Questions for Your Department

Questions for Your Department

A VIP in any Department: The Secretary/Administrative Assistant

You will discover very quickly that the department secretary/administrative assistant is one of the most important people in your department. They typically know more about how the department runs than anyone else. If the department secretary/administrative assistant is on your side, many problems will be easier to resolve, and some may never even appear.

Questions Your Department Secretary/Administrative Assistant May Be Able to Answer


  1. Besides faculty members, who else works for this department?  What are their roles?
  2. What kind of assistance can I expect from the department secretarial staff?
  3. How do I request help?
  4. How do I obtain a research or teaching assistant?
  5. How do I get technology assistance (see Computer Support Representative below)


Computer Support Representative (CSR, or tech person to assist me)

  1. Who is my CSR, and how do I make contact?
  2. What can I expect from the CSR?
  3. What should I NOT expect from the CSR?


Custodial Services

  1. What services are available?
  2. How do I request services?
  3. What will be done for me and when?
  4. What am I responsible for?


Contact Information

  1. Is there a list of phone numbers, office addresses, and e-mail addresses for the department and college?
  2. Are there emergency numbers I should have?


Fax Machine

  1. What is the fax number?  Where I can send and receive faxes?
  2. What is the department procedure for sending faxes?



  1. How do I get keys for department doors, labs and for the building?
  2. What are the combinations for any keyless entry locks?
  3. Do I have a keys for my desk drawer, file cabinet, and/or anything else in my office with a lock?



  1. Where do I receive mail?
  2. Do I need a key?
  3. How do I send:  snail mail, campus mail, packages?
  4. What is the format for addressing outgoing mail?
  5. How do I send overnight mail?



  1. Where is food available on campus, and what are the hours?
  2. May I use a credit card, debit card, or a check to purchase food on campus?
  3. How do I use my ID card to make purchases?
  4. Is there a faculty lounge in the department or college?
  5. Is there a refrigerator and/or microwave oven available?



  1. Where do I get a parking permit?
  2. Where is the best place to park?  What time do I need to get here to park there?
  3. What are the consequences for illegal parking?



  1. Is there an access code?
  2. What are the policies governing use of the copier?
  3. Is there a limit to the number of copies I can make?
  4. Are students allowed to use the photocopier?


Plants and Pictures

  1. Who pays for plants and pictures in my office?
  2. Who waters the plants?
  3. What is the policy and procedure for hanging pictures?



  1. Which one(s) do I use?
  2. Is there a color printer in the department or college?
  3. How do I print to the color printers at copy centers?
  4. Can I get a printer in my own office?


Supplies and Purchases

  1. Where are basic supplies that I can access?
  2. How do I obtain other needed supplies?
  3. What is the policy for purchasing books?
  4. What other funds are available to me?



  1. How do I order textbooks for my classes?
  2. How can I obtain any needed funding for my classes?
  3. How do I place materials on reserve for students to access?
  4. How do I get my course packets duplicated and available for students to purchase?
  5. How do I get access to the picture class rolls?


Technology Questions for Your Secretary/CSR

  1. What computer logins and passwords do I need?
  2. What is my DSU email address?
  3. How do I access e-mail?
  4. What if I need more computer power than I now have?
  5. What if I prefer a Mac/PC and the alternate is now in my office?
  6. How can I purchase needed peripheral devices or software?
  7. Can I get a laptop for either permanent or temporary use?
  8. What computer training is available to maintain cutting edge skills”
  9. How can I get server space for own web page?
  10. What help is available for developing my own web page?
  11. How can I put my syllabus online?
  12. How can I put other course materials online?
  13. How do I get access to institutional secure online sites?



  1. What is my phone number?
  2. How do I use the voice mail system?
  3. What is the policy on long distance calls?
  4. How do I get a long distance access code (so I can make long distance calls)?
  5. Can the department purchase/rent a cell phone for me to use for university business?



  1. What is the department policy for travel?
  2. How do I submit travel requests?
  3. How do I arrange university/conference travel?
  4. How do I arrange for air and hotel reservations?
  5. How do I obtain reimbursement for travel and conference attendance?


“Tour” (Ask someone in the department to give you a tour of the following)

  • Faculty offices
  • Restrooms
  • Classrooms frequently used
  • Meeting rooms
  • Where to park
  • Places to eat
  • Dean’s office