Teaching Hub

Getting Started at UA: Parking, Textbooks, and Email

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies

map with a compass on topGetting started at a new institution is never as simple as showing up on the first day of classes. Every institution has its own systems to organize people for the sake of teaching a new cohort of students. Some of those systems are integrated, and others are discrete. Even if one system has the right information, others may not be properly informed.

Typically, the most important information is

Forgot one of these?

Parking Permits

Getting to class involves getting to campus. To park on campus, you will need a green faculty/staff parking permit. If you plan to bike to campus, you will first need to register your bike.

Special Options

Under special circumstances, however, adjunct faculty may qualify for a free or reduced-cost permit:

  • If your contract stipulates your on-campus time for 12 hours or less, you may qualify for a special $40-per-year patron permit.
  • If your contract stipulates your on-campus time for 3 hours or less per week, you may qualify for free parking.

If you think you qualify for a discounted permit, contact Chris D’Esposito at (205) 348-5473 or cdesposito@ua.edu.

Pay-as-you-go parking is also available in certain parking decks, with a maximum cost of $10 per day.

Parking Tips

Here are some tips that will help you avoid parking tickets:

  • Keep your green F/S tag visible (e.g., if you use a sun shield, don’t block your F/S tag).
  • You need a parking permit for the evenings, too!
  • If you forget your tag, then park as a visitor in one of the three garages with visitor parking: Ferguson Center, Campus Drive, and North ten Hoor. The $5 cash you must pay upon entrance is cheaper than the $25-$50 in parking violation fees for parking without a tag!
  • Parking lots marked with the green F/S label are fair game. Here is the map!
  • NOTE: Certain lots are dual purpose. Check the signs. If you park on the side not zoned as F/S, you may get a ticket!
  • If you lose your permit, you can use the Lost/Stolen Permit Form to get a new one for a fee.

Ordering Textbooks and Course Materials

The campus bookstore is called The SupeStore. Once your department has finalized the arrangements for your teaching a specific course during a particular term, the SupeStore will send your university email account a personalized link that lists your courses. Use this link to submit textbook information, as well as any other course materials you require. You can log in to that course list manually, too, by logging in here with your myBama username and password.

Consult with your department’s textbook committee. State of Alabama policy states that you cannot use a textbook YOU wrote and pocket the profits! If the book you intend to use was authored by yourself or anyone else at UA, it has to be approved by your department’s Ethics Committee prior to adoption. The committee emails everyone the required due dates and forms each semester.

Course Materials

You can list a wide assortment of special tools, equipment, and platforms for a course: calculators, clickers, Netflix accounts, etc. Otherwise, not only will students come to class unprepared, but also, scholarships or assistance funds will not be able to purchase these things!

Communications and Email

Analog synthesizer switching controlsYour UA email is as important as your myBama and CWID information. Setting up your UA webmail is crucial since you are required to use it for all your UA-related correspondences. There are literally few-to-no circumstances where another means of communication should be conducted. The initial steps for doing so should be handled by your department.

Second, in situations where you ask yourself “Should I send an email or not?” then don’t! Digital communications are not privileged. If you put it in writing, there is now a public record and you are responsible for it. Hence, if you aren’t sure whether it’s ok to discuss something (student issue/info, employment, personal matters, questionable topics), then ask your supervisor or department chair to advise you. Keep a record of their reply to your question for future reference.

Blackboard Communications Tools

Blackboard does have an internal email system, as well as additional communications tools, including your course page, class announcements, discussion forums, and wikis. The Center for Instructional Technology has Blackboard help page for setting up these systems, as well as a form to set up a one-on-one consultation.

Blackboard emails cannot be forwarded to any other email account. If you wish to disable BBL email, follow these steps: Under Course Management in the menu on the left, choose Customization > Tool Availability > uncheck Course Messages and Email.

This resource is part of the Teaching Basics series. For more information, contact Nathan Loewen at nrloewen@ua.edu.