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POLICY NO. 16

Categories Policies

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

SECTION 1.         GENERAL

1.1       Scope - Rule regarding faculty development in the State College System of West Virginia.

1.2       Authority - West Virginia Code § 18B-1-6, 18B-7-5.

1.3       Filing Date - June 22, 1988

1.4       Effective Date -August 21, 1988

1.5       Replaces Title 131, Procedural Rule, Series 64

1.6       Effective Date:           March 21, 2002 

SECTION 2.         DEFINITIONS

2.1       Teaching, expanding knowledge and creativity, and devoting knowledge to public service are the primary goals of Bluefield State College. These goals are achieved primarily by and through college faculty. Therefore, the efforts of the institution in supporting, developing, and renewing the faculty members directly involved in helping West Virginians learn are vitally important to accomplishing the mission and goals of institutions of higher education.

2.2       The Bluefield State College Board of Governors recognizes the general and specific benefits derived from efforts to improve faculty members' personal and professional effectiveness. Students rely on current, knowledgeable, and relevant instruction and benefit from research that improves teaching skill and knowledge. The people and economy of West Virginia benefit from new applications of a knowledge and technology that enable more and better jobs, a higher standard of living, and enhanced knowledge and quality of life. Faculties and individual faculty members benefit from being able to teach, acquire a new knowledge, serve public needs, and perform institutional and professional roles more effectively. The institution benefits from enhanced capacity and flexibility to carry out its mission in an era where it is more practical to enhance or renew skills and knowledge of existing faculty members.

2.3       Therefore, the board affirms the unique, integral contribution of faculty members to the mission of higher education: teaching, producing scholarly work that contributes to knowledge and creativity, and serving public and institutional needs. The board further recognizes through its policy and actions that the knowledge and skills of faculties and individual faculty members need to be developed, maintained, supported, and renewed, and that the primary responsibility for accomplishing these ends resides at the institutional level. 

SECTION 3.         DEFINITION OF FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

3.1       Faculty development includes all activities designed to improve faculty performance in all aspects of their professional lives: as teachers stimulating and guiding student learning, as scholars, advisers, designers and evaluators of academic programs and courses, academic leaders, contributors to public service, participants in institutional decisions, and in other faculty roles for achieving the college's mission.

3.2       Examples of valid, tangible faculty development activities include, but are not limited to: sabbatical or academic leaves to complete a doctorate, expand existing knowledge, learn a new field needed in the curriculum, or achieve other purposes; workshops for improving faculty teaching skills; workshops and internships to enhance faculty roles in academic leadership; seed money grants that enable faculty to pursue larger, external grants or contracts; projects to improve student advising or assessment of student learning; summer grants or summer mini-sabbaticals to develop a needed new program or course, conduct research on teaching, or accomplish other beneficial aims; attendance at academic conferences and meetings; and programs to better orient faculty members and improve their skills. 

SECTION 4.         FACULTY ELIGIBILITY AND PARTICIPATION

4.1       Eligibility. Any person who is a full-time or part-time faculty member of Bluefield State College is eligible for faculty development as determined by the institution. Full-time faculty members, including division and department chairpersons, are eligible to apply for all faculty development activities. Part-time faculty members are eligible to apply for all faculty development activities and awards except sabbatical leaves, leaves without pay, and mini-grants. In supporting faculty development for full-time and part-time faculty members, factors to be considered include the potential benefits and costs in the institution, the academic program, and the faculty member.

4.2       Participation. As noted elsewhere in this rule, faculty members are responsible for improving their professional effectiveness, and the institution is responsible for encouraging and motivating faculty members to participate in faculty development activities. 

SECTION 5.         COLLEGE: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1       Governance Roles: The president, in consultation with the faculty, shall establish institutional policy on faculty development consistent with this rule.

5.1.1    The president, in consultation with the faculty, shall establish a faculty development program. The institution may have a separate program for faculty development or a professional development program combining faculty development with other professional development according to the institution's needs and resources. If the institution provides a combined professional development program, the appropriate groups representing the participants shall be consulted and involved in creating and operating that program. Through these faculty development or professional development programs, the institution shall conduct in-house faculty and professional development activities. Cooperation with the faculty development programs of other colleges and universities is also encouraged. The institution is responsible for assessing faculty development needs and for utilizing a variety of development activities appropriate to their mission to meet the development needs of less experienced probationary faculty and experienced, tenured faculty. The institution should strive for a balance of individual-oriented and group-oriented development activities to achieve a well-functioning program, and should periodically evaluate the results of their program.

5.1.2    The president and chief academic officer at the college have the responsibility to exert leadership and support for faculty development since such administrative support is instrumental to achieving the personal and institutional benefits of faculty development.

5.1.3    he president, in consultation with the faculty, should establish appropriate organizational structures, procedures, standards, and criteria for operating and assessing a faculty development program. These structures may include a faculty development committee, faculty development coordinator, and other structures appropriate to the mission, size, and needs of the institution.

5.2       Financial Roles. Research and experience show that faculty development is most effective when dependable, consistent funding enables proper planning and implementation of development programs. In order to achieve continuity of financial support for faculty development, the institution should establish a benchmark level of financial commitment to faculty development which the college should meet or surpass each year. This level can be expressed as a percentage of its educational and general expenditures or by some other appropriate measure. The level of financial effort should be appropriate to the college's mission and needs, and should be adjusted biennially to reflect changes in mission and needs.

5.2.1    The institution has the responsibility to pursue funding for faculty development, including applying for r government or private grants or contracts, reallocating existing campus resources, or allocating funds from the institutional collection and retention of higher education resource fees or faculty improvement fees.

5.2.2    The institution has the responsibility for providing financial and logistical support to operate its faculty development program, including providing office space, administrative, clerical, and other necessary support.

5.2.3    The institution is expected to establish a campus faculty leave fund to hire temporary replacements for faculty on leave. 

SECTION 6.         INDIVIDUAL FACULTY MEMBER: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1       Faculty members, in accordance with the best traditions of higher education, have a responsibility to improve their effectiveness in carrying out their professional roles.

6.2       Applicants for faculty development awards shall complete a faculty development plan, if required by the college, for eligibility for faculty development project awards.

6.3       Applicants for faculty development may be asked to submit to the college a detailed plan of activity to be followed.

6.4       In accepting award of a faculty development proposal, the person shall sign a statement indicating awareness of and agreement to all the conditions specified in the proposal. Faculty members are responsible for using award funds for the legitimate purposes specified in their plan agreement.

6.5       Where the college deems appropriate, a faculty member shall file with the president or the president's designee a written final report of development activities, results, and anticipated benefits to the faculty member and institution. A written final report may not be appropriate for all development projects.

6.6       Faculty members engaging in development activities are responsible for sharing their new learning or skills with other colleagues via publication, report, seminar, workshop, tutoring, or other appropriate ways of communicating among professionals. 

SECTION 7.         FUNDING

7.1       Funding for faculty development activities may come from appropriated funds, government grants or contracts, private grants or contracts, or institutionally collected and retained higher edcation resource fees or faculty improvement fees. 

SECTION 8.         AUTHORIZED EXPENDITURES

8.1       Compensation to Individuals. Funds allocated for faculty development may be used to compensate or pay expenses for faculty members who are pursuing additional academic study or training, engaging in scholarship or other creative activity, pursuing teaching and instructional improvement, serving as faculty development coordinator, or performing other responsibilities consistent with board and institutional policy or to compensate other individuals to allow faculty members to pursue development activities on released time.

8.2       Institutional Support. Permissible support activities include, but are not limited to, providing for office space and administrative support for faculty development programs; and providing equipment and materials necessary for improving teaching, conducting research, or pursuing other valid development activities.

8.3       All expenditures must be consistent with institutional policy and regulations.