To support student learning, it is critical that faculty make themselves available to students on a regular basis outside of the classroom. How best to accomplish this—through regularly held open hours, appointments, or both—will differ from department to department due to the nature of course work in various fields.
Departments should regularly discuss office hours, developing a shared understanding of department expectations. The chair should be sure to share these expectations with new faculty (both tenure-track and visiting).
To facilitate communication with students, faculty should share their office hours (even if only “by appointment”) with their administrative assistant before the start of each term so that the assistant can answer the inevitable questions that come up.