What is the purpose of the policy?
The mission of the School of Business Ph.D. Program is to prepare students to conduct high quality, state-of-the-art research and to assume faculty positions at leading universities. For this mission to be achieved, students need to be developed as teacher-scholars, i.e., they need to be ready to perform well as teachers as well as scholars by the time they graduate. The purpose of this policy is to address the teaching component of the mission.
Having teaching experience, and performing well as teachers, enhances students’ employability at leading universities once they graduate. Teaching courses at multiple levels (undergraduate and MBA) during their program also enhances their employability. Further, the university expects that doctoral students who receive a graduate assistantship with tuition waiver that is funded by tuition funds from other students to provide teaching-related services on a regular basis. Thus, performing teaching-related activities during their doctoral program is a requirement, not an option, for students who receive an assistantship. In this policy, we provide guidelines for how students may meet this requirement and be developed as teachers along the way.
When should students be expected to teach, and when not?
To jump-start their development as scholars, students should not be assigned courses as the instructor of record (i.e., to teach on their own with full responsibility for course delivery) during their first year in the doctoral program. However, first-year students may be assigned to assist faculty in the delivery of courses in which the faculty member is the instructor of record as part of their assistantship responsibilities.
Students may be assigned courses as the instructor of record beginning in their second year in the program.
Special circumstances arise that will call for decisions about teaching activities tailored to the circumstances. For example, students may transfer into the program as second-year students or later; as a general principle, such students should not be expected to teach courses as the instructor of record during their first semester in residence at UConn. Also, students may enter the program in the spring semester; as a general principle, such students should not be expected to teach courses as the instructor of record during their first two semesters in the program (spring and fall). The teaching load for doctoral students in special circumstances such as these will be decided on an individual basis.
How much should students be expected to teach?
Teaching a course as the instructor of record during a semester is ordinarily considered the equivalent of meeting the requirements of a half-time graduate assistantship.
In their second year and thereafter, students who receive a full graduate assistantship with tuition waiver that is funded by the university are expected to perform teaching-related activities that contribute to their development as teachers over the course of their doctoral program. These activities may include teaching a course as the instructor of record or aiding in the teaching of a course in which a faculty member is the instructor of record (e.g., by grading, preparation of course materials, etc.). However, students should not be expected to be full-time teachers to meet requirements of their assistantship, because this would hinder their development as scholars during the program.
Students should not be expected to teach summer courses, which do not fall within the academic year covered by assistantships. However, students may wish to teach in the summer for additional compensation. If they do so, to promote their working on their research during summers and not as full-time teachers, students should not be assigned to teach more than one course during a given summer, including all summer sessions.
If a student’s assistantship is funded by a research grant from a non-university source, the obligation for the student to provide teaching-related services to meet the university requirement is reduced (if partially funded) or removed (if fully funded). In such cases, the university should be reimbursed for the cost of the student’s being relieved of teaching responsibilities from grant funds. However, the student still needs to be developed as a teacher.
What levels of courses should students teach?
Before they pass the general exam, students may only be assigned to teach undergraduate courses as the instructor of record.
After they pass the general exam, it is desirable for students to have some exposure to the teaching of MBA students (full-time or part-time) to enhance their teaching portfolio before they seek a faculty position. Although not required, MBA teaching by doctoral students, when consistent with departmental teaching needs, is encouraged to enhance their development as teachers.
How should students be developed as teachers other than by having them teach?
Students’ performance and development as teachers will be reviewed as part of their annual performance evaluation within their concentration.
To provide an additional incentive for students to perform well as teachers, each concentration will give an annual (name of concentration) Ph.D. Student Outstanding Teaching Award. Further, the BUS Ph.D. Program will give an annual BUS Ph.D. Outstanding Teaching Award chosen from the award-winners for the five concentrations.
Students are encouraged to participate in university-wide programs that address teaching issues.
Each concentration is encouraged to offer occasional brown-bag seminars on teaching issues.
Where does authority for enforcing this policy reside?
Department heads have the responsibility for determining what courses need to be taught and for ensuring that assignments of doctoral students to teach these courses are in accordance with this policy.
The Ph.D. Program Director has the responsibility, in consultation with department heads, to ensure that teaching responsibilities for all students who receive a graduate assistantship with tuition waiver have been met in a way that promotes their development as both teachers and scholars.