My Policies

General Guidelines

Students are expected to avoid disrupting the class but more importantly to treat other students with tolerance and respect. Students do not need to be friends and there are times when students should challenge one another. Yet, they should try to recognize students as individuals, learn from them and avoid obvious personal attacks. Personal attacks, insults and the like, will not be tolerated and surely consequences might follow. I really encourage students to use the classroom forum as a dialogical situation where individuals are recognized for their uniquenesses and tolerance and openness are regarded as critical virtues.

Effective communication is a crucial goal in the learning process. Students who encounter difficulties, whether academic and course related or not, should feel free to communicate these to me. Fairness and justice are values and normative principles I try to weave into the learning and marking/evaluating process. Students who have issues related to these should approach me about them. I value each student's contribution to each class and hope to integrate relevant suggestions about how to improve a class or increase fairness and justice within each class. Spontaneous participation, creative thinking, whether it be politically incorrect or not, and fair minded questions will always be recognized as vital to the learning process.


Students who miss examinations due to illness or other acceptable reasons will have the opportunity to do make-up examinations. These are in most instances alternate examinations and are written in times and locations determined by the instructor.

Course Work

All course work must be submitted in hardcopy form, unless otherwise specified. Students can hand in assignments et. al. to my mailbox in Ad. Hum. 410, the Philosophy and Classics Department main office. In some cases, exceptions will be made for email submissions. Email submissions are not routinely accepted. Submissions should be stapled, not paperclipped together. Always keep a copy of your submission. Students can work together but they cannot submit identical assignments. This is particularly relevant to assignments in Critical Thinking. When submissions are accepted by email, students are responsible for ensuring that their work gets to me as they intended and on time.

Course work submitted on or near due dates will receive full comments, though sometimes these I admit are difficult to decipher due to my terrible handwriting. Work submitted later in the due date period will receive either little or no comments. Work submitted by email receives no comments whatsoever. Students who want more feedback need to arrange a meeting to go over the submission, usually a paper or assignment. With term papers, papers received after due dates do not qualify for receiving instructor comments. Assume this as a general principle: the later the paper the shorter or fewer the comments

I will not review course work and requirements before they are due. While students are encouraged to ask questions at any time, they should not expect that I will read over a draft or an assignment before the due date to give them feedback. They might instead wish to pass along an essay topic or an outline or exercises not included on assignments. I will give them some assistance with these when considered acceptible.

Late Submissions

If I have specified a precise due date on the assignment handout, then I expect that students will be able to hand in the assignment on the specified date. However, in some cases students have legitimate reasons why they cannot hand in assignments on time and date. These reasons include illness, family tragedy or responsibility, unexpected and difficult "life" happenings and special needs requirements. Students with the last requirement need to produce proper documentation of their need. All Students are responsible for contacting me and communicating as early as possible to let me know if they are having problems submitting work and to seek confirmation on whether I will grant them an extension or not. Please do not assume that I automatically grant extensions when they are requested.

In the absence of legitimate reasons for lateness, students should be expected to have a percentage deducted from their assignment mark. This is typically determined on the basis of the number of days the assignment is late. It is always advisable that when a student has arranged for an extension that the student should contact me about how and where they will be submitting their work.

Given that answer keys will appear on the website for the Philosophy 150 course (Critical Thinking) shortly after assignments are handed in or handed back, assignments turned in after these answerkeys are posted cannot be accepted.Typically these keys appear 7-10 days after assignments are posted, and obviously after they are due.