Director is calling it quits and leaves for Vietnam in December.
Yes, I am hanging up my Faculty Development hat, and passing the torch to a soon-to-be named successor. The Faculty Development Committee, under Bob Werner's leadership, is currently examining applications for Director and interviewing applicants for the position. Three years ago, I surveyed the UST faculty to learn what they really wanted Faculty Development to do for them, so let me give you an update of how the Center for Faculty Development has responded to your feedback.
The overwhelming majority of faculty asked for support for scholarly activity and teaching resources. Toward that end,
• Despite the economic downturn, the grants program of Faculty Development has supported course release, research expenses, provided stipends, or travel funds to an average of 70 faculty for a total of about $180,000 per year. In addition, FD has paid an average of $30,000 in stipends per year to an average of 80 faculty participants in summer seminars or workshops. Increased interest in the FD grants program means eight committee members are now reviewing well over 100 proposals each year.
• In the past three years, the Center has offered workshops and summer seminars on scholarly writing, forming writing groups, various aspects of the IDEA system (choosing course goals, course design, interpreting results), online activities for blended (hybrid) courses, infusing sustainability initiatives into courses, work-life balance, and an assortment of other topics.
• This year, the Center will host Fabulous Friday, a late afternoon conversation over wine and cheese designed to bring mid-career faculty together to talk about "what's next" on their agendas.
• Synergia, the quarterly newsletter of the Center, adopted a new format, added some new columns on Profiles in Teaching, and went online, where it may have lost significant readership. In keeping with our campus focus on sustainability and reduction of paper waste, we have to re-examine how best to provide teaching tips, stories of classroom successes, notices of workshops, grant deadlines, etc. in the future.
• The new faculty orientation program has expanded from a Saturday afternoon (a decade ago) to a year-long multi-faceted experience, the reviews of which get better each year as the program is fine-tuned and improved.
And yes, in December, I am departing for a month-long visit to Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and by the time I return there will be a new Director of Faculty Development with a new agenda to serve the UST faculty next year.