Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Faculty support teams

Faculty Support Teams (FSTs) do the following

  1. Advise faculty members on how to respond compassionately and effectively to persistent or severe disruptive and distressed student behaviors that interfere with course-based learning.
  2. Help faculty prevent or deescalate student-faculty conflicts.
  3. Help faculty understand the process for resolving student-faculty conflicts and support faculty during the process. FSTs are not a formal body for resolving student-faculty conflicts.

Procedures for establishing an FST

  1. Faculty member contacts and consults with Department Chair, College Dean, and/or TLA Director. Chair or Dean, if contacted initially, contacts and consults with TLA Director or refers faculty member to TLA Director.
  2. TLA Director, in consultation with the Director of Health and Wellness Services/Founding Director of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center, evaluates whether the situation warrants an FST.
  3. If warranted, the TLA Director, in consultation with the faculty member, determines FST members and notifies Department Chair, if not already informed.
  4. TLA Director arranges and facilitates FST meeting with faculty member.
  5. FST generates strategies for resolving the situation.
  6. TLA Director follows up with faculty member.

FST composition

  1. Senior faculty member, ideally one with mental health training who is not the faculty member’s chair or program coordinator.
  2. Director of Health and Wellness Services/Founding Director of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center or designee.
  3. TLA Director.
  4. Optional: Representative from relevant faculty and staff and/or student groups.


FSTs are assembled to support faculty. FSTs are not required to record or report meeting notes. However, in some cases FSTs may recommend to faculty that meeting notes be recorded and maintained.

Resolving student-faculty conflicts (decision tree)

With proper support, the majority of student-faculty conflicts can be resolved without engaging formal decision-making processes. When conflicts are not readily resolved, decision making authority is as follows:

  1. Department Chair and Student Conduct Administrator
  2. College Dean
  3. Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Academic Programs and Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
  4. Upper Administration (Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and President)

During the process the faculty member's department chair should monitor developments and update the faculty member. Faculty Support Teams, if formed, are intended to support faculty through the process but have no official decision-making role.

Information about disruptive & distressed student behavior