vice president to create a business entity, advertise, and sell products on campus as part of an academic course. Campus business proposals are also approved by President's Council. Students running the business must adhere to academic guidelines, signage policies created by University Communications, and other policies established by the President's Council.

Faculty members working with students in the Integrated Business Core (IBC) follow the approval procedure developed by the Department of Business (students receive preliminary approval from designated faculty members; present their ideas to a board of directors; obtain approval from the department chair, college dean, academic vice president, and President's Council). IBC group projects which go beyond previously approved parameters or which will require exceptions to campus policy must also be approved by President's Council.

3.5 Human Relations

Faculty members encourage and strengthen their students by treating them and teaching them as "spirit sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father with a particular and important purpose to fulfill in these latter days" (David A. Bednar, "The Spirit and Purposes of Gathering," BYU-Idaho Devotional, 31 October 2006, p. 1).

3.5.1 Social Relationships with Students

Faculty members watch over their students and strengthen their faith in groups and "one by one" (3 Nephi 11:15). They are aware of the impact they have on their students and seek to have respectful and appropriate relationships with them both on and off campus. 

Faculty members should exercise prudence in their use of all forms of communication with students, including texting and social media, making certain there is an academic purpose to all interactions.

Dating, romantic, or amorous relationships between single faculty members and students in their classes, or between teaching assistants and students in the classes where they assist must be avoided. Single faculty members who are of Young Single Adult age (18-30) are free to date students who are not enrolled in their classes. Single faculty members who are of Single Adult age (31+) should not date any students, including nontraditional students, without discussing the relationship with their department chairs and college deans.

Faculty members should not be roommates with students. Faculty members should not accept rides from students or offer rides to them. They should also refrain from touching or hugging students, especially when alone in an office or other setting. Family activities and dinners that involve students, including those from foreign countries who may not be able to return home for holidays, are gracious gestures that are deeply appreciated. Wisdom and propriety should always govern these occasions (see 2.5.9 Social Relations with Colleagues)

3.5.2 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Guidlines

Faculty members exercise caution in the storage of sensitive student records. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), faculty members do not release confidential information about students without their express written consent, including:

    • I-Numbers
    • Social Security Numbers
    • Grades
    • GPAs

Faculty members should ask students to submit requests for letters of recommendation in writing (either electronically or on paper). Faculty members should retain copies of both the student request and the letter of recommendation for a reasonable period of time. Faculty members may send both the requests and the letters of recommendation to the Registrar's Office for permanent storage, if desired.

 Letter of Recommendation Release Form

3.5.3  Pregnant Student Accommodations

BYU-Idaho provides a caring environment for students who are pregnant. BYU-Idaho and its faculty members work with pregnant students to make reasonable and helpful physical accommodations (larger desk, elevator access, restroom breaks, necessary absences, etc).

Following short-term absences, pregnant students are typically returned to the same academic or extracurricular status as before the absences occurred. These students are given reasonable opportunity to make up work missed during the absence, including submitting work after missed deadlines. Provision for alternate activities that substitute for missed in-class activities (e.g., participation or discussion points) are granted where appropriate. Extended absences (typically four or more class periods) may require an Incomplete Grade Contract. Faculty members are encouraged to be supportive and helpful in all situations.

All faculty members protect students from harassment based on sex, including harassment related to pregnancy. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Title IX coordinator (see 2.5.11 Sexual Harassment).

3.5.4 Guests of Students in the Classroom

Students should not bring siblings, parents, or friends to class without prior consent of their instructors. Faculty members are neither required nor encouraged to consent to a student's request to bring guests to class. They should use discretion based on the best interest of all students in rendering a decision. 

Children of students are not allowed to be present in classes due to space restrictions, fire code compliance, and the need to limit distractions. To preserve and enhance learning opportunities for all class members, students have the responsibility to arrange for childcare away from classrooms and study areas. Emergency situations may be handled as faculty members see fit. 

3.5.5 Service Animals, Comfort Animals, and Pets

The University welcomes working service animals who accompany people with disabilities. A service animal is not a pet or comfort (therapy) animal. Questions regarding comfort animals should be directed to the BYU-Idaho Disability Services Office. The University does not allow pets on the grounds or in buildings. Students and faculty members should not bring pets into offices or classrooms.

Service Animal Policy

3.5.6 Students with Behavior Issues

Faculty members should kindly correct student misbehavior - in a private setting, as much as possible. Department chairs and experienced colleagues can provide counsel about effective strategies. Faculty members may recommend that students with serious or persistent behavior issues receive assistance from appropriate campus entities.

Belligerent or uncooperative students are typically students who pose no danger to others, but who publicly and repeatedly challenge or express differences of opinion with a faculty member in a disruptive manner. The faculty member should patiently counsel with the student in private. If that effort fails, the faculty member should invite the student to meet with him or her and the department chair. If this effort fails to change behavior, the department chair should consult with the college dean. Faculty members generally do not request that a student be removed from a course.

Distressed or troubled students who are experiencing prolonged sadness, confusion, stress, disorientation, or anxiety should be directed to seek help through the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the Dean of Students Office, or an ecclesiastical leader.

Disruptive students who are behaving erratically should be referred to the Dean of Students Office. A Behavioral Assessment Risk Committee is then convened to evaluate what action is needed. The committee is composed of representatives from the Dean of Students Office, the Student Honor Office, University Security and Safety, the Counseling Center, the Health Center, and Housing. Faculty members may be asked to participate in the committee's discussions.

Dangerous students who threaten bodily harm should be referred to the police. A faculty member, student, or campus employee should call 911 and ask the police to respond.

If the faculty member and other students can safely leave the area, they should do so. If not, the faculty member should calmly seek to secure and comfort those in the area.

The faculty member should not engage in confrontational or threatening conversation with the student, nor should the faculty member attempt to restrain the student physically unless he or she is actively attempting to harm someone.

If the dangerous student is armed, the faculty member and other students should comply with his or her requests while waiting for police to arrive.

Dealing with Disruptive and Dangerous Students

3.5.7 Student Grievances in Campus Courses

When a student approaches a faculty member with a complaint, the faculty member listens with respect. The faculty member's response is sensitive to the maturity level of the student. Every effort is made to take advantage of the teaching moment presented.

Personal grievances, such as cases of sexual harassment or physical threat, the faculty member invites the student to meet directly with the department chair to file a formal grievance. 

Academic or classroom grievances, the faculty member attempts to resolve the concern privately with the student. If the student feels unsatisfied with the results of this meeting, they then visit with the department chair. If the department chair is unable to resolve the student's concern, the student is invited to file a formal grievance in writing. 

Using the approved Student Grievance Form, the student should explain the nature of the grievance, giving specific information regarding the date, time, and witnesses. The student should also indicate what he or she perceives to be the desired outcome.

The department chair then meets with the faculty member to discuss the student's formal grievance. The student may be invited to meet with the department chair and the faculty member together to resolve the concern. If the student is satisfied, he or she signs the form indicating that a resolution was achieved. If unsatisfied, the faculty member and the department chair acknowledges the grievance by signing the grievance form. The student then takes the grievance to the appropriate college dean.

If either the student or the faculty member is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance at the college dean level, the grievance form is signed and forwarded to the asssociate vice president for instruction. A different dean is selected by the associate vice president for instruction who convenes an impartial Grievance Review Committee to make a final determination. The Grievance Review Committee consists of the designated dean, who serves as the committee chair; a faculty member from the same department as the faculty member against whom the complaint was filed; a faculty member from another department; and two students from the Honor Code Office. All members of the committee should be impartial and without prior substantial knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the matter.

After a fair opportunity to be heard is provided to both parties, the student filing the grievance and the accused faculty member are excused, and the grievance is discussed by the committee. A decision is reached by majority vote and presented to both parties in writing. This decision is final.

A student generally must initiate a formal grievance no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the alleged grievance occurred. The burden of persuasion to allow for the late filing of a grievance is upon the student and may be allowed or disallowed by a department chair or college dean.

Student Grievance Form

3.5.8 Student Grievances in Online Courses

In online courses, students should initially address their instructor with concerns. If a student is unsatisfied with the resolution of the instructor, he or she may initiate a formal, written grievance with the Online Support Center. Additional detail about the policy and procedure for student grievances in online courses is found in the Online Handbook. 

Online Handbook