Category Archives: Policy

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CAS guidelines for faculty fellowships

From Renee Baernstein, the College has developed new guidelines for externally-funded faculty fellowships. such as Fulbright Commission, Ford Foundation, etc. The guidelines can be found on the CAS faculty Canvas site, and apply for any applications submitted after April 1. Note this does not apply to typical research grants, but rather for fellowships that require semester-long teaching absences and do not generate overhead. Please direct any questions to Renee.



APS campaign for basic research vs. clinical trials

Although APS members should have received this directly, others might want to also be aware of the current movement regarding NIH regulation of research. From Sarah Brookhart, APS:

Dear Colleague,

As you may be aware, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) wants to classify basic research with human subjects as clinical trials. (If you’re not familiar with this issue, here is some background.)

Besides being objectionable on principle, NIH’s proposal would be a huge step backward for basic psychological science and its potential to address the most pressing health problems facing people today. It also would present significant practical problems for basic researchers applying for NIH grants, and basic research would be subject to the same policies and requirements that apply to clinical trials.

You have an opportunity to tell NIH that basic research with human subjects is not clinical trials.

NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) that has doubled down on intentions to classify basic research with human subjects as clinical trials. APS has strongly objected to this in responding to the NIH RFI, which you can read online, but it is critical that you also submit your own objection.

You are welcome to copy, modify, and/or paste the [sample response obtainable from Joe], modeled after APS’s response, to use as your own. Here are the steps to follow to submit your own response:

  1. Read APS’s response to NIH’s RFI.
  2. Click this link to access NIH’s RFI. (Don’t be distracted by the title. This is not an issue of registering and reporting research studies.)
  3. Enter your comments (using the text below if you’d like to).
  4. Submit the RFI form as soon as possible, but prior to November 12, 2018.
  5. Forward this message to colleagues, students, and others; post your thoughts about the issue on social media.
  6. Share your response with me at

APS has repeatedly told NIH it should not consider basic research with human subjects to be clinical trials, and that policies should be designed with basic science in mind, rather than shoehorning basic behavioral science into a mold designed for clinical trials. Please make this point central in any response you provide to the NIH RFI.

Thank you for attending to this important matter. I would be happy to hear from you if you have any questions. Please email me at

Helpful info from Academic Affairs

At the opening academic administrators’ retreat, they provided several important updates, links, and important dates, which are summarized below:

CAS Curriculum committee call

Renee Baernstein is looking for one more social science member on CAS curriculum committee, and there are currently no members from PSY; she writes:

I would like your help with nominations from your department/program for one person to serve on the CAS Curriculum Committee to complete the remaining 2 years of a 3-year term. The appointment will begin this fall. We already have two reps for social science (from SPA and GEO, respectively) and are seeking a third from another Social Science department. All continuing faculty (tenure-line and lecturers/clinical) are eligible.

The person would need to be able to make the following 1-hour meeting times:

Tuesday – August 28, 1:30

Monday – September 10 3:00

Tuesday – September 25 1:30

Monday – October 8 3:00

Tuesday – October 23 1:30

Monday – November 5 3:00

Tuesday – November 27 1:30

Please contact her directly and also let me know if you would be willing to fulfill this important service.

New attendance procedure begins this fall

From Carolyn Haynes in the Provost’s office:

As you begin to prepare for the fall semester, I wanted to alert you to a new attendance procedure which will be in effect in fall 2018.

The federal government has mandated that universities confirm that students have begun attendance in all courses that count towards federal financial aid eligibility (34 CFR 668.21). Institutions must do this by verifying the occurrence of students’ “academic activity” through the 10th day of the semester. Last year, Miami received just over $104 million in federal financial aid. Failure to meet attendance regulations could result in large fines and even jeopardize Miami’s eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid.

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.22 (l)(7) define “academic activity” as occurring when a student physically attends at least one class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.

Because we also have hybrid and online courses, the following also count as “academic activity” when a student:
· submits an academic assignment (in class or online);
· takes a quiz or exam (in class or online);
· participates in an interactive tutorial or is involved with computer-assisted instruction;
· attends a study group as assigned by the instructor;
· participates in an online discussion as part of the course; or
· initiates contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

“Academic activity” does not result when a student:
· logs in to an online class but has no other “academic activity” online; or
· meets with an academic advisor.

Over the summer, the Office of the Registrar will roll out a change to the photo roster that will permit instructors to notify the University that the student did or did not begin attendance. It is anticipated that the deadline for confirming this will be the end of the second week of full semester/term courses and by the end of day 3 of sprint courses.

Prior to the beginning of the fall semester, the University Registrar will send faculty specific instructions for how to mark attendance on the photo roster. Please note that this change was designed to be quick and easy so as to avoid excessive use of your time.

Suggestions for ways to take attendance in large classes:
· Give a quiz on first or second day of class. Quiz could be on the syllabus contents.
· Have students sign in at door.
· Use assigned seating charts for students, and ask TA or undergraduate associate to note empty seats.
· Ask students to fill out index cards with name and one question or thought related to the class.
· Do an online poll using an app such as Kahoot. Ask students to use their real names on the poll.

Best wishes to you on a rejuvenating and productive summer.

ANY time you have to miss class…

Please complete this form any time that you need to miss any of your class meetings, whether due to illness, conference travel, or other personal or professional obligations. Please recall that there are instructional minute requirements that we must meet, and you are required to notify me in advance of ANY missed classes (MUPIM 5.9), including your plan for covering the course (i.e., not “canceling;” see also my email to all faculty of 11/17/17).

Quick thoughts on assessment

Some of you as instructors recently received emails requesting assistance in your courses this coming semester. Beth Dietz, in her role as assessment coordinator, created two excellent resources to quickly summarize the assessment efforts in the department.

A three-minute video explains things well and succinctly, and this document on the department Team Drive summarizes our department implementation. Thanks to Beth for creating these. I hope each of you might take a minute to understand this process and the value in supporting it as I do.

Finally, those on the CTE list occasionally receive Assessment Briefs that cover a wide range of topics, including the most recent entry describing the assessment of the Global Miami Plan.

Seriously, now you must do the accessibility training

The Provost has asked me to remind those who have not yet completed the accessibility training to please do so. You should be getting reminder emails from the Provost’s Office, including another one Monday. Carolyn Haynes writes:

Please know that I am very aware of the demands that we are making of our faculty.  Because we know how busy they are, we tried to make the training as easy to complete as possible.
Not only is this training related to our need to comply with the terms of our recent court case relating to working with students with disabilities, but it is also a critical need to ensure an inclusive learning environment for all of our students.
If you are not getting the reminder emails then you have already completed the survey (early October, mid-May).

Seriously, you must do the ethics survey

All faculty should have received an email (from General Counsel) about the annual Ethics Questionnaire and External Services. The dean has made very clear that faculty will need to complete the ethics survey, as we need 100% compliance as an institution.

Also, in this email was a link to report external services for things you do for outside entities (even journal service, publisher contracts, etc.). You need to complete this form as well, unfortunately for each such activity that you do (due to lawyers making surveys). Note that many of us have something here–things like serving on an editorial board are included. See the clarification on the matter in MUPIM here. It’s essentially trying to protect the “university’s time” by making sure we aren’t overcommitted to outside activities, but may be quite pro forma.

There are no survey links here as the emails are specific to each of you, to my understanding. Please see me if you did not receive this email or have any questions.