Faculty Development Comprehensive Plan


May 1, 2000

SECTION A: Statement of Philosophy

Faculty development at Gustavus Adolphus College is a central expression of the college's commitment to "a liberal arts education of recognized excellence provided by faculty who embody the highest standards of teaching and scholarship." Responsive to the professional needs and interests of each faculty member, the faculty development program includes support for faculty research, scholarship, and creativity, teaching initiatives, professional travel, and on-campus opportunities for focused conversation and collaboration among colleagues. Through its support of such opportunities, the faculty development program fosters the pursuit of teaching and scholarly excellence throughout all stages of each faculty member's career. At Gustavus Adolphus College, faculty development enhances the vitality and growth of the students, the faculty, and the college.

SECTION B: Statement of Purpose

The overarching goal of the faculty development program at Gustavus Adolphus College is to provide diverse forms of support that will enable the faculty to meet their wide variety of professional needs and pursue their professional interests. The program is designed to foster and facilitate on-going excellence in two primary areas of professional development: a) research, scholarship, and creativity, and b) teaching. These two areas are, of course, interrelated and mutually interdependent. Teachers who are active scholars, engaged in and aware of the ongoing expansion of knowledge within their academic fields, will bring their enthusiasm for their disciplines into the classroom and thus help foster within students a lifelong love of learning. Scholars who actively teach and reflect upon their teaching will bring into their research, scholarly, and creative endeavors the curiosity and insights that arise within the classroom. By meeting the needs of both these streams of the faculty's profession, the faculty development program at Gustavus Adolphus College nurtures among the faculty as a whole excellence as teacher-scholars.

The Comprehensive Plan for Faculty Development at Gustavus Adolphus College has six major components:

  1. Support for Faculty Research, Scholarship and Creativity
    In the recognition that ongoing research, scholarship, and creativity are
    vital elements of each faculty member's professional activity and contribute significantly to the learning of students and the intellectual culture of the college, the faculty development program offers financial support for these activities through grant programs and regularized sabbatical leaves. It is recognized that faculty scholarship may take multiple forms including: discovery, integration, application, and teaching.
  2. Support for Teaching and Learning
    In the recognition that teaching is central to the mission of the college, the learning of the students, and the scholarly vitality of the faculty, the faculty development program supports critical reflection upon pedagogical issues and methods through financial support, summer workshops, academic year discussion series, and mentoring.
  3. Support for the Curriculum
    In the recognition that the curriculum is shaped by what faculty teach and how they teach it, the faculty development program at Gustavus Adolphus College supports curriculum development through financial support for redesigning existing and creating new courses.
  4. College Community Professional Support
    Faculty, staff and students of the college form a community of learners who share an interest in academic inquiry. In the recognition that the community of learners at Gustavus Adolphus College, their needs and their interests are ever-changing, the faculty development program includes a variety of programs and resources that increase dialogue and foster the growth of the intellectual community; faculty, staff and students. These offerings typically focus on the group rather than the individual.
  5. Faculty Development Resources Support and Coordination
    In the recognition that faculty development efforts, flexibly responsive to the various needs and professional interests of individual faculty, can
    have maximum positive results when coordinated, the faculty development program includes leadership and administrative support for all elements of the program in the person of a faculty development coordinator. The faculty development coordinator will work closely with the Faculty Development Committee to address the professional needs of faculty.
  6. Support for On-going Assessment
    In recognition that resources must be used wisely to enhance what we do as teachers and learners and to fully understand the results of our attempts to help faculty, the faculty development program at the college is regularly reviewed by the Dean of the College, the Faculty Development Committee and the faculty as a whole. In addition, many of the program activities are evaluated upon their completion. More importantly, there is an on-going effort to evaluate the impact of our faculty development efforts on student learning.

Each element of the program addresses the goals of faculty and the goal of faculty development from a different perspective. No one component can meet all the development needs of faculty; together, the total program outlined by these components address the needs of faculty throughout their teaching careers and across the spectrum of their profession activities. While all components are not fully funded at this time, the plan serves as a "blueprint" for both resource allocation and fundraising.

SECTION C: Support for Faculty Research, Scholarship & Creativity

The faculty development program offers diverse forms of support for individual and collaborative research, scholarship as it is broadly defined, and creativity endeavors. Through this financial and resource assistance, the program encourages faculty to participate in the development of their disciplinary fields. Faculty committed to expanding their own expertise and knowledge are vital to students' learning experiences and to the College's intellectual community. A critical component of the comprehensive plan is the creation of a Professional Development Fund (PDA) to allow faculty to choose the most immediate of their development needs for funding.

Presidential Faculty/Student Collaborations Grants support four teams of faculty and students each summer as they work on collaborative projects. Between fifteen and twenty faculty members per year obtain support for individual undertakings through Research, Scholarship and Creativity Grants. A proposed additional grant opportunity (Changing Directions Grant) will provide funds for faculty to "change directions" in their research, scholarship or creative efforts. The College has two leave programs. The first offers fourth-year tenure-track faculty an opportunity to engage in pursuits that help to establish an emerging pattern of scholarship and creativity. The second is a regularized leave program for either one semester or an entire academic year.


  • Research, Scholarship and Creativity Grants
  • Faculty/Student Collaboration Grants
  • Changing Directions Grants (Proposed)
  • Faculty Conference Travel Fund (will become PDA)
  • Regularized Sabbatical Leave Program
SECTION D: Support for Teaching and Learning

Gustavus Adolphus College takes pride in its history as an institution where teaching is the primary focus for faculty. In light of that fact, opportunities that expand faculty expertise in pedagogy are a core component of faculty development at Gustavus. Faculty work has always been about enhancing student learning, and the faculty development program serves as a vehicle for connecting faculty to new perspectives about the teaching and learning process. Opportunities for faculty discussions, reflection, sharing of ideas and obtaining new insights are focused through the lens of student learning.

The commitment to improving the teaching-learning process at Gustavus is exemplified by the Library's successful application for a National Leadership Grant to collaborate with faculty on enhancing student's research skills, and the college's reception of a Lilly Grant for the expansion of the New Faculty Mentoring program. In addition, there is ongoing commitment to the First Year Seminar Summer Workshops, which have been designed to expand the processes used by faculty to meet the needs of first year students.

Current support for pedagogy conference attendance as well as information technology workshops and support offers opportunities for faculty to enhance the way they work with students. A proposed "Senior Scholar/Student Collaboration" program would add to this support. Such a program would allow senior scholars (semi-retired faculty nominated by departments) to continue their research and scholarship while working collaboratively with advanced students.

Opportunities for conversations based on teaching and learning issues are currently provided through the Teacher/s Talk (ing) sessions and the MOR for Your Teaching (Mentoring on Request). These aspects of the faculty development program, target specific needs identified by faculty for general discussion or individual support and would be expanded through proposed grant opportunities.

Other additions to these existing programs are proposed, pending the acquisition of additional grant monies, and would include: Summer workshops on teaching issues for small faculty cohort groups to enhance student learning; Teaching and Student Learning Grants to provide funds for the development of new methodologies or instructional strategies; and Departmental Grants to Enhance Teaching and Learning for departments wishing to explore teaching and learning strategies inherent to their field.


  • Summer Workshop on Teaching Issues (Proposed)
  • Teaching and Student Learning Grants (Proposed)
  • Department Grants to Enhance Teaching and Learning (Proposed)
  • Community Conversations/Learning Together
  • Teacher/s Talk(ing)
  • MOR for Your Teaching!
  • New Faculty Mentoring
  • Pedagogy Conference Attendance Grants
  • Senior Scholar/Student Collaboration Program (Proposed)
  • Information Technology Workshops and Support
  • FTS Summer Workshop
SECTION E: Curricular Support

The comprehensive faculty development plan contributes to the enhancement of the College curriculum through support for faculty efforts in course design and renewal. Both what faculty teach and how they teach shape the curriculum, and thus support for course development attends to both elements. Curriculum II Course Development Grants enable faculty teaching within this General Education program to design new courses or redesign old ones. Diversity Grants support the efforts of faculty to incorporate diverse (international, multi-ethnic, etc.) perspectives into the courses they teach. Gustavus Travel Course Grants enable faculty members to develop and prepare travel courses. The College's commitment to interdisciplinary course and program development has been exemplified by the Environmental-Studies Rockefeller Brothers Fund Grant enabling Environmental Studies faculty to develop introductory and capstone courses. In addition to these grants targeting the development of courses within specific areas, the proposed New Course Development Grant will enable faculty to develop new courses within any area of the College's curriculum, while the proposed Course Enhancement Grants will support faculty efforts to redesign their courses in light of the expansion of knowledge within their fields (content) and changing pedagogies.


  • Curriculum II Course Development Grants
  • New Course Development Grants (Proposed)
  • Course Enhancement Grants (Proposed)
  • Diversity Grants
  • Gustavus Travel Course Grants
  • Department and Program Enhancement Support (Proposed)
SECTION F: College Community Professional Support

Gustavus Adolphus College is a learning community of faculty, staff and students. The faculty development program at the college supports community-based professional learning by encouraging a wide variety of conversations among its members in a multiplicity of venues and media. Support to increase awareness and understanding of diversity is available from the Office of Multicultural Education. The Dean's Office provides support for Faculty Forum, Shoptalk, and Faculty Notes. Each encourages faculty to talk to one another about their areas of expertise and interest. Other faculty development conversations originate in academic departments and campus interest groups. Tuesday Conversations and the Women's Studies Explorations series are among the regularly scheduled conversations that intellectually stimulate the community. By participating in these community-based conversations we come together as learners to achieve our academic potential.


  • Diversity and Multicultural Education
  • Faculty Forum
  • Faculty Notes
  • Shoptalk
  • Department and program-based events
SECTION G: Faculty Development Resources and Coordination

A high quality, comprehensive faculty development program provides the resources to support faculty in their discovery of best practices and the needs of faculty in an ever-changing environment. For this reason it is necessary to maintain a small library with journals, books and other materials related to teaching and faculty development issues. Associations such as the Professional Organizational Network (POD), The Collaboration for Teaching and Learning and other similar organizations, provide faculty with unique opportunities to keep up to date with the best practices in faculty development. Memberships in such organizations offer discounts for faculty attending important conferences and workshops on teaching issues.

Faculty leadership enables the comprehensive plan for faculty development to achieve coherence. Oversight for all elements of the faculty development program rests with the elected Faculty Development Committee. The committee also serves in an advisory capacity to the Dean of the College in matters related to faculty development. To assist the committee and supervise programming, as well as to handle confidential development issues, a faculty member with course release serves as coordinator of the program. The faculty development coordinator is appointed by and reports to the Dean of the College. Faculty development activities are centered in the Faculty House, which provides an appropriate venue for workshops, discussions, and office for the faculty development coordinator.


  • Faculty Development Journals and Library
  • Faculty Development Association Memberships
  • Course Release for Faculty Development Coordinator and Office Support
SECTION H: Support for On-Going Assessment of Effectiveness

Any process of improvement requires an understanding of what has transpired and what is working. For this reason, an important component of a comprehensive faculty development plan is ongoing assessment of programming. All faculty development activity will be reviewed for its effectiveness. In addition an ongoing assessment team of 12 faculty and three facilitators will meet regularly to learn about the ways faculty come to improve teaching and student learning. More specifically they will examine. a) the motivation and commitment that lead faculty to pursue faculty development, engage in faculty professional service, and engage in research, b) the teaching changes that occur as a result of faculty development, faculty professional service, and research, and c) the student learning changes that occur as a result of the identified teaching changes. This analytical and reflective process will help to inform our definitions and our faculty development offerings. Findings will guide decisions about program priorities and about the recommendations that are made to faculty about their own activities to develop their skills.


  • Ongoing Assessment of Faculty Development Programming
  • Ongoing Research About the Impact of Faculty Development on Student Learning
SECTION I: Appendix

Funding Chart
Budget Summary
Faculty Survey
Bush Grant Items