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Inspiring and dedicated faculty members are key to the quality of education students receive at Vassar College. In an effort to advance the important work of the faculty, the Dean of the Faculty’s office maintains this handbook to introduce new faculty members to the College’s organization, procedures, and services and to facilitate access to important information for all faculty members.

This handbook is necessarily selective. Faculty members should familiarize themselves also with The Governance of Vassar College, the primary reference source governing College organization and faculty relations.  The Governance describes the functions and powers of the trustees and administrative officers as well as the organization and functions of the faculty as a whole and the departments of instruction.  Of special interest are sections referring to faculty members’ rights and obligations, principles of academic freedom, and relations of faculty and trustees.  While documents like our Governance now exist in many institutions, Vassar pioneered adoption of such a written constitution.  Since its first formulation as the Statute of Instruction in 1923, this document has affirmed that “the faculty shall in general determine and shall direct educational policy”—the cornerstone of Vassar’s tradition of extensive faculty self-governance.

Another resource—the Dean of the Faculty website—provides centralized access to a number of items of importance to faculty members. See especially Resources for Faculty, Handbooks and Forms, and Policies and Procedures for such things as faculty housing information, the Religious Holy Days calendar, childcare resources, the travel funding request form, the lecture funding request form, the annual activity report form, the travel policy, equal employment and affirmative action policies, and guidelines for department letters for faculty reviews.

The College Regulations describes student governance procedures. In addition to covering social regulations and the constitution of student government, the College Regulations summarizes rules and regulations, including those governing safety and traffic guidelines, applying to all members of the college community. 

Faculty members should familiarize themselves with the present handbook’s section on “Educational Policy, Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity, and the Conduct of Classes.”  Its regulations and recommendations facilitate the inspiring teaching, conscientious mentoring, and creative scholarship that lie at the core of our profession as faculty members.

As Dean of the Faculty, my responsibility is to facilitate your success as teachers, scholars, and citizens of the College. I welcome your comments on how this handbook and the Dean’s office in general could serve you more effectively.

William Hoynes

Dean of the Faculty

July 2019