The following excerpt from the current faculty contract makes clear the expectation for faculty to schedule and hold weekly office hours:
2. Office Hours a. A weekly office schedule of six (6) hours shall be maintained by all faculty with the exception of those who carry more than fifteen (15) clock hours, who will carry a weekly office schedule of four (4) hours. Office hours shall be posted and submitted to the appropriate chairperson.
b. Nothing in the Agreement shall preclude any individual from voluntarily assuming more than the minimum of office hours stated.
c. The mission of the Community College of Rhode Island requires close and frequent relationships between faculty members and students; hence no exceptions shall be allowed in the minimum office hour schedule. Moreover, each faculty member and his
Department Chairperson will make a reasonable effort to ensure that the faculty member is available to students at the college five (5) days a week; provided however that such requirement is not mandatory and may be varied according to the needs of the faculty member as approved by his Department Chairperson.
(Excerpt from CCRIFA Faculty Union Contract 2007-2010.)
Clearly, the college values the opportunity for faculty and students to continue the learning process outside of the classroom through the effective use of office hour times. Faculty should include their office hours on their course syllabus and outside their offices in order to let students know when they are available. Faculty are also encouraged to talk with students in their courses on the purpose of holding office hours as many students may not understand that it is indeed an option to consult with faculty for additional assistance outside of the classroom. Faculty can assist students in understanding how to take greater advantage of this instructional support system by extending a genuine welcome to students to make use of their office hours.
Faculty should forward their semester office hours to their respective department chair within one week of the start of classes each semester.