Contact Us
Undergraduate Dean's Office
Eugenia Chase Guild Hall
Lower Level
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610)526-5375
Fax: (610)526-7560

Office Hours
9am - 5pm
Monday - Friday

Guidelines for Communicating with Faculty and Staff

The following are some generally agreed upon guidelines for handling communication with faculty and staff.  

  • Cell phones should be off in classrooms and in meetings with deans.
  • Do not hide behind laptops in class.  If you use your laptop for taking notes, do not have your eyes down on the screen the whole time.  Interaction involves eye contact as well as contributing to class discussions. 
  • Compose emails that begin with proper salutation (i.e. Dear/Hi Professor/Dean/Mr./Ms. Last Name)  and end with your first and last name.  Avoid beginning emails to faculty and staff with “Hey.” 
  • Come up with a subject line that clearly identifies the main issue you are writing about.  Be cautious about using the term emergency in your subject line or even in the body of your message unless something is a genuine emergency.  For genuine emergencies, a telephone call is often more appropriate than an email. 
  • Don’t expect professors, deans, or other staff members to answer emails instantaneously.  Many people check and answer email only once or twice per day.  If you have not gotten a response within 2 business days, you should either follow up with a phone call or resend the original message with a polite note (“I’m not sure whether you saw the message I sent on Tuesday, so I’ve resent it below.”)
  • Email professors to explain absence from class due to illness, preferably on the day of the absence.  More detail is available here
  • If there is an emergency that requires you to leave campus for more than a day or two, contact your dean or have a friend do so.
  • When requesting letters of recommendation, give professors or staff members at least three weeks’ notice.  Explain the reason for the request and attach a resumé to the email if at all possible. 
  • If you have to leave a class early, inform the professor of this ahead of time and explain the reason.  The same applies if you know in advance that you have to be late.  If you are late for an unavoidable reason (for example, late leaving an appointment at the Health Center), enter the class as unobtrusively as possible.  If it seems appropriate, apologize to the professor immediately after class and explain why you are late.  Email will sometimes be a better way to do this. 
  • Athletes should meet with their professors at the beginning of the semester to let them know when they have games which will require them to leave class early.  Ask the professor if it is all right to leave class early on those days.  Convey that you are eager to get any missed notes from friends in the class.