New Writing, Classroom, and Professional Dress Policies Effective For Fall 2007 Marketing Classes

August 3, 2007

TO:            Marketing Majors

FROM:      Dr. Timothy A. Longfellow

RE:             New Writing, Classroom, and Professional Dress Policies Effective For Fall 2007 Marketing Classes

I am writing to welcome you to the Fall 2007 semester at Illinois State University.  I hope you have had a great summer and are looking forward to a productive and rewarding semester!

Faculty members in the Department of Marketing at Illinois State University have carefully designed their courses to provide you with highly active learning experiences.  This is a key example of the evolving educational model whereby students learn by doing, using a variety of role-plays, real client projects, simulations, case studies, as well as other in-class and outside activities.  These learning activities are based on the significant business experience shared among the faculty as well as input and the latest thinking from our partners in the business world.

The Department of Marketing faculty plan and work hard to make our marketing courses one of the most valuable experiences in your college education.  But this can only be accomplished when all participants – professor, student, and business partners – have shared objectives and attitudes about the curriculum.  These courses have been designed to not merely be about “marketing” but to also explore and sharpen fundamental personal and professional skills that are inherent in all aspects of the contemporary business world… where interpersonal interactions are involved, including interpersonal communication and leadership.  Indeed our business partners have convinced us that it is more important to establish and maintain a “real-world” atmosphere in marketing classes than in typical undergraduate courses.  In order to establish and maintain this “real world” atmosphere, the following guidelines will apply to all Marketing courses, beginning with the Fall 2007 semester:

The Department of Marketing has elected to move to a business casual attire policy after much study and consideration.  Our Personal Selling and Relationship Marketing courses piloted and have utilized a business casual dress policy since the Fall of 2003.  In fact, all the courses in the professional sales sequence incorporated a business casual attire policy in the Fall 2006 semester.  Inputs from students and faculty alike have been extremely positive.  All have indicated that the professionalism exhibited in the class led to a better learning environment, students being better prepared for class, and students being more respectful of one another.  Business partners, who have visited the Personal Selling and Relationship Management classes, also were impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by these students.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions before the semester begins.  Otherwise, on behalf of the Department of Marketing faculty, we look forward to working with you in class!

 Department of Marketing
Illinois State University
Business Casual Attire
For All Courses

The Department of Marketing's objective in establishing a dress code is to enable students to project a professional image while still experiencing the comfort advantages of more casual and relaxed clothing. Not all casual clothing is suitable for the classroom, so these guidelines will help you determine what is appropriate to wear. Clothing that works well for the beach, yard work, dance clubs, exercise sessions, and sports contests are not appropriate for a professional appearance.

Below is a general overview of what we mean by “acceptable business casual attire.” Items that are not appropriate for the classroom are listed, too. Neither list is all-inclusive and both are open to change. The lists tell you what is generally acceptable as business casual attire and what is generally not acceptable as business casual attire. No dress code can cover all contingencies so students must apply a certain amount of judgment in their choice of clothing to wear to Department of Marketing classes. If you experience uncertainty about acceptable, professional business causal attire for your class, please ask your professor or stop by the Marketing office (352 COB Building) to discuss this with the department chairperson. Clothing should be pressed and never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable. All seams must be finished. Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive and/or create a hostile environment for other students is unacceptable.

A general guideline for business casual attire for women includes:

A general guideline for business casual attire for men includes:

More specific information for business casual attire can be found below.

Slacks, Pants, and Suit Pants

Slacks that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, and nice looking dress synthetic pants are acceptable.
Inappropriate slacks or pants include cargo pants, jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, short shorts, shorts, Bermuda shorts, bib overalls, leggings, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants such as bike clothing. 

Skirts, Dresses, and Skirted Suits

Casual dresses and skirts, and skirts that are split at or below the knee are acceptable. Dress and skirt length should be no shorter than four inches above the knee, or a length at which you can sit comfortably in public. Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are inappropriate for the classroom. Mini-skirts, skorts, sun dresses, beach dresses, and spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate for the classroom.  Clothing that reveals excessive cleavage, back, chest, stomach or undergarments is not appropriate for a professional classroom setting.

Shirts, Tops, Blouses, and Jackets

Casual shirts (e.g. a short-sleeved, button-down shirt), golf shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, and turtlenecks are acceptable. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also acceptable attire for the classroom, if they violate none of the listed guidelines. Inappropriate attire includes tank tops, sweatshirts, midriff tops, shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans, halter-tops, tops with bare shoulders, and t-shirts unless worn under another blouse, shirt, jacket, or jumper. Use common sense when wearing clothing that has words on it; people are easily offended or distracted by words.
Clothing that has the Illinois State University logo is encouraged. Sports team, university, and fashion brand names on clothing are generally acceptable.

Footwear and belts

Loafers, boots, flats, clogs, dress heels, and leather deck shoes are acceptable. Wearing no stockings is acceptable if the look is appropriate to the outfit. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, slippers, and any shoe that is not appropriate for business are not acceptable for class.
As a general rule, belts and shoes that are all-leather are the typical standard for business casual attire.

Jewelry, Makeup, Perfume, Cologne, Body Piercing, and Tattoos

Any jewelry, makeup, perfume and/or cologne you wear should be in good taste.  Do be aware that as you move into the corporate world, visible body piercing other than pierced ears, and visible tattoos may not be considered appropriate by some of the firms you want to work for.

Hats and Head Covering

Hats are not appropriate in the classroom. Head covers that are required for religious purposes or to honor cultural tradition are allowed.

If clothing fails to meet these standards, as determined by the faculty member and departmental chairperson, the student will be asked not to wear the inappropriate item to class again. If the problem persists, the student will be asked to leave the classroom and will receive a zero (0) on any class work collected that day. 
Below are several websites that were used in the development of the business casual dress policy.