Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(4)    Faculty Development

(4A)    STATEMENT ON FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

(4B)    FACULTY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

(4C)    DISCRETIONARY FACULTY DEVELOPMENT FUNDS

(4D)    FACULTY FELLOWSHIPS


(4A)    STATEMENT ON FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. The Faculty Development Committee (FDC)

  2. Purposes and Responsibilities

  3. Categories of Awards (Academic Leave Policy; Summer Stipends Policy; Individual Course Development Policy; Special Project Grants Policy)

  4. Oversight Responsibilities

  5. Implementation and Amendment

Trinity University seeks to enhance its academic program and help its faculty achieve maximum competence by offering a wide range of faculty development opportunities, including an academic leave program, a program of summer stipends to enable a faculty member to concentrate on a special activity, a program to allow a faculty member time to develop courses, and a program of special projects grants to cover a range of activities and items necessary for professional development. The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) is charged with the responsibility of overseeing these programs and the other opportunities that exist at Trinity University for improvement of professional skills, released-time for research projects, and related matters.

I.    THE FACULTY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (FDC)
Revised by the Faculty Senate and distributed to the Faculty on November 9, 2004; approved by the Faculty on December 9, 2004; and by the Board of Trustees on May 13, 2005.

A.    Membership

The Faculty Development Committee shall consist of fourteen faculty members and seven alternates, appointed by the Faculty Senate, and two administrative members: the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs: Budget and Research (AVPAA:BR), who will serve as a voting member, and a recording secretary (nonvoting).

B.    Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the FDC will consist of the Chair of the FDC, the Vice-Chair, and the AVPAA:BR. The functions of the Executive Committee of the FDC will be: 

C.    Officers

1.    The Chair of the FDC will be elected annually by the FDC membership during a general meeting at the beginning of the fall semester. To be eligible for election, the member must not submit a proposal to the FDC during the current academic year. The functions of the Chair of the FDC will be: 

2.    The Vice-Chair of the FDC will be elected annually by the membership at its first general meeting of the fall semester. To be eligible for election, the member must not submit a proposal to the FDC during the current academic year. The function of the Vice-Chair will be to act as Chair in case of absence of the Chair. The Chair or Vice-Chair will perform the functions of office assisted by the representative of the Office of Academic Affairs.

3.    The recording secretary of the FDC will distribute and collect various application forms, and provide a repository for FDC records.

D.    Panels

One panel will consider proposals for academic leaves; another will consider proposals for summer stipends and course-development grants. Each panel shall consist of the Chair of the FDC, the AVPAA:BR, and one member of each of the following groups:

        Group 1:    Classical Studies, History, Modern Languages and Literatures
        Group 2:    English, Philosophy, Religion
        Group 3:    Art and Art History, Communication, Library, Music, Speech and Drama
        Group 4:    Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics and Astronomy
        Group 5:    Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics
        Group 6:    Education, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology
        Group 7:    Business Administration, Economics, Health Care Administration

Members of each panel will be appointed by the Faculty Senate. They will serve a term of three years, during which period they are ineligible to submit proposals to the panel on which they serve. Any member submitting a proposal to the same panel must resign on or before September 1 and will be replaced by the appropriate member of the panel of alternates.

Members of the panel of alternates (one from each academic grouping) will serve a term of one year and will be chosen from among those faculty not submitting proposals to the FDC during that year. When the Chair of the FDC is elected, the role on the panel to which he or she had been appointed will be filled by the appropriate member of the panel of alternates. Should the Vice Chair be required to serve, the same procedure will be followed. Should additional alternates be required in order to represent the academic groupings on each panel, they will be appointed by the Faculty Senate.

The panels will meet separately to consider the proposals. Recommendations will be based on the merits of the proposals. The Chair shall then forward the proposals, recommendations, and evaluations to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs (VPFSA). See Chapter 4B: Faculty Development Committee Standard Operating Procedures  for details concerning procedures.


II.    PURPOSES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The FDC has the responsibilities of:

The procedures by which the FDC pursues these objectives are contained in Chapter 4B: Faculty Development Committee Standard Operating Procedures.


III.    CATEGORIES OF AWARDS

Each type of development award is described as follows. Each type is subject to the policies set forth herein.

A.    Academic Leave Policy
(Approved by Faculty May 3, 1989.)

Purposes
Leaves of absence are among the most important means by which a teacher’s effectiveness can be increased, a scholar’s opportunity for research, reflection, and writing enhanced, and ultimately a university’s academic program strengthened and developed. A sound program of leaves is therefore of vital importance to the academic life of a university, and every faculty member should use available means of professional development, including leaves, to increase professional competence. The major purpose of an academic leave program is to provide an opportunity for continued professional growth and new or renewed intellectual development through study, writing, research, or travel in order to enhance creativity, scholarship, and teaching. Other purposes include public or private service which ultimately serve the university. It is the intent of this faculty development program that all eligible faculty with proposals recommended by the department and by the FDC be granted leaves.

1.   Leaves With Pay

a.   Eligibility

b.   Duration and Compensation

Academic leaves may be granted either for one semester or for a full academic year. The recipient of a one-semester leave will receive full salary and employee benefits for that semester. A faculty member on leave for the full academic year will receive fifty percent of salary and adjusted employee benefits. Support for nonsalary items, such as travel for research, can be requested in a supplementary special project grant proposal to the AVPAA:CFD.

c.   Requests for Leaves

Formal request for a leave must be made in writing to the departmental Chair in April preceding the academic year in which application for the leave is to be made. The request should be accompanied by a brief provisional description of the project to be carried out during the leave. A full written proposal will serve as the basis for departmental recommendation and review by the FDC and administration. The complete proposal must explain in adequate detail the purpose of the project and the work to be done. However, inasmuch as the departmental Chair will be apprised of each faculty member’s eligibility and intention to apply for a leave well in advance of the formal application, the project proposal for the leave should be available for informal departmental consideration and comment as early as practicable.

d.   Departmental Responsibilities

Each department shall maintain a schedule of eligibility showing the proposed leaves of its faculty over a period of three years and a curriculum plan for the same duration to verify that these leaves can be accommodated without replacements, except in those cases where replacements are approved by the VPFSA.

The primary responsibility for critical evaluation of a leave proposal resides with the tenured members of the applicant’s department. All tenured members should evaluate proposals at this level. In departments where there is only one tenured member to act as evaluator, the VPFSA will appoint  an additional reviewer for the department. The Chair will administer the departmental review process. The departmental Chair should make a judgment on whether the department can meet its curricular obligations in the absence of the leave applicant. If the department cannot support a proposal, the departmental Chair should advise the applicant to withdraw the proposal or otherwise write a letter of nonsupport. In any case, the Chair shall summarize the tenured members’ reasons for recommending or not recommending a proposal, making explicit reference to the evaluation guidelines listed in Paragraph f.

It shall be the policy of the department to advise and assist its members to prepare proposals that clearly articulate how the projects will meet the University’s expectation of high professional achievement and that meet the evaluation guidelines listed in Paragraph f. Accordingly the department shall encourage its members to prepare leave proposals well in advance of the deadline for submission in order to facilitate an early, informal review of the projects.

e.   Responsibility of the FDC

The spirit of the review at this level is to determine that high standards are maintained in the leave program across disciplines of the University. Therefore, the FDC panels, after satisfying themselves that these high standards have been met in the proposals, as assured by the recommending departments will submit their endorsement to the Executive Committee of the FDC, which has the responsibility for making the final faculty recommendation to the VPFSA. The FDC will make its judgments according to the stated criteria by which leave proposals are to be evaluated. The panels and the Executive Committee will also evaluate, should that be necessary, the request for a leave from a member of the faculty whose application for leave has been rejected at the departmental level.

f.   Evaluation Guidelines

The FDC will evaluate the academic leave proposals according to the following criteria and expects all materials to be prepared in clear and concise language that can be easily understood by reviewers from other disciplines.

  • The merits of the proposal (originality and advancement of knowledge);
  • The potential of the proposed project to enhance the creative, scholarly, or teaching competence of the faculty member (likelihood of significant publication or performance, enhancement of professional skills, acquisition of new areas of teaching expertise);
  • The probability of achieving the objectives specified during the leave;
  • The appropriateness of the methods and techniques for meeting the stated objectives;
  • The qualifications of the candidate relevant to achieving the goals of the proposal;
  • The candidate’s history of academic leave awards at Trinity University (past leaves and successful completion of previous projects).

g.   Requirements

  • The recipient of a paid leave is required to devote full time to the project for which the leave was granted. Teaching and other similar professional activities may be pursued only with explicit approval of the VPFSA. Following the leave, the recipient shall submit a report to the departmental Chair and the VPFSA on the results of the leave by September 15 (or the Friday preceding if that date falls on a weekend), indicating how the results compare with objectives anticipated in the proposal.
  • After completion of an academic leave, the recipient is obligated to be available to serve on the FDC for at least one year.
  • A recipient must return to full employment at the University for at least one academic year following the leave or reimburse the University for the amount of compensation paid during the leave.

2.   Leaves Without Pay

a.   Eligibility

All members of the faculty with tenure or tenure-track appointments are eligible for leaves without pay. For untenured faculty who take a leave without pay, the schedule of tenure review will not be revised on account of the leave. The scheduling of leaves without pay should be facilitated by the fact that departments can ordinarily expect to hire a replacement for a member of that department on such leave.

When the opportunity for a leave without pay arises on short notice, the applicant may address the request through the Chair to the VPFSA.

The granting of a leave without pay shall be limited to one year, except under unusual circumstances, and in no case shall it be for more than two consecutive years.

b.   Requests for Leave Without Pay

In most cases, a leave without pay will be occasioned by the receipt of a research grant. Applicants for such grants must coordinate their plans with their departmental Chair so that the department can prepare for the absence of the applicant. Ordinarily the award of a grant will satisfy any requirement for internal evaluation of the project, and requests for leave without pay supported by outside funding will always be looked at favorably by the University.

c.   Responsibility of the Department

While recognizing that its first obligation is to meet curricular responsibilities, the department will strive to advise and support its members when they wish to find the means for and schedule leaves without pay. At least a year in advance of making application for a grant that would entail a leave, potential applicants should discuss with the departmental Chair those aspects of the envisaged leave that impinge upon departmental planning, such as duration of the leave, dates of notification from granting agencies, and plans for a replacement. In the case of an untenured member of the department, the Chair shall be especially attentive to the possibilities of funding within and without the University to support the research leave, and offer appropriate advice and assistance.

The department shall review and forward its recommendation for leaves without pay through the VPFSA to the President.

In the cases of untenured members of the faculty with sound projects, the VPFSA shall give special attention to assisting with possible in-house funding strategies, bearing in mind that these applicants are not eligible for leaves with pay and that special funding can strengthen the chances of obtaining external monies.

d.   Requirements

Any member of the faculty on leave without pay who has received contributions from the University in the form of benefits is obligated to return to employment of the University for at least one year following the leave or to reimburse the University for those expenditures.

B.    Summer Stipends Policy

Purposes
Summer stipends are among the best means for encouraging faculty development of research projects, intensive scholarship activities, and activities in the creative and performing arts. The types of projects encouraged and supported in this program are usually of shorter duration than those in the academic leave program and are of the type which can best be pursued during the summer months. Summer stipends are paid at the same dollar amount for all awards. The maximum number of summer stipends and the specific dollar amount of the stipends will be set by the administration after consultation with the FDC.

1.    Requests for and Submission of Proposals

The FDC shall notify the faculty of proposal deadlines and make proposal forms available in the Office of Academic Affairs. For a proposal to be considered by the FDC, the faculty member must follow the guidelines for submission as set down in Chapter 4B: Faculty Development Committee Standard Operating Procedures.

2.    Announcements

The FDC shall forward its recommendations to the VPFSA, who shall forward his/her recommendations regarding the proposals to the President of the University. Presidential letters of awards shall be co-signed by the FDC Chair and sent to recipients by mid-December.

3.    Eligibility

All full-time faculty members are eligible for summer stipends, contingent upon their acceptance of continued appointment (nonterminal) for the following academic year, except in the following cases:

a.    Summer stipends are not available to non-tenured faculty who have not completed all requirements for the appropriate highest degree in their fields at the time applications are to be submitted.

b.    Summer stipends are not available to non-tenured faculty after they have been given notice that they will receive a terminal contract.

c.    A faculty member may not receive a summer stipend either the summer before or the summer after the year during which he/she is on leave.

d.    A faculty member may apply for a summer stipend and an academic leave during the same academic year (June 1 through May 31), but no more than one award will be recommended for funding. Before making any award recommendation, the faculty member will be consulted as to his or her choice.

e.    Faculty members on twelve-month contracts may apply and awards will be made for summer stipends provided that arrangements for released-time can be made. Summer stipends will be in lieu of, but not in addition to, their regular summer salary.

f.    Faculty who have received a summer stipend are not eligible to apply in the following year for a summer stipend.

g.   Junior Faculty Fellows can not receive a Summer Stipend for the summer following the last year of the Junior Faculty Fellowship.

4.    Requirements

5.   Evaluation Guidelines

The FDC will evaluate the summer stipend proposals according to the following criteria and expects all materials to be prepared in clear and concise language that can be easily understood by reviewers from other disciplines.

C.    Individual Course Development Policy

Purposes
The purpose of individual course development grants is to give faculty members the opportunity to work on projects for instructional enhancement. These projects may be for the development of a new course or an experimental project involving new teaching techniques. The program is sustained in order that faculty members may develop courses that will strengthen the liberal arts curriculum, contribute to the synthesis of a major, support interdisciplinary programs, or attain some other curricular goal.

1.   Requests for Submission of Proposals

The FDC shall notify the faculty of proposal deadlines and make proposal forms available in the Office of Academic Affairs. For a proposal to be considered, the faculty member must follow the submission guidelines set down in Chapter 4B: Faculty Development Committee Standard Operating Procedures.

2.   Approval and Announcements

The FDC shall forward its recommendations to the VPFSA, who shall forward the final recommendations regarding the proposals to the President of the University. Presidential letters of awards shall be co-signed by the FDC Chair and sent to recipients by mid-February.

3.   Eligibility

All full-time faculty members are eligible for individual course development grants, contingent upon their acceptance of continued appointment (nonterminal) for the following academic year, except in the following cases:

a.    Individual course development grants are not available to non-tenured faculty who have not completed all requirements for the appropriate highest degree in their fields at the time applications are to be submitted.

b.    Individual course development grants are not available to non-tenured faculty after they have been given notice that they will receive a terminal contract.

c.    A faculty member may apply for an individual course development grant and an academic leave during the same academic year (June 1 through May 31), but no more than one award will be recommended for funding. Before making any award recommendation, the faculty member will be consulted as to his or her choice.

d.    Faculty members on twelve-month contracts may apply and awards will be made for individual course development grants, provided that arrangements for released-time can be made. Individual course development grants will be in lieu of, but not in addition to, their regular summer salary.

4.   Requirements

5.   Evaluation Guidelines

The FDC will evaluate the individual course development proposals according to the following criteria and expects all materials to be prepared in clear and concise language that can be easily understood by reviewers from other disciplines.

D.    Special Project Grants Policy

Purposes
Special project grants have two purposes: The first is to provide expenses which support projects for academic leave, summer stipend, and individual course development grants; the second is to provide, within budgetary limits, the funding of separate projects which cannot be funded within the guidelines of other institutional grant offerings.

1.   Requests for and Submissions of Proposals

The VPFSA shall notify the faculty of proposal deadlines and make proposal forms available. Requests for the first category of special project grants which provide expense monies for academic leave, summer stipend, and individual course development grants should be submitted to the VPFSA at the same time that project proposals are submitted to the FDC. For a proposal to be considered, the faculty member must be recommended for an academic leave, summer stipend, or, when applicable, an individual course development grant, and should follow the guidelines as set down below. Requests for the second category of special project grants will be entertained in the spring semester, if funds are available. The VPFSA shall issue a call for the second category of special project grants and make proposal forms available in the Office of Academic Affairs.

2.   Announcements

The VPFSA shall forward his or her recommendations to the President of the University. Notification of the award of special project grants attached to other awards will accompany presidential letters of notification, co-signed by the FDC Chair, for academic leave, summer stipend, and individual course development grants. Presidential letters of awards for independent special project grants shall be co-signed by the FDC Chair and sent to the recipients in the spring.

3.   Eligibility

Faculty members who apply for an academic leave, summer stipend, or individual course development award may apply concurrently for a special project grant to provide for expense monies according to the procedures contained below. All members of the faculty, whether full time or part time, are eligible to apply for special project grants when availability of funds is announced.

4.   Requirements

5.   Evaluation Guidelines

The VPFSA will evaluate the special project grant proposals according to the following criteria and expects all materials to be prepared in clear and concise language that can be easily understood by reviewers from other disciplines.

6.    The special project grant application will be directed to the VPFSA, who will recommend funding in accordance with the guidelines in the Statement on Faculty Development. Within the following limitations, any budget item will be considered a justifiable expense provided the faculty member needs this item to complete the proposed work:

a.   Travel and Per Diem expenses

If travel and per diem are included in the budgets of proposals, actual working days’ expenses for room and meals, automobile travel at the University rate per mile (see Use of Personal Vehicles for University Business in the handbook Fiscal Affairs Policies and Procedures), and coach rate air travel may be included. The automobile expenses cannot exceed the coach rate air fare for the same routing. Since all grants are for exact amounts, there will be no adjustments made for costs which are not anticipated and recorded in the proposal budget.

b.   Publications Support

The sponsorship of publication or page charges is the individual responsibility of the author. If the author determines that these costs must or should be paid, it is incumbent on that author to show both this necessity and the advantage to Trinity University in paying the charges. This is done by outlining the justification in a separate request for funding to the VPFSA. If funds for publication are available, the VPFSA will review these requests with the understanding that, with the limited budget available to it, publication support will be given low priority in funding considerations. Other sources of publication support should be exhausted before the VPFSA is approached for this type of funding.

c.   Student Support

Student assistance will be supported on FDC-sponsored grants only when it is a demonstrably integral and necessary part of the research project. It will not be supported when funding is basically designed as a means of financial aid to the student.

d.   Faculty Salaries

Special project grant funds will not be used to support faculty salaries.

e.   Projects with Commercial Potential

Any profits exceeding $2,500 resulting from the commercial use of research supported by summer stipends, small grants, or academic leaves shall be reimbursed to Trinity University funds for faculty development at a rate of 50 percent of the profits up to the full amount of the summer stipend and small grant or up to twenty-five percent of the amount of the academic leave.


IV.    OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES

As part of its responsibilities to monitor and promote faculty development at Trinity University, the FDC has as one of its functions the oversight of faculty development activities handled by other parts of the University during the academic year: the discretionary funds available to the faculty, the released-time arrangements not covered earlier in this document, and the course development awards.

A.    The FDC Executive Committee will receive a listing at the end of each semester of all applications made to and awards made from the discretionary funds held by the AVPAA:CFD. It may suggest guidelines or advise alterations of existing guidelines on the purposes and the system of allocating such awards.

B.    Each semester the FDC Executive Committee shall receive a listing from the VPFSA of all released-time arrangements that are directly or indirectly justified on the basis of faculty development. The FDC may suggest guidelines or advise alteration of existing guidelines on the purposes and manner of making such arrangements.

C.    The Executive Committee will be consulted by the University Curriculum Council before it nominates individuals for participation in course development groups. The Executive Committee shall monitor the announcement and the process of designation to ensure that such faculty development opportunities be extended in conformity with the procedures followed for the other development awards administered by the FDC.


V.    IMPLEMENTATION AND AMENDMENT

A.    Implementation

The Trinity University Statement on Faculty Development shall become effective when approved by: 

  1. A two-thirds majority of the membership of the Trinity University Faculty Senate; 

  2. A simple majority of the members of the Trinity University Academic Faculty; and 

  3. The Trinity University Board of Trustees.

B.    Amendments

Proposed changes in this document will be circulated in writing to the Academic Faculty at least thirty days prior to a meeting of the Academic Faculty. The changes proposed by the FDC or by the Faculty Senate become effective with the concurrence of the administration unless a member of the faculty requests that the changes be put on the agenda for consideration at the next Academic Faculty meeting.


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