Applying to be Faculty Director of a Gustavus Semester Program

Pamela Kittelson

Read the document "Is This For You?" to help you decide if this is something you'd like to do, and read what prior leaders have to say about it.

Eligibility and Compensation

Gustavus has three semester programs led by Gustavus faculty:

  • Social Justice, Peace and Development: Semester in India (SJPD). This program is a consortium between Gustavus, Concordia College/Morehead and Visthar, an NGO in Bangalore, India. A Gustavus faculty member leads the program in Fall of odd years, and a Concordia faculty member leads in Fall of even years.
  • Semester in Sweden. January and Spring of odd years.
  • Semester in Malaysia: Living Diversity. Spring of even years. (First offering in Spring 2014.)

Each program is led by a faculty director and, depending on the program and the specific year, a back-up person who accompanies the group, or on-site staff who assist in the program logistics and instruction when appropriate.

The role of faculty director is open to all tenured faculty and administrators who hold appropriate academic qualifications and have been employed by the college for at least six years.

The semester spent supervising the faculty directed program along with activities on campus in the semesters before and following the off-campus program count as one half of the teaching load for the academic year, typically the equivalent of three courses taught on-campus.

Compensation for a member of the faculty or an administrator serving as faculty director is full salary and benefits for the term of the program and payment of all direct program-related expenses other than personal and incidental expenses. Transportation expenses for spouses/partners or children of the faculty director are not covered.


The faculty director has primary responsibility for the academic components of the program. The semester spent supervising the faculty directed program along with activities on campus in the semesters before and following the off-campus program, count as one-half of the teaching load for the academic year, typically the equivalent of three courses taught on-campus. However, unlike an on-campus course, the faculty director assumes numerous other roles and has 24-7 responsibility for the welfare of the students. The faculty director must at times act in the role of Dean of Students, counselor, financial consultant, health adviser, etc.

The faculty director works closely with the Director of CICE the semester before and the semester of the program. Pre-departure communication to persons in the host country are primarily routed through the CICE but, depending on the faculty director’s knowledge of the program location, he or she is often very involved in helping to design and coordinate on-site logistics such as meetings, travel plans, health and safety oversight, etc. The Director of CICE will be in regular contact with the faculty director during the semester program via email, cell phone, or Skype.

Pre-departure Responsibilities

  • Develop a course: Depending on the program, the faculty director may be asked to develop one course within his/her discipline giving special attention to unique educational, cultural, and/or geographical aspects of the program site. The full course proposal is due 16 months preceding the program and, like other off-campus course proposals, goes to IDPC and then to the full faculty for approval.
  • Recruit students: CICE and the faculty director share this responsibility. The faculty director is expected to host interest meetings the semester prior to the program’s departure, actively promote the program, and attend the Fall Study Abroad Fair organized by CICE. General promotion is the responsibility of CICE.
  • Select program participants through the following process:
    • The faculty director reviews applications and, in consultation with CICE, makes final decisions about program applicants.
    • Each student applies in the same manner as for any other off-campus study program, with an application and supplemental materials to CICE, and CICE follows its usual procedures in processing applications.
    • As with any other off-campus study application, the names of students are sent to the appropriate administrative offices on campus to ensure that students are not on academic or disciplinary probation, and to allow appropriate screening of applicants by the Counseling Center and the Disability Services Office.
    • When student files are complete, the faculty leader interviews each candidate and makes recommendations on each student to the CICE who then informs each student of the status of their application. (See suggested selection criteria here.)
  • Orientation: Each semester program should include a pre-departure orientation developed collaboratively between the faculty director and the Director of CICE. One purpose of the orientation is to develop an esprit de corps among students, and to prepare students for what they will experience during the upcoming semester. The faculty director is expected to be present at this orientation.

During the Program Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with CICE to communicate information to on-site coordinators/instructors (before and during program).
  • Collaborate with CICE for on-site logistics:
    • Travel, room, and board arrangements are preplanned and in most cases prepaid but the faculty director may need to troubleshoot if needed.
    • The faculty director has day‑to‑day responsibility for supervising group activities, confirming onward flights, and serving as general liaison between host coordinators/institutions, travel agents, Gustavus students and CICE.
  • Manage finances, including day‑to‑day monitoring of financial expenditures, collection of receipts, etc. Expenditures must be consistent with college-wide policies on expenditures and must be consistent with the program budget developed by the Director of CICE.
  • Assist student adjustment to cultural difference(s), to group living, and to family stays (if any).
  • Oversee the instructional program. The faculty director will:
    • teach one course, depending on the program;
    • help students integrate other course work through discussions and other appropriate means;
    • monitor other courses in the program;
    • report final grades for all courses to the Registrar;
    • keep students informed of course requirements, due dates for independent studies (in the rare instances approved), drop deadlines, etc.
  • Explore new program options. The faculty director may be asked to explore program development opportunities, such as new faculty, accommodations, excursions, or field experiences.

Post-Program Responsibilities

  • Evaluation. Since international offerings are not only courses but also on‑going programs, they need to be reviewed carefully and from a broad perspective. The following procedure will be followed:
    • Upon return to campus, the faculty director submits a final report to the Director of CICE on all aspects of the program, including academic, housing, transportation, field trips, excursions, finances, site coordinators and relevant information related to the specific student group.
    • Students will be sent an on-line evaluation to assess all aspects of the program including academics and logistics. (The faculty director may wish to separately solicit student evaluations of the program, using the standard Gustavus evaluation form or another of his or her own choice.)
  • The faculty director shall attend re-entry meetings and activities such as a welcome back dinner.
  • The faculty member will help CICE organize and will attend an interest meeting to generate student interest for the next offering of the program.
  • The faculty member may be asked to attend part of the pre-departure orientation for the next student group.

Application Procedure

Faculty director position openings shall be announced to the faculty far enough in advance to ensure adequate planning time (two years prior is likely). Applicants will be asked to complete the Faculty director application, which includes a brief statement about interest in the program, qualifications, an explanation of how or if they will be replaced during their period of absence from the College, and a general description of a course the applicant proposes to teach. The Director of CICE receives applications and forwards them to the selection committee.

Each applicant shall be interviewed. The interview committee will include the Director of CICE, two program directors for faculty-led programs, at least one returning student from the same program, and the chair of IDPC who will chair the interview committee. (If the program is new, faculty and students may be chosen from appropriate departments or interdisciplinary programs.) The committee will make its recommendations for appointment to the Provost of the College. Final responsibility for appointment rests with the Provost of the College.

If the committee recommends a candidate who is an administrator who does not have affiliation with an academic department, the Provost of the College in consultation with the appropriate department and division chairs will confer faculty status according to the provisions for part-time faculty appointments.

In making its selection, the committee shall take into account these factors:

  • Anticipated strength of applicants to work with a group of students over an extended period of time in stressful situations and under differing cultural conditions.
  • Availability of applicants to participate in student recruitment, orientation, and re-entry in the academic year prior to and the semester that follows the study abroad program.
  • Expertise in program content, geographic, and cultural knowledge of host site(s), or the potential for this expertise to develop.
  • The appropriateness and strength of course proposed to be taught by applicants.
  • Professional development considerations, including the potential for strengthening the on-campus curriculum and programs as a result of the study abroad experience.
  • Potential for strengthening international programs at Gustavus Adolphus through continued involvement and support across the campus.

The department’s, department chair’s and the Provost’s support of a faculty applicant to be faculty director are important. For the professional welfare of faculty leading a field-supervised program, departments are encouraged to consider the significant professional benefits that program participation can have for individual faculty, for the academic programs of the department, and for the students, faculty, and curriculum of the college as a whole.

Interested faculty are encouraged, as a first step, to talk with the Director of CICE at least a month before the application deadline about their interest in applying, and request information about the positions and application forms. Applicants should submit the complete application to the Director of CICE by the stated deadline.

Applications to lead semester programs may be found under Forms.

For additional information, contact Carolyn O'Grady.



Material on the Information for Faculty pages is from the IDPC Program Manual originally approved by the faculty on May 5, 2008. Revisions approved April 30, 2010.