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Office Hours



Each faculty member must schedule and conduct office hours each week for consultation with students. One-on-one, direct, personal engagement between students and their instructors and faculty advisors in regularly scheduled office hours is a vital means of contributing to the student-centered mission of Cal Poly.

Asynchronous communication (e.g., email) with students and ad hoc appointments to meet with students are expected normal instructional duties distinct from scheduled office hours.

An office hour is one credit hour (i.e., 50 minutes) of regularly scheduled time for faculty to be available to meet on regularly scheduled days and times.

Faculty with instructional assignments shall hold scheduled office hours scaled to their instructional assignments. Scheduled office hours should be held during the days and times when classes are normally scheduled, distributed across days and at times suited to the needs of students. During final exam week office hours may be rescheduled as necessary and should be suited to the needs of the students served in the instructional assignment.


Scheduled Instructional Office Hours

Minimum weekly office hour scheduling shall be scaled to instructional assignments as follows:

Instructional WTU(s)
> 0 up to and including 4
1 office hour
2 office hours
> 4 up to and including 8
2 office hours
3 office hours
> 8 up to and including 12
3 office hours
4 office hours
> 12
4 office hours

Faculty receiving assigned time for teaching large format classes shall schedule office hours according to the total WTU for the instructional assignment and assigned time related to that course. Tenure-line faculty whose instructional assignments have been reduced to zero WTU but who are involved in research or other projects involving supervision of students shall hold a minimum of one regularly scheduled in-person office hour.

If colleges or departments have any further provisions about the scheduling of office hours, those provisions shall be defined in their personnel policy document.


Scheduled Advising Office Hours

Assigned time for advising duties may have an amount of office hours defined as part of the advising function. Any advising office hours attached to the assigned time shall be determined by the instructional unit that issues the assigned time and specified in the assignment. Office hours for advising duties earning assigned time contribute to the total office hour obligation of the faculty member.

Department chair and head responsibilities shall include the requirements for the scheduling of advising office hours required for their assignment. Colleges shall determine the minimum office hours required for department chairs and heads.


Mode of Office Hours

The mode of scheduled office hours should meet the needs of students for the instructional or advising function that requires the scheduling of the office hours. Acceptable modes of holding scheduled office hours include office hours held in-person or held synchronously online using technology readily available to the campus community and generally available to the students served by the office hours (e.g., Zoom). Scheduled office hours held in-person should be in the faculty member's office or some other definite and regular location.



Office hours shall be posted by the beginning of the second week of instruction in faculty listings on department websites.

Faculty should notify enrolled students and department administrators and administrative support staff of any need to cancel, reschedule, or relocate office hours in a timely manner appropriate to the needs of the students served by those office hours.


Exceptions to the policies about the scheduling of instructional and advising office hours should coordinate the needs of the instructor and the students given the nature of the instructional or advising assignment. Exceptions require department chair/head and college dean approval. Exceptions should be temporary and specific. 




Academic Senate Resolution: AS-929-22 "Resolution on Revisions to University Faculty Personnel Policies 12.2: Office Hours" (PDF). Adopted 08 February 2022, superseded AS-886-20 “Resolution on University Faculty Personnel Policies Subchapter 12.2: Office Hours”.

University Faculty Personnel Policies: Section 12.2 "Office Hours".

Last updated 8/17/23

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