Illness instructions

If you find that you are unable to attend class as a result of feeling ill or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and contact the Office of Student Affairs (saffairs@eou.edu).  The Office of Students Affairs will provide assistance, such as notifying your instructors, checking in on you and providing other appropriate services. 

Covid policies

Will be strictly adhered to. If we are meeting on campus in the classroom, you must wear a mask. If you forgot yours, there should be masks outside the classrooms in the Ackerman hallway (as well as hand sanitizer). No exceptions. We will also distance–even if the university doesn’t require it, in our classroom, we will follow CDC guidelines for indoor distancing (6 ft). If you should happen to land in isolation or quarantine, let me know right away so that we can make the appropriate accommodations and you can, as you’re able, continue to participate in the class. Covid is a vaccine-preventable disease for most people. In a sociology class you can be sure we will discuss the moral dimensions beyond what’s best for me (since we can all, vaccinated or not, contract the virus, or pass it on, and we don’t know who’s been vaccinated).

Academic integrity

The university’s official position: Eastern Oregon University places a high value upon the integrity of its student scholars. Any student found guilty of academic misconduct (including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, or theft of an examination or supplies) may be subject to having his or her grade reduced in the course in question, being placed on probation or suspended from the  university, or being expelled from the university—or a combination of these (see section II of the 2002-03 Student Handbook, p. 32ff, and p. 41 ff). The Library links to general resources on plagiarism (from WSU), on identifying and avoiding plagiarism, and on taking a ‘self-test’ (Pomona College). Use these if you’re not clear about expectations.

My interpretation: Plagiarism is taking credit for work, ideas, papers, that are not yours. Universities make lots of literature available for a nominal fee, the bargain being that if you use the ideas of others, you’ll credit them. So it isn’t just wholesale theft, but as the above says, deception, misrepresentation, etc. Be sure you’re familiar with what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it. If you’re caught plagiarizing, you’ll receive an ‘F’ on the assignment and possibly for the course. So if you’re having problems in class, please come see me before you turn to the Web . . .

Due dates and late assignments

Assignments are expected on the day they’re due. Late assignments will be assessed a penalty. Please use Canvas to submit. If you have extenuating circumstances for being late, I’m always willing to listen. But in fairness to others who’ve managed to submit them on time, it will have to be compelling.

Note: Class schedule and assignments may be adjusted during the course of the term as needed.


I will justify my discussion and reading material, assignments, etc., by showing their relevance to the overall course objectives. I will provide a friendly and civil environment for discussion of ideas, provide a safe atmosphere for free thought, and make every effort to be accessible, approachable, clear and precise about course expectations. With respect to coverage of content, I tend to emphasize depth over breadth—I would rather cover less points thoroughly, at a reasonable and engaging pace, than pledge strict allegiance to a course schedule.

In turn I expect students will do their own work, clearly demonstrate effort to learn, use or develop critical thinking skills and be able to  express them on paper or in class discussion, ‘speak up’ when unclear or in disagreement on a concept, either exhibit college-level writing skills or seek help to improve them. I’ll look for progress  in developing abstract thinking skills and students’ abilities to focus on the “big picture”—key concepts delivered in class, their relevance to course material, the real world, etc.—and to be able to  identify these phenomena and formulate informed ideas about them in real-life settings.

I’m assuming you’re in college to expand your intellectual horizons (and then there’s the degree and a well-paying profession : ), and I’m looking for evidence of learning—that you’re able to read books and articles, identify their value, figure out how they’re relevant to the subject matter. If you’re having a difficult time, let me know so I can help. You should be able to express this learning in some form I can evaluate—answers on a quiz, papers, discussion posts, etc. Discussion in ‘class’ will focus on making strong arguments supported with logic and evidence. You’re expected to show respect to everyone in the class, so don’t let ownership of ideas get in the way of healthy debate. If you have questions about what’s appropriate in class, follow the Golden Rule or ask.

Students with disabilities

Any student requiring assistance or accommodation from me in performing course-related work should make his/her needs known to me in a timely manner. If you have a documented disability or  suspect that you have a learning problem, you are entitled to reasonable and appropriate  accommodations. But you must work with the Disabilities Services Office (disabsvc@eou.edu; phone 962-3235).

Drop Policy

A student may drop from a course for any reason with no record on the student’s transcript before the end of the 4th week of the term. Thereafter, a student must withdraw from the course. A student may withdraw from the 5th week of the term through the 7th week with a grade of “W” indicated on the transcript.

No withdrawals will be issued after the 7th week of the term. Instructors will issue a letter grade (A-F, or I) for all students enrolled after the 7th week. A student making adequate academic progress during the term and needing to withdraw after the 7th week may request an incomplete from the instructor.