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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 in a regularly scheduled location. 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.


Mode of Office Hours

For normal classroom instruction, scheduled office hours should be held in-person in the faculty member’s office. Faculty with more than one scheduled office hour may hold up to one office hour conducted in a synchronous online mode suited to the nature of the engagement with the affected students. For online courses, scheduled office hours should be conducted in a synchronous online mode suited to the nature of the engagement with the enrolled students. Hybrid courses may warrant an appropriate combination of in -person and synchronous online office hours.



Office hours shall be posted by the beginning of the second week of instruction in faculty listings on department websites. Colleges and instructional units can determine additional ways for posting office hours that conspicuously and conveniently inform the university community of when and where office hours shall be conducted, such as common boards at department offices, on placards near faculty offices, or other online directories.


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. Exceptions that extend beyond a specific instructor’s temporary needs should be treated as a basis for revisiting the college or department office hour policies. Colleges and departments with standing needs that deviate from university policy should treat those needs as a basis for asking the Academic Senate Faculty Affairs Committee to revisit university level office hour policies.

Note: Colleges have their own office hour policies in conformity with this university office hour policy. College office hour policies include office hours for department chairs/heads, and may provide further requirements about the scheduling of office hours and more specific guidance about the nature of virtual online office hours.



Source: AS-886-20 “Resolution on University Faculty Personnel Policies Subchapter 12.2: Office Hours” (pdf). 2020 February 11.

In the University Faculty Personnel Policies: This policy can also be found in the list of Academic Personnel policies and procedures here, which may contain additional considerations.

Last updated October 21, 2020

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