Information for Faculty and Staff

The Office of the Dean of Students was established to provide an entry point for students who need assistance solving problems. To that end, we want to work in cooperation with you and become a solution-center for students as they experience difficulties.

One significant way we can work together is in identifying and providing help to students in distress. You're often the frontline for identifying these students, and we want to work with you to find a successful resolution for everyone.

Providing a safety net for our students

As you begin to create your syllabi we recommend that you include one of the following examples of information:

Syllabi Insert #1:

If you are experiencing undue personal or academic stress at any time during the semester or need to talk with someone about a personal problem or situation, I encourage you to seek support as soon as possible. I am available to talk with you about stresses related to your work in my class. Additionally, I can assist you in reaching out to any one of a wide range of campus resources, including:

1. Dean of Students Office: 607-777-2804
2. Decker Student Health Services Center: 607-777-2221
3. University Police: On campus emergency, 911
4. University Counseling Center: 607-777-2772
5. Interpersonal Violence Prevention: 607-777-3062
6. Harpur Advising: 607-777-6305
7. Office of International Student & Scholar Services:607-777-2510

Syllabi Insert #2:

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be largely related to your course work; if so, I invite you to speak with me (or your other professors) directly. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance, and may require additional professional support. Binghamton University provides a variety of support resources: the Dean of Students Office and University Counseling Center offer coaching on ways to reduce the impact to your grades. Both of these resources can help you manage personal challenges that impact your well-being or ability to thrive at Binghamton University. Accessing them, especially early on, as symptoms develop, can help support your academic success as a University student.

In the event I feel you could benefit from such support, I will express my concerns (and the reasons for them) to you and remind you of our resources. While I do not need to know the details of what is going on for you, your ability to share some of your situation with me will help me connect you with the appropriate support.


Additionally, if you are concerned that a student is exhibiting personality or behavioral changes such as a lack of interest or engagement with others or signs of aggression, contacting the Student of Concern Committee (SOC) would be a great first step and can:

  • Help to coordinate the University response to students who demonstrate violence, threats to self or others, or are significantly disruptive.
  • Develop action plans intended to support student and community safety, prevent violence, support student development and maintain a campus environment conducive to learning.
  • Consult with faculty, staff and students involved in or affected by a student's behavior, and other individuals as appropriate.

The committee's goal is to foster early identification of concerns about students. Early review of problematic situations can reduce the impact to a student and/or the classroom, social or living environment.

To speak with a member of the Students of Concern Committee, contact the Dean of Students Office at 607-777-2804 or dos@binghamton.edu.

If unsure about bringing a person to the attention of the SOC Committee, contact the case manager, Beth Riley, for more information at briley@binghamton.edu or 777-2804.

When consulting with the case manager only those with a need-to-know will be brought into the circle of information. Consulting with the case manager does not mean the student of concern's situation is automatically brought to the SOC Committee.

Providing help for distressed students

If you suspect you're dealing with a distressed student, we recommend taking action at the first sign of a problem. Our end goal, of course, is to allow for the learning process to continue.

Our office can assist by:

  • helping to centralize information about students of concern; if the individual causes a problem in a classroom, chances are he/she is having problems in other places on campus
  • providing advice about how to approach a student of concern; we work with many academic and Student Affairs offices that will provide assistance to you and the student
  • coordinating disciplinary action and/or mental health assistance for the student in question if there is a need

Signs to help identify a distressed student

  • the once organized, timely and cooperative student doesn't seem to be that way now
  • the student may be unusually quiet or absent
  • the student may not communicate (doesn't talk or do assignments as needed, or appropriately)
  • the student’s demeanor or appearance may change
  • the student may be quietly distressed – perhaps depressed or forlorn; these students may take longer to notice than angry, belligerent or disorganized students
  • the student may be angry, belligerent or disorganized; we always recommend that behavior be addressed first and these students should be confronted regarding their behavior

Note: Allow the student to disclose what is distressing him/her. If others have information, the Office of the Dean of Students can help collect the information, as appropriate, in a case conference format.

Signs to help identify a disruptive student

  • the student writes outrageously violent stories and doesn't want constructive – or any – feedback
  • the student interrupts and curses at random times, but doesn't want to talk to the professor
  • the student intimidates the professor and others
  • the student stalks another person

The University Counseling Center is an important resource when dealing with distressed or disruptive students. For specific advice and actions you can take, visit the counseling center’s webpage for faculty, which also includes links to these helpful guides: Students in Distress: The Faculty Role (.pdf 204.3kb), Responding to Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom (.pdf 200.3kb) and Responding to Disturbing Content (.pdf 193.5kb).

Last Updated: 9/15/14