With so many different people on campus, it can be hard to know how and when is appropriate to contact staff. Below you’ll find some guidelines on contacting staff via either email, phone, or meeting in person.
Email is the preferred method of communication for education staff and many students. It also means that there is a written record of any agreements or arrangements that are made. Make sure you are writing emails that are using appropriate and language and that you are not being overly informal. For help with writing emails, check out our article on Templates for Writing Emails to College Staff.
Who can you email?
It’s considered the most appropriate way to make contact with members of college staff, including lecturers, different departments, clubs, societies etc.
When to email?
One benefit of email is that you can send an email at any time. Just remember that most staff will only check emails during their office hours, regardless of when you send it.
How long should you wait for a response?
Some staff will be quicker to respond to emails then others. Generally, depending on the urgency of your issue, you should wait up to one week for a response. If you still haven’t gotten a response after one week, perhaps you should either send a follow up email or consider contacting them by phone/Skype/ in person.
Meeting in Person
Who can you meet in person?
Many members of staff will be willing to meet you in person, but will often request that you make an appointment with them before-hand so that you can find a type that suits both of you. Tutors, career advisers, IT support staff, the counselling service and some lectures are among the staff who often have one-to-one meetings with students.
When to meet in person?
Staff are often quite busy and have to meet many students so make sure to arrange a time that you know they will be free to speak with you and will have enough time to help resolve any issues you might be having.
Who can you contact by phone?
Many staff and student support services will have a contact phone number available on the universities website. These are the phone numbers you should you use. Do not contact staff on their personal phone numbers.
When to phone staff?
Staff will only be available to answer phone-calls during their office hours. If you don’t get an answer, either leave a voicemail (stating your phone number and asking them to call you back) or try calling again in 15/20 minutes.