Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started
Human Resources, Keys, E-mail, Voice mail, Parking, Campus Security, ID Cards

Basic Campus Information
Food, Campus Events, Campus Link/Bus Service, Gyms, Mail Services, Medical Services, Organizational Structure, Faculty Governance, Monks and Nuns, Lost and Found

Academic Services
Libraries, Media, Information Technology, Duplicating, Bookstore, Ordering Books, Computers

Support for Students
Academic Advising, Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring, ESL

Support for Faculty
LES Services, LES Funds, Travel Funds, Grant Funds, Faculty Development, Faculty Events, St. Cloud Events

Other Academic Issues
What & Where Do I Teach, Opening Day Convocation, Academic Regalia, Core Requirements, Honors Program, Individual Learning Projects, Attendance Policies, Grading

Getting Started

How do I reach the main information switchboard for the colleges?
For the College of Saint Benedict, dial 320-363-5011. The Saint John's number is 320-363-2011. If you are on either campus, just dial 0.

Note: all on-campus CSB/SJU numbers have the same first three digits (363); if you are on campus, you only need to dial the last four numbers. An additional note: the last four digits of CSB phone numbers start with a 5; if the phone number begins with a 2 or a 3, it is an SJU number.

How do I reach campus security?
At CBS the campus security office is found listed under SECURITY. At SJU the campus security office is found listed under LIFE SAFETY. Security, at CSB, is located in Mary Commons 127. To contact them dial 5000. This number is for both the emergency and the non-emergency calls. Life Safety is located in the basement of Thomas Hall at SJU. For emergency calls dial 911. For non-emergency calls dial 2144.

What office do I talk to about contracts and benefits?
You can get information on contracts and benefits through the Human Resources office on the campus which issued your contract. At SJU, the Human Resources office is located in Quad 127 (2508). At CSB, the office is located in Main 223 (5500).

How do I get keys?
Your department office manager will usually have a key for you or can get one quickly.
If that isn't possible, click on the appropriate campus link below to access a key request form:
CSB key request:
SJU key request:

How do I get a faculty identification card?
You get the necessary verification from the Human Resources office on the campus by which you were hired. Take the form to Life Safety, if you are a SJU employee, or to Security, for CSB employees. Your picture will be taken and your card issued.

How do I get an e-mail account?
Call Information Technology at 2228. You must have signed in with HR before you can acquire an ID card and email account.

Basic Campus Information

How does the voice mail system work?
You can get information on passwords and operation from Telecommunication Services at 5566. Of course, colleagues and departmental office managers are great informal resources when you forget.

Who do I talk to about office furniture?
Most offices already have the usual desk, bookcases, but if there is something else you need, check with the department's office manager and/or chair. If you haven't done it already, this is a great time to tell the office manager how wonderful she/he is and how much you appreciate all the help.

How do I get a parking permit?
Parking permits are free and issued by security on the campus of your employer, irrespective of where your office is located. If you were hired by SJU, go to Life Safety in the basement of Thomas Hall. CSB employees should go to the Security office, located in Mary Commons 127.

You should get a parking permit for each vehicle you own. Maps with designating parking areas for faculty on each campus are available from the security office where you get your permit.

Where are the food service facilities located?
There are two places to eat on each campus. More information on all four can be found under the "Dining Menu" in the Campus Life section on the Web.

At Saint John's the main spot is the Refectory, which is located in the basement of the Quad. It serves cafeteria-style all-you-can-eat meals almost year round. The other Saint John's location is the Dining Room in Sexton Commons. A variety of pizzas, burgers, salads, and other fast food items are available there. For information on hours, menu, and prices at either location call 3487 or go to SJU Dining.

At CSB, you can eat at the Gorecki Dining Center which offers all-you-can eat cafeteria style dining.  The "Good to Go Center" in the Gorecki Lobby which has sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, bakery items, and beverages. For hours and other information, go to CSB Food Service.

How do I pay for my meals?
All of the dining centers accept cash. CSB offers an employee meal plan, to CSB employees only, which can be used at the Gorecki Center. For more information go to CSB Employee Meal Plans.  SJU offers a Dining Bucks program and more details can be found at

How can I get from one campus to the other?
There is a free bus shuttle system (The Link) available for all students, faculty, and staff. It runs very frequently throughout the day during the school year. (There is a much more limited van service during the summer.) The regular schedule is posted on the Web.

The main pick-up points are in front of the Gorecki Center at CSB, and in front of Sexton Commons at SJU. For those with the time and inclination, there are two non-highway routes that you can take if you want to run or bike.

How do I find out about campus events?
There is a campus calendar available online that lists athletic and other events. Be sure to check out the Fine Arts Series listing for what is usually a great year-long collection of cultural events on campus (call 5777). Departments and other faculty-run programs which put on public events usually advertise via mass emails and/or fliers. Student groups do the same, but tend to wait until the last minute to make an announcement. None of us do a very good job of coordinating, so we all too often have multiple events scheduled on a particular date.

What on-campus events are free and which do I have to pay for?
The overwhelming majority are free. The major exception is the Fine Arts Series, but your faculty ID allows you to buy tickets at a substantial discount. Some on-campus athletic events charge, but your ID admits two people without charge. Faculty ID's are NOT good for admission at ice hockey games since they are played at off-campus facilities.

Can I use the gyms on campus?
Yes. Both schools have tracks, pools, and weight rooms. For information call 2757 or 3088 at SJU and 5214 or 5992 at CSB.

Are there on-campus medical services I can use?
Yes. The Health Center is in the Quad and is staffed through a contract with Health Partners. The phone number is 320-203-2430. There is also an on-campus medical center at CSB but the services are only available to CSB students.

What about mail?
Your mail box is generally in a central location; ask your departmental colleagues. There are pick-up spots that handle both campus mail and stamped U.S. mail in most of the academic buildings. The main campus mail office at CSB is in Mary Commons next to Bookstore (5072) and at SJU is in Sexton A038 (2097). Mail delivery from one campus department to another department on the same campus normally doesn't take longer than one day. Deliveries from one campus to another may take longer.
There is a US Post Office substation only at SJU. It is located in the Guild Hall (also known as the Old Gym). They offer the full range of post office services. Call 2760 for hours and/or information. CSB doesn't have an on campus station, however, the St. Joseph Post Office is located just off campus at 117 West Ash Street. The phone number is 363-8360.

Where is the lost and found?
We don't have a centralized lost and found location on either campus. At SJU, things are frequently turned in to the Info Desk in the Great Hall, Life Safety, or Campus Ministry. At CSB, items traditionally have been left in the classroom or in a nearby secretarial office, but Facility Maintenance (Main G40) also serves as a semi-central depository.

What about monks and nuns?
Since religious garb is a personal choice, and is infrequently worn in the college area, it is pretty hard at first to tell who is Benedictine and who isn't. Relax, you will learn eventually. The letters "OSB" after a name stand for "Order of Saint Benedict." "S" before a woman's name means "Sister," while "Fr" and "Br" both identify monks. (All Fathers are Brothers, but not all Brothers are Fathers. Fathers are ordained priests while Brothers are not.) The most common form of address is "Sister," "Father," or "Brother," and the person's first name. It is always acceptable to ask how a person prefers to be addressed.

What is the organizational structure at CSB/SJU?
While we are larger than many liberal arts schools, our academic structure is comparable to many other places. The academic area is led by a Provost, a Vice Provost, an Academic Dean, and Chairs from each department and program. Their responsibilities are determined by function, rather than by campus. There is, however, one key anomaly you should be aware of as a faculty member. Even though we work in a thoroughly joint atmosphere, tenure and promotion recommendations are made by the Rank and Tenure Committee on the campus that issued your contract.

Outside the academic area, we have two of most everything, beginning with two boards and two presidents. For things like Advising and Student Development, the key point to remember is that CSB offices work with women students and SJU offices with the men. We are working hard to enhance cooperation and coordination between people on opposite campuses who are performing similar functions. While the occasional discontinuities can be frustrating, our goal is to work together while maintaining the identity and special focus created by our heritage as single sex institutions.

What about faculty governance?
The primary vehicle is the Faculty Senate, which meets monthly. Meeting dates and agendas are distributed by email and can be found on the faculty governance sharepoint. All faculty may observe Senate meetings, though they may not speak unless invited to do so. We also have a Joint Faculty Assembly two or three times a year to hear from the Presidents and to vote on issues that require more than Senate approval. Again, announcements are sent by email.

You will, eventually, be asked serve on ad hoc committees and/or run for election to standing committees. This is an honor, adds to your tenure application, and most importantly, is part of the duty we owe each other. At the same time, watch out -- we have been known to abuse new faculty in this area so protect yourself. We have determined that prior to third year review, faculty will provide service only within their departments. Talk candidly with your chair and/or LES mentor before you accept an invitation to serve early in your career. You do have some official protection: in Section of the Faculty Handbook, you will find the statement "Faculty members are not expected to serve on a college [university] standing or ad hoc committee before the year in which they apply for third-year review."

Academic Services

Where do I find library policies?
The Library home page can be found by using the A-Z index and is listed under "Library." Spend some time exploring! There is a wealth of information there. For specific policies on checking out materials, etc., follow the links from the Library home page to "About the Libraries" (in the left box) to "Library Departments" to "Circulation."

Can I return books on either campus?
Yes. Books from Clemens may be returned at Alcuin and vice versa. You may also request books stored on the opposite campus be brought to the one you are on. See Library Circulation Policies.

How do I order media for my classes?
At Saint John's, call Media Services at 2117. For Saint Benedict's, contact Media Services at 5609. For complete information go to Media Services on the A-Z link.

What about computers?
All faculty offices have computers. IBM-PC's are the norm, although there are a few MAC users, sprinkled around. Microsoft Word is the dominant word processing program.

How do I get help with computer issues?
Information Technology's Help Desk (2228) is usually the place to begin. They have a log-in and routing system through that number so, if there isn't an immediate answer to your question(s), someone from IT will get back to you shortly.

Check for training sessions on the IT Intranet for scheduled training on a host of software issues/programs. You can also request one-to-one assistance if that meets your needs better. For a full list of services &/or programs go to the IT Services Training Center.

Roger Sorensen (5023) is the best person to talk to if you want to talk for help on linking technology with the classroom. He is the Project Leader for Academic Technology, and often knows what the early adopters are doing. Check out the IT Services Teaching and Learning site.

How do I use Banner Self Service?
Banner Self Service allows faculty to electronically check course rosters, advisee files, and enter grades.

To enter this system, you first need to get a password (different than your regular login password) from the Registrar's Office. Once you have this, you can follow the instructions at the website above.

Where can I make photocopies?
Most academic areas have easy access to copiers, but procedures vary from area to area. Check with your colleagues or the departmental office manager for local instructions. The most extensive copying facilities are in Mary Commons (next to CSB Bookstore) and Quad 458. These centers are open from 8:00 to 4:30, but many departments have access to local copiers outside these hours. There are also coin operated copiers in the libraries; many departments have code over-rides for these machines which can be used when necessary.

How do I order books?
Books for courses are ordered through the CSB/SJU bookstore. You can do this online Fall term titles are normally due 1 May, with Spring Term books due by 1 December.  For help with courses at  SJU contact Krista Lindstrand at 2494 and for classes at CSB contact Tina Streit at 5165. The bookstore staff is wonderfully helpful, and willing to move mountains to help faculty when things don't go right. If you anticipate problems, let them know as soon as possible. (Please don't spoil it for the rest of us by abusing their goodness!)
The bookstore staff is also very happy to place special orders for books and supplies for your own use.

Who do I talk to about creating a course packet?
For help with course packets at SJU contact Krista Lindstrand at 2494 and for classes at CSB contact Tina Streit at 5165.  With enough lead time, the staff will check on permissions and prepare the packet.

How do I put books on reserve?
You can put materials on reserve in either or both libraries. If you have questions, call Bev Ehresmann (2120) at Alcuin, or Bonnie Kalla (5159) at Clemens.

Support for Students

What can I expect from Academic Advising?
The Academic Advising Offices on each campus are gender specific, so if you need help with a CSB student, call the CSB office and vice versa. You can reach the SJU office at 2248 and the CSB office at 5687.

The Advising Offices help faculty by serving as a resource on the Common Curriculum and other academic requirements. They also a great place to call if you have concerns about a student (a sudden drop in performance, multiple absences, or other signs of trouble). The Advising Office can coordinate with other faculty and with Faculty Residents (SJU) and Residential Directors (CSB) in the dorms to create a fuller picture of a student's behavior. The Advising Office also works with learning disabled students, so if you have questions on a student's status or what constitutes reasonable accommodation, call Tom Sagerhorn at 2443.

The Academic Advising web page (A-Z index, "Academic Advising") has a wealth of important information.  Check out the "Faculty Advisor Resources" especially. There's too much to remember, so focus on having a good guess on where you saw the relevant information.

What does the Writing Center do?
The Writing Center, which has offices on both campuses, is staffed by a professional director and well trained student tutors. Most of their work is in the form of one-on-one sessions with students who request help. Writing Center tutors do not edit papers, but rather act as good teachers by asking questions and talking the student through to a better understanding of the problem area(s). If requested, they will provide electronic feedback to professors indicating who came in for help and on what. Since many students are reluctant to ask for this kind of help, promoting the advantages of having a second reader may be a good first step. The more specific you can be about what you want your student-writer to work on, the more successful the tutors will be. At SJU the number is 2711; at CSB it is 5499, however, students can now make appointments online. At SJU the Writing Center is in Quad 266; at CSB in HAB 103.

What does the Math Center do?
The Math Center (5236/2061) helps students prepare to meet the math proficiency requirement, and offers general tutoring on anything mathematical. The CSB office is in Main 200; at SJU, it is located in PEngl.

Where can a student get a tutor?
Some departments run their own tutoring programs, but if yours isn't one, the Academic Advising Office offers selected help as part of their Study Skills Guide.

What academic support is available for non-native English speaking students?

Academic Advising works extensively with both international students and domestic minority students.  If you have questions, contact Lisa Scott, 2248, about international students and Theresa Anderson, 5687, about multicultural students.

Sarah Pruett is the ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinator. She is in Quad 471 or can be reached by phone at 3815. The Writing Center generally has tutors with training in this area as well.

Support for Faculty

What services does LES offer?
LES exists to help faculty improve their teaching effectiveness. To this end, we offer a number of group activities each semester, as well as individual consultations. The latter can range from a brief conversation about a syllabus or technique to more extensive classroom observations. The LES team also does Small Group Instructional Diagnoses (SGID) sessions with students in order to provide faculty with in-depth, structured student feedback on a particular class. LES also has a substantial library on pedagogy, and provides some funding for attendance at conferences focused on pedagogical issues. Finally, LES provides individual mentors for new faculty as well as a number of other programs designed to make it easier to get acclimatized.

Is there support for developing new pedagogical skills and integrating multicultural perspectives?
Yes, LES has some funds available for faculty and staff who want to attend conferences on pedagogy or who wish to deepen their understanding and application of multicultural perspectives.

Is there money available to support travel to professional conferences?
Yes, each full-time faculty member, whether term or tenure track, has access to $750 per year to support conference attendance.  These funds are controlled by you department, so check with the chair on procedures.  The Dean also has some additional funds for special cases.

Can I get institutional money for faculty development?
Yes, the Faculty Development and Research Committee oversees a competitive grant process that funds both individual Professional Development proposals and broader Curriculum and Program Development requests. For a more complete description and application forms, see Faculty Development. The application deadline is usually in February for the fiscal year beginning in July. If you have questions, call Shirley Kelly at 3147 or Nancy Dueland at 5503.

Is there help available to pursue outside grants?
Yes, databases listing grant possibilities as well as information how CSB/SJU will help you can be found at When you are ready for more personal assistance contact either Diane Calabria or Catherine Stoch in External Grants, 5247.

How can I get to know other faculty outside my department?
As a new faculty member, LES will assign you a mentor from outside your department. Our hope is this will provide you with at least one friendly face at faculty meetings and other events. You can also ask your mentor for introductions to people who share your interests. More collectively, the various LES events for new faculty are designed, at least in part, to give you a chance to bond with others in your entry cohort. You can also use the LES teaching seminars, book discussions, or Faculty Interest Groups to get to know more established faculty. If you find someone who seems interesting, see if they are free for lunch. In my experience, people here are pretty open and happy to talk.

Another great way to learn about faculty and staff interests is through the Thursday Forum program. Almost every week a faculty or staff member will talk about a research interest or personal passion. Though each Forum is wildly different, they are always fun and informative. As the title suggests, they are held on Thursday afternoons from 4:15 to about 5:30. Watch for the email announcements or go to Forum on the A-Z index.

Now that I'm here, what is there for me (and/or my family) to do when I'm not on campus?
If you are coming from a major university or big urban center, it may look like there isn't much to do here, but we manage to stay busy. For a start, check out the campus bulletin board and the CSB/SJU Events Calendar for some ideas. Be sure, as well, to take advantage of the offerings of the CSB/SJU Fine Arts Series. Tickets to these events are available to faculty and staff at reduced prices, with extra discounts offered to series subscribers.

If you want to be outdoors, there are a number of parks at local lakes and along the Mississippi, but a must see is Munsinger/Clemens Gardens (on the Mississippi across from St. Cloud State University) where you will find an amazing array of color during the summer and a restful wander at any time of the year. If you want a little more exercise, Quarry Park has nice hiking trails and the Lake Wobegon Trail, a 46-mile long, 10-foot wide, bituminous surfaced hike-and-bike pathway, extends from the city of St. Joseph to the city of Sauk Centre.

For local color there are festivals, of all kinds, all over the state at almost any time of the year.  Farmer's Markets can be enjoyed from spring through fall.  For other activities, your new colleagues can be a great resource, but let me point out a few highlights.  Keep an eye on Saint Cloud State University performing arts productions and their occasional film series.  The Paramount Theatre, in St. Cloud, and the Granite City Folk Society also sponsor a variety of performances all through the year.  A pretty complete listing of cultural events is available at

Other Academic Issues

How do I find out when and where I am teaching?
The document you need is the Class Schedule, which can be found on the Registrar's page.  The Fall 2017 schedule is here (  In addition to class schedule information, this document contains a list of important dates, the final exam schedule, a brief list of Common Curriculum requirements, and a condensed version of critical academic policies.  It is written to students, but is an essential ad for faculty.

What is the Opening Day Convocation?
On the first day of class, in the fall, we have an opening day convocation. These are held in the Abbey Church at St. John's and in the Auditorium in the Benedicta Arts Center at St. Ben's. Faculty are encouraged to attend and to wear their academic regalia (if you need a gown, check with the bookstore or around your department; there are generally some spare ones); it is a nice celebratory way to start the year. The speaker is generally the faculty member who earned that campus' teaching award the previous spring. Because of the convocation, classes on the first day of class are shortened to 45-minutes and start times are altered. There will a be a schedule posted somewhere in your department or ask a colleague.

What about Commencement?
CSB and SJU have separate commencements on the Saturday and Sunday after finals in May. We are contractually obligated to attend the ceremony, in academic regalia, for the college/university that pays us, but many faculty attend both. From my perspective, I should be at both since they are all my students.

How do I get academic regalia?
The Academic Affairs office pays to rent regalia for faculty who don't have their own. This applies to both the opening day convocation in the fall and to commencement in the spring. You can order regalia online through the CSB/SJU Bookstore,  Once you are on campus, you will get electronic reminders twice a year, from the Bookstore. If you prefer to own your own cap and gown, the Bookstore has a special program with Herff Jones, so just ask the contact person in the Bookstore for assistance.

Where do I find information on the Common Curriculum requirements?
The full explanation is on the Common Curriculum web page (check the A-Z index). A short versions of Common Curriculum requirements and the classes being offered that semester that meet them is in the Class Schedule booklet (around page 23). If you have more questions, check with your colleagues.

What should I know about the Honors Option and Individual Learning Projects (ILP's)?
The Honors option allows students in the Honors program to "upgrade" a regular departmental course to one that counts for Honors. You, as the professor, must agree to do this. If you agree, the student prepares a proposal for additional work which must be acceptable to you.  (Make certain that everything that you expect to be done is spelled out clearly.) The Honors Program Director must approve the proposal. General guidelines can be found through the Honors Program.

After their first year, students can propose to do Individual Learning Projects (ILP's) with specific faculty. It is your choice whether to accept ILP proposals; it provides a great learning opportunity but involves more work for you. Both the number of credits and the nature of ILP's vary, but most departments insist that it be rooted in previous course work and provide the student an opportunity to explore an issue in ways that would not be done in a regular class. The basic description and requirements are in the Academic Catalog. More detailed instructions are on the ILP form. Since many departments have their own guidelines on ILP's, check with colleagues as well before you agree to anything. As with the Honors Option, treat the ILP proposal as a contract: make sure you lay out in detail what you expect from the student.

What are policies on attendance?
The official policy in the Academic Catalog says "students are required to attend all class meetings," but it also says "the instructor determines the attendance policy for his or her class." In short, it is up to you, but whatever you do, make certain the policy appears in your syllabus and is clear to students. Do not rely on them reading the official statement in the Academic Catalog. Some faculty set limits on the number of unexcused absences and penalize those who exceed that number. I think the emphasis should be on learning rather than seat time, so I focus on participation. I stress the need to be engaged in a classroom dialogue about the material, and point out that neither stolid silence nor absence meets that goal. If they have to miss a class, they can compensate by being more engaged on other days. (It helps to provide periodic written feedback on their participation grade!). This approach has the added advantage of avoiding all arguments about whether the absence was for a legitimate reason; all that matters is whether the student participated.

What are the policies on grading?
The basic CSB/SJU grading format is A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, and F. We also in some cases (see below) use a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory scale. The complete description is in the Academic Catalog.

What are the policies on Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading?
After their first year, students can take one course per semester S/U, so long as it is not in their major or supporting courses. To receive a Satisfactory grade, the student must earn the equivalent of at least a C. Anything below that should receive an Unsatisfactory grade.

Unless your course is designated as A-F grading only, you will need to include an S/U policy on your syllabus. Some people insist that students make the choice between A-F and S/U at the beginning of the semester; others allow them most of the semester to make up their minds. If you want to encourage students challenging courses outside their major area, you might want to go with a later decision date, but the timing of their final decision is totally up to you. For back up, it is advisable to have those you are electing the S/U option do so in writing.

What are the policies on Incompletes?
If you decide you are willing to give a student time beyond the end of the semester to complete course work, the Incomplete grade is appropriate. The reasons for allowing extra time are up to you, but usually involve student illness or other extraordinary circumstances. The official description is in the Academic Catalog.

The Incomplete should be entered on the course grade report as "I/[a grade]." The letter grade you assign after the "I/" should be what the student would earn in the class if s/he did not finish the outstanding work. Normally, the student has until the end of the following semester to complete the work. When you receive the missing work, replace the "I/grade" by filing a change of grade form with the Registrar's Office. If the "I/grade" isn't changed by the end of the next semester, the grade behind the slash automatically becomes the grade for the course and the "I" on the transcript disappears. If, however, the missing material comes in after the deadline and you choose to accept it, you can still submit a change of grade form, but the case goes to the Dean for review. If the Dean approves, the recommended grade will be entered on the transcript.

If you believe, on principle, a student shouldn't pass a course without doing all the required work, then an "I/F" is an appropriate grade for the initial Incomplete. If you give an "I/B" or similar grade, the chance of a student finishing the work is pretty minimal.

What is the standard grading range?
As is the case everywhere, average grades here have crept up over the years. For the past several years, only one of three grades given by the CSB/SJU faculty was a BC or lower. The nature of the class (introductory survey versus upper division Honors seminar) naturally matters as do individual standards. Furthermore, there are significant differences in the norm from one department to the next, so check with your colleagues.

If you have questions about our answers, please let me know.
Ken Jones, LES Director, 320-363-5224.