Loyola University Maryland

The Office of Academic Affairs

Welcome from the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dear Academic Affairs Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2019-20 academic year! Over the course of the summer, I have reflected on the four areas of emphasis that the members of the Society of Jesus have chosen as a focus of their work for the next ten years. They are 1.) To show the way to God through discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; 2.) To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice; 3.) To collaborate in the care of our Common Home; and 4.) To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future. For those of us committed to Jesuit education, these foci capture our imaginations and unite us in mission. Our work at Loyola prepares students to become thoughtful leaders in sustainability and in service to others, including the marginalized. I hope that you are as inspired by the work of the Jesuits as I am and can see your own teaching, scholarship, and service as part of a worldwide network of positive change. These areas of emphasis enliven our own priorities within Academic Affairs:

1.      High-impact (teaching, advising) practices
2.      Innovation (especially in the areas of teaching and learning) 
3.      Equity and inclusion (focusing, particularly, on sense of belonging of our faculty and students of color)

These priorities allow us to focus our resources on doing new things in these areas and to expand and deepen much of what you already do in your classrooms as well as with your core advisees, major advisees, and graduate students. More recently, the deans and I established “revenue generation” as a fourth priority, which will allow us to dedicate time and money to developing the kind of new programming that will enhance undergraduate and graduate recruitment and, in the case of a new continuing-education initiative, serve the needs of adult learners in the Baltimore community.

Later this month, we will be announcing several new initiatives in these areas and how you can support them. As always, I invite you to join us in thinking about creative ways to further support your work as teachers, scholars, and service practitioners; to enhance the academic achievement of all of our students; and to communicate our past and future successes to each other, our colleagues in other divisions, our alumni, and to prospective Loyola students and their families.

I hope the information below is helpful. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with each of you in the coming academic year. 


amanda thomas' signature

Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Reminders Regarding Class Meetings, Final Exams, and Syllabi

As you finalize your syllabi for the semester, please adhere to University policies that ensure that courses meet for all scheduled classes, including before and after holiday breaks, with final exams occurring during the University-approved exam period. 

Canceled Classes

In anticipation of possibly needing to cancel a class due to illness, personal emergency, or to attend a professional meeting, please include your policy for “replacing canceled classes and maintaining instructional continuity” in your syllabus, per the Faculty Handbook (VIII.P). As the Faculty Handbook details, you have “several options for replacing a canceled class,” including “modifying the syllabus, using Moodle to leave assignments for students, conducting on-line discussion of class materials, planning a new assignment, or arranging for a colleague to conduct the class session.” In situations where the University is closed due to emergency or inclement weather, you should be prepared to hold classes remotely online; for suggestions, please see the Office of Digital Teaching and Learning website

Final Exams

Final exams should be administered in every undergraduate course unless you have a compelling pedagogical reason to replace a given exam with an appropriate substitute and have permission of your chair (Faculty Handbook VIII.R). In undergraduate classes, finals are to be given according to the schedule published by the Records Office and may not be given during a regular class period. See the student exam schedule to determine when finals are to be given for these courses. Final examinations for graduate courses ordinarily are given during the final class period. 


Please follow accessibility guidelines for your syllabus and course materials. You can find information on the Accessibility website, including a template for an Accessible Syllabus. 

Student Support

Please also consider adding the following information for students about the Counseling Center and Disability Support Services to your syllabi: 
  • The Counseling Center - Stress is a normal part of a being a student. However, if personal or emotional concerns are interfering with your ability to live and learn at Loyola, please stop by the Counseling Center in Humanities 150 or call 410-617-CARE (2273). More information about the Counseling Center is on their website.  
  • Students with Disabilities – If you are registered with DSS and a faculty notification email has been sent to me on your behalf, please schedule a brief meeting during my office hours to discuss accommodations. If you need academic accommodations due to a disability you must register with Disability Support Services. For more information please contact DSS at DSS@loyola.edu or (410) 617-2750. 

Academic Affairs Calendar

For a list of recurring academic events, please visit the office’s website. You can access the live Academic Affairs Outlook calendar for up-to-date information: How to access the calendar (PDF).

Who Does What in Academic Affairs

Summary: Whom to call for what regarding graduate education/graduate student services 
Summary: Whom to call for what regarding undergraduate education/advising/student issues 
For more information on all roles and responsibilities in Academic Affairs, visit the office’s website.