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Faculty advisor responsibilities

Faculty advisor is an institute-recognized position, which involves assisting and monitoring academic or non-academic activities of students of a given batch. Here are some typical responsibilities of faculty advisors. The following list is prepared from experience and is not exhaustive. In case of any confusion, please contact DUGC.

Responsibilities in the first year

The faculty advisor meets the first-year students during their orientation. In the meeting, the advisor presents general information about the department. During the first year, the students do not have much contact with the department. The faculty advisor may hold regular meetings with the students to discuss various (non)-academic matters. At the end of the first semester, the advisor may meet the students who are facing academic problems.

Handling ASC interface

There is a tab for faculty advisors in ASC. It shows all the student registration activities. Here are a few points related to handling student registration.

  • Course withdrawal: Students need approval from the faculty advisor for course withdrawal. However, course withdrawal requests are auto-approved after a few days. Until an advisor wants to deny the request, there is no action needed from the advisor. (Ashutosh: Can a student withdraw from courses after the course withdrawal deadline? What is the criteria to approve such requests?)
  • Special registration approval:In some cases, the students are prompted to get approval from their faculty advisor for their registrations. As of 2022, there is no interface in ASC for the faculty advisor to approve the special requests (there is an interface for registration approval, which is for normal registration. If the advisor does not act, all normal registrations are auto-approved.). The advisor has to write an email to DeanAP describing the request. The responsibility of presenting the case to the dean is on the faculty advisor (short messages may lead to rejection). Please also copy the email to Assistant Registrar-4 Academic aracad4@iitb.ac.in, and office@cse.iitb.ac.in. (Comments from Uday: A more preferred way is to ask the students to upload the application on AMS, get the digital endorsement from the instructors and facad, tag the CSE office, and then the CSE office takes care of the rest. This is preferable because there is a signed record accessible to other people. Emails tend to get lost in so many other messages and are difficult to locate after a few months.)(Comment by Ashutosh: Sometimes the dean expects a clear summary, which students may not have written. There is also a possibility of back-and-forth from the academic office. A simple AMS approval may not be sufficient to give context to the dean.)
  • Blacklisted courses: Can blacklisted courses be taken as an institute elective? (todo)
  • Software bugs/issues:ASC software has many issues and bugs, which leads to many unfortunate denials of registration. Some students do not actively seek their rights if software disallows them or fails to warn them of missteps. Please encourage students to reach out to you if they face trouble.

Assisting backlogged students

The students who have backlogs need advice in taking courses. DAMP mentors (DAMP mentors are only available during the second year of the student) often help the students. However, the support is patchy. If a student struggles to find correct advice, the faculty advisor needs to step in.

Due to social pressure, students want to finish their degrees within four years. If they fail the core courses, they need to plan carefully such that they maximize the possibility of clearing backlogs. Here are key points to keep in mind while advising the students.

  • Category system: When students have backlogs, their category changes in ASC. A student category can range from 1 to 6. A faculty advisor is only responsible for students from categories 1 to 5. The students of category 6 are handled by a special faculty advisor and ARP student mentors. Each category puts restrictions on the courses that a student can take. (see UG rule book)
  • Credit limits and prerequisites: There is no exception to the prerequisites and category limits. Students often request, which are consistently denied by the dean AP.
  • Self-study summer courses: Third-year students are not allowed to take self-study summer courses. Fourth-year students who are about to graduate can take self-study courses in the summer. They should start scouting for faculty that may want to teach self-study courses as soon as possible.
  • Equivalent courses for clearing backlog: ( Open question: I have some backlogs and I wish to take some equivalent course (run by another dept) to one of our core courses running in summer, whom should I ask if this possible and how to register for the same?)

Leave approval

Without explicit permission, UG students cannot be absent from campus during academic activities. UG students can request leave during the semester. Please follow the procedure that is mentioned in the UG rule book (look for special leave). Please note that a faculty advisor only recommends the leave. The head of the department approves the leave. Students are only allowed to take 5 days of special leave per semester.

Signing external documents

Sometimes students ask faculty advisors to sign documents from external entities such as visa applications, scholarship applications, etc. The entities usually expect some institute authority to sign the documents. In most cases, the academic office signs the documents. However, the document sometimes states that someone from the teaching staff signs the document. If the academic office refuses to sign the document, then the head of the department may sign the document. If the head also does not sign the document, the faculty advisor may sign the document. Please sign only if you are comfortable with the document.

Departmental ranks

The faculty advisors do not provide departmental ranks. ( 2022-09-02 DUGC meeting)

Approving semester exchange

Students can apply for the semester exchange program. They need approval from the faculty advisor. While approving the request, the faculty advisor needs to confirm the list of courses that the student will take at the other university. The courses should map to the courses at IITB.

The application should first go to CSE office. The office checks the documents including course mappings. They contact the area experts if the mapping is not already known, which is available on the department website (under courses). Once the office gets endorsement from an expert, they request the web team to include the mapping in the list. The application is forwarded to the faculty advisor who should cross-check the work of the office. After the approval of the faculty advisor, the application is forwarded to the head of the department.

BTP and RnD at another departments

Students can do RnD projects and BTP in other departments. They need a co-advisor from the CSE department.

Convert to dual degree program

(todo: What is the process?)

Graduation ceremony

After the end of four years, the faculty advisor needs to participate in the graduation ceremony of the students.