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Question from a parent: getting academic help for a student

A University parent asked me to post the following question:

I know there are 2 sides to every story and I am only getting one side but.... My daughter is having a lot of trouble getting help from teachers. She has classes where there are no TAs available, no office hours, no responses on emails and teachers that don't keep appointments. I am getting the impression that she is putting forth effort to get help but is constantly running into road blocks. Currently she is paying out-of-pocket for a math tutor. We are paying a hefty price to educate our children. Doesn't that price include being available to help our children succeed?

Are other parents finding the same situation with their children and also, who can be addressed at the University in regards to this problem?
Barb Nelson


The University does require all its instructor to be available for "a reasonable number of office hours for student conferences", and each department determines what the reasonable number of hours is. If an instructor has not scheduled or is not available for office hours, the department should be made aware.

Also, if it's a TA that is unavailable, the professor of the class, who would supervise the TA, would want to know about the situation.

The university may require -- in principle -- that instructors be available for some hours, but if a particular instructor decides to be elusive and unavailable, the university will not act. There are no clear procedures to make an instructor accountable in any manner -- whether that be accessibility, or poor teaching, or arbitrary grading policies.

The department often adopts a head-in-the sand-policy: it doesn't want to be bothered, and it certainly won't exert itself.

I request this post not be deleted.