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3.7 Faculty

Comprehensive Standard: 3.7.3 The institution provides ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. (Faculty development)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents requires that each member institution provide opportunities and support for the continuous professional growth and development of all faculty. No distinction is made to faculty status in the stated policy. The Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.14 stipulates:

"In keeping with the University System of Georgia’s commitment to excellence, each institution shall have a campus-wide professional growth and development program that supports the continuous improvement of all faculty in their roles as teachers; scholars/researchers; and professionals engaged in service to the institution, the community, and the profession. Each institution’s program must be intentionally aligned with the institution’s mission, key initiatives, and strategic plan. The program must cultivate and sustain a culture in which faculty professional development is valued and pervasive" [1].

The University of West Georgia offers a range of opportunities for faculty to engage in varied and recurring faculty development and professional growth activities. The Faculty Development Committee of the University of West Georgia Faculty Senate has substantial responsibility for structuring and supporting the University of West Georgia faculty development and professional growth activities. The Faculty Development Committee, elected from various academic units, supports the professional development of faculty and staff by recommending policy concerning promotion and tenure, reviewing pedagogy for distance and classroom learning, and determining the allocation of certain UWG grant support.  Additionally, the committee serves in an advisory capacity on faculty and institutional research, institutional diversity, sponsored operations, and other faculty development issues as may be requested by administration [2].  As a result, The University of West Georgia provides multiple resources that serve to facilitate, enhance, and promote faculty development.

Support for Grants 

In order to support faculty as they establish, refine, and expand their scholarly and creative work, the University offers several internal grants and grant support.  These include: Faculty Research Grants (awarded annually), Seed Grants (awarded for summer 2011, [3]), and grant support services, which are available through the Office Research and Sponsored Projects [4].

The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) offers regular and by-request, educational programming for faculty pursuing external funding.  Programming in the past has included seminars on the theory of grant writing, grant classes tailored to the specific needs of individual colleges, and workshops on specific grant programs [5].  Programming in the upcoming academic year will feature seminars from Pre-award and Post-award services, and Compliance, and will continue to provide workshops on high-value grant programs, such as NSF CAREER and NIH R15 awards. ORSP regular programming will be announced on the updated ORSP website, the UWG Daily Report, and the newly created college-specific Google Groups "listservs", as faculty outreach remains a significant challenge.  

One of many goals of the University of West Georgia programs is to promote greater faculty engagement and success in securing external funding for their work.  In this regard, data in the table below suggest that these efforts have been successful.  

Outcome

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11*

2011/12

1.

Total external dollars requested to support research/creative activity**

$4,106,966

$5,640,807

$4,649,012

$10,901,962.75

2.

Total external dollars awarded to support research/creative activity***

$1,647,530

$2,499,701

$2,915,331

$4,053,061

 

 

 

 

 

-    Total external dollars received****

$1,629,702

$1,873,337

$2,311,260

$3,284,102

-    Total external dollars expended*****

$1,944,277

$1,633,335

$2,246,549

$2,215,321

-    Total indirect costs recovered by UWG  (Revenue Recorded)

$58,473

$18,379

$25,953

$179,094

3.

Number of proposals submitted for external funding

55

46

79

64

4.

Number of faculty members submitting proposals for external funding

75

75

82

43

* Data for 2010/2011 are estimated
** Reflects total dollar amount of funds requested in proposals submitted during the year
*** Reflects total amount of new awards received in current year (e.g., for a $100,000 award that was awarded by the funder in FY11 but was to be used over two consecutive years, the amount included would be the total award of $100,000)
**** Reflects total dollars received from external funding agencies for use in the current year (e.g., $50,000 of the total $100,000 was provided by the funder during the first FY of the two-year project)
***** Reflects total dollars expended on research/creative activity during the current fiscal year (e.g., of the $50,000 received from the funder for year one, the project only expended $42,315 and will carry over the balance for use in the second year)

The University of West Georgia facilitates the improvement and enhancement of faculty teaching through educational opportunities provided by the following departments and programs:

Distance and Distributed Education

To support the continued development of faculty teaching online and hybrid courses, the UWG Online Faculty Success Team oversees a training and faculty development model using both traditional face-to-face approaches and trainings via emerging technologies.


The Faculty Development Center created and implemented a UWG Online Certification cohort model for online instructors which is offered quarterly and also hosts a variety of face-to-face topical workshops with registration available through the UWG Online Faculty webpage training calendar [6]. In addition, the Faculty Development Center has created a variety of self-paced video and print tutorials to assist faculty teaching online with frequently asked questions and to complement face-to-face workshops and certification programs [6].

Additionally, the Faculty Development center hosts the iApollo ListServ [7] to provide synchronous webinar training sessions on timely online teaching and topics requested by faculty [8]. This initiative helps to increase collaboration, to promote more social learning environment, and to advance networking and sharing the best practices.

UWise [9]

UWise (University of West Georgia Institutional STEM Excellence) is funded by Georgia Board of Regents STEM II Initiative.

The focus of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) workshops and assessment is to help STEM faculty to conduct pedagogical research for the purpose of improving student outcomes and teaching effectiveness. In these workshops, the participants reflect on their teaching practices, identify appropriate instruments to assess and analyze the data. Currently, twelve faculty members from COSM and one from COE, who have received UWise mini-grants to improve introductory STEM courses, are participating in these workshops and follow up sessions since Nov, 2012. Dr. Cher Hendricks, Research Scientist from Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), Georgia Tech, Atlanta, who is also an external evaluator of UWise (University of West Georgia Institutional STEM Excellence) is conducting the workshops.

TecHub

Support and professional development are also provided by TecHUB (formerly the Teaching Materials Center). Managed by the College of Education, TecHub offers training and resources to enhance the quality of innovative instructional practices and expand the use of digital and web-based instructional materials [10].

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) offers free classes to faculty and staff for many common applications used at UWG campuses [11].

Professional Leave

Further investment into faculty development is reflected in the University’s professional leave policy.  Outlined in the Faculty Handbook section 112.01 [12], professional leave affords qualified faculty members the opportunity for one semester of full-time, paid commitment to professional development or two semesters of half-time release for these activities. The information regarding the faculty who received professional leave over the last five years (2007-2012) is available [13].

Colleges/Departments

In addition to the Institution-wide professional development opportunities, individual colleges and departments also support the professional growth of faculty.  The Richards College of Business [14] and the College of Education [15], for example, offer awards to support professional development. Individual departments offer funds to subsidize travel to professional conferences; these funds change based on yearly budget allocations. 

Supporting Documentation: