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Walden instructors are facilitators, teachers, evaluators, partners, coaches, and colleagues to their students and are the main source of guidance and support for them. Instructors also engage in a variety of scholarly, university, and community service activities. Like Walden students, they are busy professionals. Walden encourages students and instructors to gain the most from their relationship by communicating frequently.
Appointments of faculty mentors, course instructors, assessors, advisors, dissertation, doctoral study, and thesis chairs, and committee members usually last for the term of each specific assignment. However, the university recognizes that situations necessitating a change in faculty services may arise. Such situations include unexpected interruptions in instructor availability or instances when one party wishes a change in services. The university does not accept requests for changes that imply degradation of academic quality or integrity.
Unexpected interruptions: Faculty services may be unexpectedly interrupted because of an instructor’s death or prolonged ill health, or because of an instructor’s discontinuation of association with the university. In such cases, the student’s associate dean/executive director, or designee, ensures that faculty services are restored to all affected students. The associate dean/executive director or designee communicates with affected students throughout the restoration process until appropriate assignments are finalized.
Working out differences: The university encourages students and instructors to discuss problems or differences in expectations in a frank and open manner. When students and instructors address problems promptly, they can often resolve issues with minimal disruption to the learning experience.
Requesting a change: However, in some cases, differences are not easily resolved. Individuals who want to request a change in faculty services must contact an academic advisor, who will consult the associate dean/executive director, or designee. Any change in faculty services, including faculty mentors or dissertation/doctoral study/thesis chairs, can be made only during the add/drop period of each term.
Submitting a formal request: If an amicable resolution of any problems between students and instructors cannot be reached, the party requesting a change of arrangement may be advised to submit a formal written request to the associate dean/executive director, or designee, who reviews the request, consults all appropriate parties, and renders a decision within 21 calendar days of receiving all related information. The associate dean/executive director or designee communicates this decision to all affected parties. The decision of the associate dean/executive director or designee on issues other than violations of academic integrity may be appealed to the chief academic officer, following the procedure described in the Appeals Process in the section on Student Appeals and Grievances. Decisions of the associate dean/executive director for violations of academic integrity are final and may not be appealed.