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Frequently Asked Questions: Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff Response Times

Student Success Advising

Academic advisors seek to respond to all emails or phone calls within 24 business hours. While we strive to answer questions within this 24 hour window, some questions require the assistance of other departments. When that happens, we might not be able to reply within those initial 24 business hours, but will try to keep students updated. One thing to ensure that an email is received and responded to promptly is to email the Student Success Advising email address, specifically Emails sent to an advisor’s personal email account may go unanswered for longer than intended if that advisor is at a residency or out of the office.

Faculty – in pre-dissertation or –doctoral study courses

Faculty members have 48 business hours to respond to an email from students in class.

Faculty – in dissertation or doctoral study courses

For return of research drafts (KAM, theses, dissertations, and doctoral studies), which generally take longer than 10 days, it is a desired practice for faculty to respond to students upon receipt of research drafts and indicate when the draft will be returned. The faculty mentor or research committee chair should provide guidance to the students on activities to work on to support progress in the meantime. Faculty members are encouraged to communicate with their assigned students with an estimated timeframe to complete the work while maintaining high ethical and quality standards in their evaluation of student work. 

Please note: Faculty members are not expected to review research drafts between terms, outside of what is required for end-of-term grading. Any research draft submitted within 5 days of the final day of the term may not receive detailed feedback until approximately 10 days into the subsequent term.

Other departments

Many other staff departments have the same goal of replying to student questions within 24 business hours, but students should review the policies of each department to better understand the timeframe for a reply to submitted questions.

Faculty Contact Information

Your instructor should provide his or her contact information within the classroom environment, under the Contact the Instructor link within the left-side menu. Faculty will provide their email address and may or may not provide a phone number where you can reach them. Student Success Advisors cannot provide a phone number if one is not listed, as we do not have access to faculty members’ phone information.

Please note: Faculty members are very responsive to student emails but during peak times they may take one to two days to respond to your questions. Please allow 48 hours for a response from a faculty member.

Program Directors

Each program has a member of the Walden Faculty who helps to oversee the running of the department and who assists with student concerns. The Walden Catalog lists the information for current program directors within each college or school at the University. To reach your program director, please contact a Student Success Advisor for assistance.

While you should generally work directly with your faculty instructor or a Student Success Advisor for assistance with program or course questions, there may be times when the program director would be contacted for assistance. Typically these involve the reviewing of special requests [taking a course out of sequence, change of grade requests] or policy questions – in these situations your Student Success Advisor would normally contact the Program Director on your behalf.

Changing Mentors or Committee Members

The university encourages students and instructors to discuss problems or differences in expectations in a frank and open manner. When students and instructors address problems promptly, they can often resolve issues with minimal disruption to the learning experience. The first step in resolving any working concerns with one’s chairperson or mentor is reaching out directly to the faculty and inquiring about your concerns in a professional and courteous manner.

However, in some cases, differences are not easily resolved. Individuals who want to request a change in faculty services must contact a Student Success Advisor, who will consult the associate dean/executive director, or designee. Any change in faculty services, including faculty mentors or dissertation/doctoral study/thesis chairs, can be made only during the add/drop period of each term and will not be effective until the next term start. Students will be notified of the change via email, typically at least a week before their next course is scheduled to begin.