Office Space Policy

The department provides office space for graduate students during their studies at OSU. The department attempts to provide each graduate student with a desk in shared office space containing a file cabinet and book shelves.

Use of Equipment and Facilities

It is not possible to similarly equip all projects in the department. Therefore, there may be times when the student may wish to borrow an item of equipment from another project. Student and staff members should take the time to be instructed in the proper use and care of borrowed equipment. They are expected to use good judgment and courtesy in the use of all equipment, and to promptly return borrowed items. Multi-use equipment items (e.g., centrifuges, autoclaves) usually have log books; please complete all entries for each use of the instrument.

Academic Honesty

The very foundation of scientific endeavor is a strong commitment to truth. Students are expected to demonstrate honesty in all aspects of their academic work. Evidence to the contrary, after due process, will lead to termination of graduate studies in Botany/Plant Pathology.


Graduate students should help take responsibility for assuring that laboratory and office doors are locked at night and that windows are secured. This should reduce loss from theft, which has been a problem in the past. Wallets, purses, calculators, and other valuable items should never be left unattended in an unlocked room as daytime thefts have occurred.

Use of Motorpool Vehicles

Only persons who are on the OSU payroll or those who have received special permission through the department and OSU Business Office, are authorized to drive state vehicles. Obtain authorization forms in the main office. If you are uncertain of your qualifications, check with your project leader. Environmental Health and Safety offers SAIFer Driver Classes throughout the year. These are highly recommended. Student driver authorization forms, available in the main office, must be filled out each September. They are available for “per trip” or for one year. Always “drive defensively” and keep public relations in mind. Under no conditions are state cars to be used for personal purposes. In rare cases, a spouse may accompany a staff member or graduate student in a state car, but only after receiving permission from the department chairperson. Under no circumstances should children or pets be transported in a state vehicle.

Travel to Professional Meetings and Field Trips

Graduate students who plan to present a paper or poster, or otherwise participate in a professional meeting can also apply for small grants from a variety of sources, including the Anita Summers Graduate Student Travel Fund and the GSA Travel Fund. Grants up to $200.00 are awarded by the GSA Travel Grant Committee. This is made possible by profits from coffee sales and other grad student fund raisers. Applications are available in the BPP mailroom, or from the BPP/GSA Treasurer.

A University-owned van may be provided for University-related field trips organized by students and staff, if approved by the department chairperson.

See our personnel specialist, for Out-of-State Travel Authorizations for each out-of-state trip — whether you are seeking reimbursement or not.

Procedure for Applying for Department Travel Funds

Application may be made for travel funds by sending a letter to the department chairperson specifying the following: meeting to be attended, dates, reason for attending, estimated cost and any other available funds. See the Anita Summers Graduate Student Travel Fund for more information.

Any graduate student studying under a professor in Botany and Plant Pathology is eligible for travel assistance regardless of actual degree program. However, students enrolled in other programs may request assistance only if their programs or home department does not provide similar assistance to them for travel to a professional meeting. For students whose major is other than Botany and Plant Pathology, the student should request the signature of the program director indicating that travel funds are not available.Questions concerning travel awards may be directed to the department chairperson.

Use of Telephone

University Phone Numbers have the prefix 737 and 713. When calling from one place on campus to another, dial the last five digits of the phone number. When dialing off-campus (local calls), you must first dial the 9, then the seven-digit number. Some Federal agencies located on campus have 750-, 754-, or 757- prefix and are dialed as off-campus numbers. All phone numbers have 10 digits; the 541 area code must be used for Corvallis.

Telephones should be used only for department business. You need an Authorization number or your personal calling card number to make long-distance calls. Check with your project leader for an Authorization number.

Insurance Coverage

Any graduate student paid with OSU funds has full medical coverage for any type of on-the-job accident. This coverage is provided through SAIF (State Accident Insurance Fund). Accidents must be reported immediately to your supervisor and a form completed within 24 hours. Accident reporting forms may be obtained from the department administrative assistant in the BPP Main Office.

All students not on state payroll who drive OSU vehicles must have a valid Oregon State driver’s license and be officially cleared by the chairperson of the Botany and Plant Pathology Department in order to obtain coverage of liability insurance. Forms to be filled out are in the main office. However, there is no University coverage for medical expenses resulting from a non-employee’s involvement in an accident while riding in a University vehicle. Any medical coverage must be provided through the student’s personal auto insurance and/or the Student Health Insurance Program.

Exit Interviews

Upon completion of their degree program, all graduate students are asked to fill out an “Exit Interview Form” (available in the BPP administrative office) and schedule an appointment with the department Chairperson. This is your opportunity to share your experiences in the BPP graduate program and to give us suggestions on how we might improve it. We ask that you keep us informed of changes of name and address once you have left the department/university.

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