New Faculty Guide

Navigating Campus

Employee Identification Card

One of the first things you will need to do on campus is obtain your employee identification card. You can obtain an identification authorization slip from Human Resources, 409-880-8973, which you can then take to the lobby of the Wimberly Building. There they take your picture and issue your Lamar University ID. You will need this ID card in order to get a parking permit and in order to log in to the Banner system (see below for more information). This is a photo identification card so prepare to have your picture taken.

Parking Permits

After you have your employee identification card, you may get a parking pass in the same building. For a small fee, faculty and staff are eligible to receive reserved parking permits that allow them access to park in special staff lots that are close to office buildings. The Parking Office is located in the lobby of the Wimberly Building.

Mary and John Gray Library

The top floor of the library (floor eight) is a reception center often used for important campus events. The library also houses some campus offices, such as Research and Sponsored Programs, Academic Affairs, Legal Counsel, the Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement, the Quality Enhancement Plan, and the Office of Assessment, all on the sixth floor. The Writing Center, and the STARS tutoring center, are housed on the first floor of the library. The IT helpdesk and Media services are on the seventh floor.  In order to check out library books and order interlibrary loans you will need to obtain a library barcode sticker, available at the checkout desk on the first floor, which will be attached to your employee identification card.

The Campus Mail Center is located in the building directly behind the Carl Parker Building.

Phone and Internet

As a new faculty member you will be issued a LEA username, which you will use to access your email, campus computers, and Lamar’s course management system, Blackboard. New faculty should receive their LEA username at New Employee Orientation. For more information and assistance, visit https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/index.html.

The myLamar gateway is the central hub for faculty and student access to email, Blackboard, Banner, Online Course Evaluations, uploading your syllabi and vita, and other resources. A link to it is located in the top left hand corner of the Lamar University homepage. You can also type the following address into a web browser to access it directly: https://luconnect.lamar.edu/. It is recommended that you register and reset your password in Password Self Service, which can be found in the myLamar gateway. Password Reset can be used at any time to change or retrieve your password. When using your LEA username to log in email, Blackboard, and campus computers, do not include “@LEA.” The IT Service Desk is located on the seventh floor of the Mary & John Gray Library in Room 707. For help call 409-880-2222 or email servicedesk@lamar.edu.

Hours of Operation (CST):

Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m.-12:00 a.m.       
Friday 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 3:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Using your Office Phone

Your phone should alert you with a flashing red light if you have a new message. You can check your voicemails by dialing 1890. You will be prompted for a pin number; the default pin is 12345. Once you are in the voicemail menu you will be given several options, including an option to change your pin. To do so, select 4 (change preferences), then 3 (set-up options), then 1 (change pin). Within the voicemail menu you may check your messages, change your greeting, and choose other options. To check your voicemail from off campus, dial 409-880-1890. When prompted, hit the star (*) button and type in your office extension and your pin number. Contact 409-880-2222 if you experience a problem.

For all on-campus calls just dial the last four numbers.  If you need to make an off-campus call, dial 9 followed by the local number you wish to call. For long distance calls, your department will provide a passcode. Check with your departmental administrative associate for this code and about policies for long distance calls.

You can set up your voicemail to be delivered to you via email in Outlook. For instructions, go to https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/index.html

Logging in to Campus Computers

Your office computer as well as open computers in classrooms and computer labs on campus can be accessed with the same username and password that you use for your LU email. On the log-in page you will see several domains listed; choose “bmt” as the domain. Remember to log out of the computer before leaving, since you are responsible for all activity conducted on a computer on which you are logged in.

Email

You will log in to your email account through the myLamar gateway. Lamar uses a system called Microsoft Outlook 365. Within MS Office 365, you have several options. Many faculty wish to forward their Lamar email to another email account. You can do so by opening the overview pane (top right hand side of screen) and selecting setting. Scroll down to the mail section and under forwarding (on the right side of the screen) add the email address where you would like mail forwarded under forward a copy to. If you want to automatically delete the email from your account, check the box labeled don’t keep a local copy of messages. When you have made your selections click save.

Instructions on configuring LU email for Microsoft Outlook, iCal (Mac), Thunderbird, and mobile devices can be found at https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/microsoft-office-365/index.html.

Blackboard

Lamar University uses Blackboard as its Course Management System. Support and guidance for using Blackboard are provided by the Center for Distance Learning and can be found online at https://www.lamar.edu/lu-online/blackboard-support/. The Center for Distance Education also offers training sessions in various aspects of Blackboard and their staff are available for individual consultations. You can contact the Blackboard support team at blackboard@lamar.edu or by calling 409-880-2222 or 1-866-585-1738.

Blackboard works best in the Mozilla Firefox web browser. You will log in to Blackboard with the same username and password that you use for your LU email and for campus computers.

Banner

The Banner system is Lamar University’s online self-service system. You can access Banner through the LU Connect gateway (a link is found in the top left-hand corner of the Lamar website). The log-in credentials for Banner are different from the log-in credentials for your email, Blackboard, and campus computers. In order to access Banner, you will need to have an employee identification card, which you can obtain by going to the first floor (lobby) of the Wimberly Building. To log in to the Banner system, https://ssbprod.lamar.edu/btdb/twbkwbis.P_WWWLogin, your username will be your employee identification number found on your ID card (the long number that starts with L). Your initial password (PIN) is your six-digit birthdate (MMDDYY). When you log in to Banner you should change that PIN to a unique six-digit code of your choosing. You can email the service desk at servicedesk@lamar.edu or call 409-880-2222 or 1-866-585-1738 if you encounter a problem logging in to the Banner System.

Within Banner you will have access to information about your courses and students, as well as your personal information. In Banner you can look at your teaching schedule, access rosters for your courses, submit mid-semester reports about students at academic risk, and submit final grades. You can also change your password and other personal information, as well as access your payroll and tax information.

Uploading Syllabi and CV

Colleges and universities in Texas are required to make available CVs for all of their faculty and syllabi for all of their courses. By the beginning of each semester you must upload a syllabus for each of your courses and ensure that your CV is up to date. If your CV or syllabi contain personal contact information, please remove these from the uploaded versions, as they are available to the public. Syllabi and CV can be uploaded by clicking on “Faculty Syllabi” under “Faculty/Staff” menu in the LU Connect gateway.

The log-in credentials for this system are unique, since they differ by department not individual. You will log in with your LEA username, just as you do for your email, Blackboard, and campus computers, but you will be given a departmental password. If you have not received your departmental password for syllabi and vitae uploads, your department chair or administrative associate can provide it to you.

Lamar University requires that certain information be included on your syllabi. Be sure that your syllabi include the course name and number; class times and location; your office hours, office number, and contact information; required texts and materials; course description and requirements; final exam schedule; student learning outcomes; the census and drop dates; disability accommodation, academic honesty, grading, and attendance policies; emergency procedures including procedures for severe weather, active shooter, and campus closure; and the course schedule. Because of state laws limiting the number of courses students may drop, make sure that students will have at least one major grade in your course by the deadline for dropping without academic penalty and two major grades by the deadline for dropping with academic penalty. You can find these deadlines, along with campus holidays and planned closures, in the academic calendar available on the Lamar website. Click on this link for further information:

https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/academic-affairs/curriculum-council/syllabus-requirements.html

Online Course Evaluations (SmartEvals)

Near the end of every semester students have the opportunity to evaluate the courses they have taken through an online course evaluation system. Students will receive reminders by email about the evaluation period and procedures, and you will receive email updates about the completion status of evaluations for your courses. Both you and your students can access the online course evaluation system through the LU Connect gateway. Your students can also access it by clicking on a link provided in the emails they receive. Once grades are submitted and the semester is over you can access your online course evaluation results. You should encourage your students to complete these surveys as they provide valuable feedback about your teaching and may be required for inclusion in your annual review (the F2.08). The CTLE staff can assist you in using your course evaluations for continuous improvement.

Book Orders and Desk Copies

Policies for submitting book orders and ordering desk copies for your courses are set by departments. Speak with your departmental administrative associate for more information.

Teaching and Research Support

Lamar University offers a number of programs, grants, and awards that support faculty research, creative activity, and teaching; while many of these are suitable for faculty with several years of service, a few are available to junior faculty.

Research and Sponsored Programs

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is the central resource for grant-funded research projects. This office, located on the sixth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library, offers assistance in locating external funding opportunities, preparing inquiries and applications, maintaining compliance standards, and managing grants in accordance with university policy and state and federal laws and regulations. The office also processes invention disclosures, material transfer agreements, and nondisclosure/confidentiality agreements.

If you would like to apply for an outside grant, apply for a patent, or enter into any arrangement regarding research support with an outside agency, you must work through the Research and Sponsored Programs office, not on your own, to accord with university policies and to protect yourself from personal liability. For more information you can contact the Executive Assistant at 409-880-7670 or access their webpage at https://www.lamar.edu/research/index.html

Research Enhancement Grant

Lamar University also offers an in-house grant opportunity called the Research Enhancement Grant, which is managed by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research. The Research Enhancement Grant is an internal grant for creative and research activity available to all tenure-track Lamar University faculty. Monies are available to cover expenses including materials and equipment, student research assistants, travel related to research, and faculty stipends. The deadline for Research Enhancement Grant applications is in the spring semester.

More information about the Research Enhancement Grant as well as about external funding can be obtained by calling 409-880-7670 or by accessing the following webpage:

https://www.lamar.edu/research/research-sponsored-programs/internal-grants-awards.html

University Merit Award

Junior faculty and instructors are eligible to be nominated for the University Merit Award, which rewards outstanding performance with an emphasis on classroom performance and student interaction. The nomination process happens in the fall semester and awards are made in the spring semester. Any faculty member, whether tenure-track or non-tenure-track, who has served full time at Lamar for at least a year and currently teaches at least nine hours is eligible to be nominated.

Distinguished Faculty Fellowships

Lamar University awards three-year fellowships to faculty for excellence in teaching and for excellence in research and creative activity. Distinguished faculty fellows receive course reductions and stipends. More information can be found at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/_files/documents/academic-affairs/policies/Distinguished%20Faculty%20Fellowships%2010-13-14.pdf

Presidential Faculty Fellowships

A number of Presidential Faculty Fellowships support and reward excellence in teaching, research, and creative activity. Fellowship announcements are made via campus announcement (in email). You may also find information about Presidential Faculty Fellowships at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/academic-affairs/forms/presidential-faculty-fellowships-in-support-of-teaching-innovation.html.

Faculty Development Leave

Texas offers Faculty Development Leaves to faculty, which are the equivalent of sabbaticals. Unlike many sabbatical programs, Faculty Development Leaves are available to qualifying junior faculty. They can be an extremely helpful tool in preparing publications, such as a book manuscript, for your tenure file. You may apply for a semester-long Faculty Development Leave (Summer, Fall, or Spring) at full salary or for a year-long Leave at half-salary.

Faculty Development Leaves are awarded by a Faculty Senate Committee once a year. Applications are due to the Faculty Senate in October and decisions are made at the end of the fall semester. Application guidelines are available in PDF format at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/forms.html. The scoring rubric for faculty development leaves is available to view at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-senate/develop-leaves.html

Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement

The Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement (CTLE) is Lamar University’s primary resource for faculty development initiatives. It is located on the sixth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. The Center offers a variety of programs throughout the year, including webinars, lunch-and-learn events, invited speakers and workshops, and other events to support faculty in developing their teaching and professional identities. Events are announced via emailed campus announcement. The Center awards points for participation in faculty development events, which can be accrued toward money for travel or equipment. The CTLE also offers a lending library and personalized services designed to solve specific problems you may encounter and to strengthen your teaching portfolio for the tenure-review process. The Director can be contacted at 409-880-8525 and more information is available at https://www.lamar.edu/ctle/

Provost Kick-Off

At the beginning of every fall semester the CTLE organizes a large faculty development event called Provost Kick-Off. Provost Kick-Off is organized as a mini-conference with presentations and workshops led by faculty and staff, on a wide variety of relevant issues, often requested by faculty.

SMART

Support & Mentoring to Advance Research & Teaching (SMART) is a faculty development program targeted at supporting new and junior faculty. The program aims to prepare new faculty to succeed in the classroom, to establish a successful research agenda, and in their adjustment to Lamar’s culture and campus life. Information about the program can be obtained by contacting the CTLE at 409-880-8525 or visiting the website.

Student Support

University Advising Center

Within the last couple of years Lamar has centralized student advising into the University Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC). All lower-division students are advised at the UAC; upper-level students who have declared a major are advised within their home department. The Undergraduate Advising Center tracks student performance, attempting to resolve problems before they overwhelm students. Faculty can help by referring students who exhibit any problems or academic difficulties to speak with their advisor. Additionally, the UAC will send progress reports to faculty; these are electronic, efficient, and secure. Faculty responses to progress reports provide advisors information on at-risk students; advisors will then reach out to students to identify resources and help. For more information, you can click on the following link:

https://www.lamar.edu/advising/index.html

STARS

Student Advising and Retention Services (STARS) offers multiple forms of support for students including tutoring; supplemental instruction for courses with high drop, fail, and withdrawal rates; three mentoring programs aimed at first-generation college students, African American male students, and Hispanic students; learning communities; academic enhancement workshops; advising for students on academic probation; and an Early Alert system. You may contact STARS at 409-880-7201 or by email at stars@lamar.edu.

Through the Early Alert program, faculty can refer students with at-risk behaviors for advising and assistance. Common reasons for referral include failing the first exam, failing to hand in assignments, and excessive absences. For further information, you can check: https://www.lamar.edu/student-tutoring-and-retention/.


The Writing Center

In addition to STARS tutoring, Lamar University has a very active Writing Center that serves all courses, across the curriculum, in which written assignments are given. The Writing Center offers in-person and online tutoring sessions to assist students at all stages of the writing process from understanding assignment sheets and planning a paper to revising a paper and formatting a bibliography. The Center also offers workshops on common writing issues and concerns. Faculty members can request a classroom visit from the Writing Center Director or tutors to introduce students to the services of the Writing Center and to encourage student use of the services. Faculty can also request in-class workshops for their courses, either choosing from a list of existing workshops or requesting a specific workshop to meet their disciplinary or assignment needs. The Writing Center is located on the first floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. They can be contacted at uwc@lamar.edu, by calling 409-880-8571, or at https://www.lamar.edu/arts-sciences/writing-center/.

Library Services

Like the Writing Center, the Mary and John Gray Library offers library sessions for your courses. You can request that a librarian lead a session with your class on topics such as citation practices and avoiding plagiarism, evaluating sources, and conducting various types of library research. For assistance, call 409-880-2135. The request form for a library session is located at http://lamar.libanalytics.com/tw.php?i=717&d=485&w=328

Disability Resource Center

Lamar is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities, and faculty are required by law to provide academic adjustments and accommodations for students in accordance with their accommodation plan. Students with disabilities are responsible for applying to the Disability Resource Center and providing documentation of their disability. They will then be provided with an Accommodation Plan, which they are responsible for providing to their instructors. If you have any questions or concerns about appropriate and required accommodations and adjustments or about how to implement such accommodations and adjustments, contact the Director of the Disability Resource Center at 409-880-8026. The DRC is located in room 105 of the Communications building. For further information please see their website: https://www.lamar.edu/disability-resource-center/.
 
Counseling Services

Lamar University offers two counseling services on campus. The Student Health Center offers free counseling to students by professional counselors. Additionally, the Psychology Department offers a free clinic staffed by graduate students under the supervision of a faculty member.

The Student Health Center is located at 857 East Virginia, across from the dining hall and next to the tennis courts and the Communication building. They can be reached at 409-880-8466.

The Psychology Clinic provides free counseling services to anybody in the Beaumont community, including Lamar students and staff, as well as their family members. It is located in the Social and Behavioral Science Building, room 202. The Clinic phone number is 409-880-7783. They are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Important Forms and Procedures

Vacation/Sick Leave Forms (F3.6)

Every employee at Lamar University must fill out monthly sick leave online forms, which are available through the Banner system. If there has been a holiday or some other exceptional circumstance during the month, ask your departmental administrative associate for more information.
 
Annual Performance Evaluation (F2.08)

Lamar University conducts an annual performance evaluation of each employee. Faculty members submit the F2.08 form, which documents job performance during the calendar year, to their department chairs each January. The F2.08 is divided into three main sections: teaching and instructional activities; research, publication, scholarship and/or creative activities; and professional service to the discipline, university and/or community. Tenure-track faculty must complete all three of these sections while non-tenure-track faculty are only required to complete the teaching section. The F2.08 form contains appendices with information about what to include in each section. The form can be found at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/forms.html

Travel Procedures

Navigating procedures and forms for academic travel can be a frustrating part of transitioning to a new school. There are often early deadlines that, if not met, can impede your ability to get reimbursed for travel. Travel funds tend to be allocated by department so check with your department chair at the beginning of the year about how much money is available for travel before committing to any conferences. Some departments include a form for travel requests in their annual packet of forms. Once you have decided on conference travel, you will need to submit a F3.32 form (Request to Travel at University Expense) to your chair or to whichever department is covering your travel expenses at least three weeks prior to making any travel plans. Your projected expenses, reported and calculated on this form, must be approved in order for your travel money to be encumbered. Unless this money is encumbered your travel expenses will not be reimbursed. Once you return from your trip, you will need to turn in a travel voucher with all your supporting materials and necessary receipts.

Travel within the United States does not require receipts for meals; meals are reimbursed at a per diem rate that varies by city. Foreign travel entails a more complicated process. First, in addition to the Request to Travel form you will need to fill out other forms. For foreign travel, you must submit the F3.32 form (Request to Travel at University Expense), ITAR, Foreign Travel Request and Release of Liability, and an Itinerary of your trip. These forms are all due to the President’s office at least 45 days prior to your trip; they must travel through a university chain before they get to the President’s office so be sure to turn them in early. Unlike domestic travel, foreign travel requires receipts for meals and all other expenses so be sure to save your receipts and to convert the costs to US Dollars.

State policies regarding travel reimbursement change from time to time. For detailed and updated information about these policies and other procedures and forms related to other forms of travel such as grant-funded and group travel can be found at https://www.lamar.edu/faculty-staff/financial-matters/travel.html. For more information, you may call 409-880-8383.

Campus Safety

As on all college campuses, crimes occasionally occur at Lamar University. Faculty are advised to lock their cars and offices when they are not in them, and to take care when walking on campus at night. In addition, some of the neighborhoods around campus are dangerous, so be cautious when walking around near campus. Occasionally, classroom disruptions can get out of hand and require outside assistance.

If you feel unsafe on campus, contact Campus Police immediately at 409-880-8311 (ext. 8311 from any campus phone).

Emergencies and Evacuations

In the case of a hurricane, you should prepare for evacuation, including filling your car with gasoline. The university will make an announcement if an evacuation is ordered. After the storm, local media and the Lamar website will announce the resumption of classes. You can also call the voice mail number at 409-880-7011 to hear a recorded message informing you whether it is safe to return to campus.

In the event of an evacuation, faculty are asked to continue their face-to-face classes online through Blackboard to the best of their ability. You will receive instructions on doing so should this situation arise, but it is a good idea to be prepared to do so.

Lamar uses the Connect-Ed system for emergency announcements. Faculty are asked to please add an off-campus phone number, such as a cell phone number, to their employee information in the myLamar system. In the event of a campus emergency or a weather-related school closure, such phones will receive a message with information. In rare circumstances, the campus may issue a warning of imminent danger through an emergency siren system. If you hear the siren, you should stop what you are doing and assess the safety of your situation. If you can safely do so, seek information and get to a safe area for shelter as soon as you can.

Campus and Community Activities

Campus Fitness and Recreational Sports Facilities

Lamar University has several recreational sports facilities that faculty can enjoy. Some of these facilities are available to all faculty and staff, while others are available with the purchase of a membership. Free campus facilities include the Thompson Family Tennis Center, Ty Terrell Track, and Indoor pool. The track is located next to the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center; the indoor pool is located in the Health and Human Performance Complex Building A, across the parking lot from the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center; and the tennis center is around the corner, across the street from the dining hall behind the Student Health Center.

Faculty can purchase a membership for Campus Recreational Sports that allows access to additional facilities on campus. The Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center offers cardio exercise machines with TVs, weight machines, free weights, group fitness classes, basketball, racquetball, and other racquet sports courts, a climbing wall, an indoor track, a soccer/hockey rink, and a putting green. The Center also hosts a pro shop, café, and lounge, and rents out sports and camping equipment. A Recreational Sports membership gives members access to the golf driving range along with free equipment rental. You may have your monthly fee automatically deducted from your paycheck; this can be done by visiting the Cashier’s office in the Wimberly Building. Family memberships are also available. For more information, you can check their website.

https://www.lamar.edu/students/student-engagement/recreational-sports/facilities.html.

Local Arts and Cultural Events

Both Lamar University and Southeast Texas more broadly have an active art, music, dance, and theater scene. There are many opportunities to attend campus performances featuring students, faculty, and staff, including plays, dance performances, and concerts. In addition, Southeast Texas boasts at least seven theaters holding live performances, three ballet companies, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, not to mention the many live musical acts in the area. Be sure to check out the local performances of President Emeritus Jimmy Simmons, who is a leader in the local jazz scene.

Museums

The campus has an active and exciting art museum, the Dishman Art Museum, which houses an extensive permanent collection and features exhibits of professional and student work. Exhibition opening receptions are popular social events for the campus and the surrounding community. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, located at 500 Main Street in Beaumont, features a collection of American art spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. It offers discounted memberships for teachers, including Lamar University faculty.

Aside from these museums, Beaumont has an active arts community. The Beaumont Art League offers classes and exhibits throughout the year. The Art Studio is a particular favorite among the university community; they offer studio space and exhibitions and events that are attended by many faculty and students.

Southeast Texas is also home to several other museums and historic houses, including the Edison Museum, which displays artifacts related to Thomas Edison; Spindletop, a historic oil boom town located on campus; the Fire Museum of Texas, featuring fire-fighting equipment dating back to 1856; the Clifton Steamboat Museum; the Museum of the Gulf Coast, containing a variety of exhibitions on regional topics ranging from dinosaurs to Janice Joplin; and the McFaddin Ward House and John Jay French Museum, two historic houses in the area. In nearby Orange, the Stark Foundation supports several cultural venues including the Stark Museum of Art, the Stark House, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, and the Lutcher Theater.

Outdoor and Sporting Activities

For those interested in outdoor activities, the area offers a host of opportunities, including nearby Crystal Beach and Sea Rim State Park on the Gulf Coast, and the Big Thicket National Preserve to our north. Pleasure Island offers sailing classes.

Like most college campuses, Lamar University has many student athletic organizations. Tickets for sporting events can be purchased at the Ticket Office in the Montagne Center (the large athletic facility across MLK Blvd). Bring your Lamar ID card to qualify for any discounted rates for faculty and staff. Some sporting events that are housed in the McDonald gym (part of the same building as the Campus Recreational Sports Center) are free for Lamar faculty and staff.

Questions and suggestions for additions or changes to this guide can be directed to Amy Smith at amy.smith@lamar.edu.