Information for New and Prospective Faculty
About Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College is an undergraduate, residential, liberal arts college. Founded in 1862 by Swedish immigrants; it is the oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota. The college is guided by five core values: community, excellence, faith, justice, and service.
Gustavus offers students a liberal arts education of recognized excellence, provided by faculty who embody the highest standards of teaching and scholarship. Small classes, an active and embracing community, and personal attention are the hallmarks of the College, where many of its more than 2,400 full-time students engage in collaborative research with their professors.
The College is fully accredited and is well known for its strong writing, science, music, and award-winning community service programs. In addition, over 75 percent of students are involved in varsity or intramural athletics and many students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad.
Gustavus has hosted a local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa since 1983 and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference. At Gustavus Adolphus College, we seek to foster in students a capacity and passion for life-long learning. Our Institutional Student Learning Outcomes provide a foundation for such learning.
The City of Saint Peter
Saint Peter is a small city of approximately 11,000 residents. Nestled in the Minnesota River Valley, Saint Peter offers many of the amenities and attractions of a larger city without the congestion of a more densely-populated area. Housing is affordable and the city boasts arts venues, restaurants, shopping, and outdoor activities. Other major attractions, including the Mankato and Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan areas, are within driving distance.
College/city relations are strong. Gustavus faculty and staff appreciate the opportunity to be active, involved members of the Saint Peter community; they serve the city in government and advisory roles and play an active part in schools, community art and theatre projects, and other civic organizations. Students also constitute another significant link between town and college, through an extensive network of volunteer opportunities organized by the College’s office of Community-Based Service and Learning. Volunteer programs include tutoring in the schools, adult literacy and citizenship classes, elder care, and “Big Partners.” An increasing number of courses also bring students into the community in service-learning projects that address identifiable community needs.
For additional information about Saint Peter, visit the City of Saint Peter website.
Faculty Course Loads
Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty: The annual faculty course load for tenure-track and tenured faculty is six courses. This course assignment is designed to allow Gustavus faculty to maintain a balance between teaching and obligations to research, service to the College, and student advising.
Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: The regular course load for full-time non-tenure-track faculty is seven courses per year, generally three each semester and one in January. The January course is of an experiential type, normally in the instructor’s area of study.
Evaluation of Faculty Performance
Performance evaluation (fully described in the Faculty Handbook section of the Faculty Book) is the responsibility of individual departments, the Faculty Personnel Committee, and the Third Year Review Subcommittee until a faculty member is promoted to full professor. The review process includes class visits and student evaluations of teaching. The faculty member under review submits a written statement presenting evidence in support of each criterion for retention and promotion listed in the Faculty Manual (i.e., excellence as a teacher, an emerging pattern of professional activities, an emerging pattern of involvement in the activities of the College, and evidence of sympathy with the mission of the College).
At Gustavus, we know that faculty are at the heart of our mission; we are committed to creating a faculty-friendly community where professional success is valued as much as personal wellbeing. Several College policies provide flexibility and support to faculty members throughout their careers.
Professional Leave (Sabbatical)
After six years of active service, faculty members are eligible for a one-semester sabbatical at full pay or a full year sabbatical at two-thirds pay. Sabbaticals are assigned through a competitive application process. Anyone granted a sabbatical must provide a report upon return to the College.
Anyone with a disability may apply for a modification or adjustment of a job, work environment, policy, practice, or procedure that will enable that individual to enjoy equal employment opportunity with others. Reasonable accommodations are negotiated on an individual basis through the Human Resources Office and the Office of the Provost.
Tenure Clock Alteration
The tenure clock may be stopped for as many as two years for parental leaves. The clock can also be stopped for catastrophic illness, family emergencies, and for leave without pay. Pauses in the tenure clock must be requested through the Office of the Provost in accordance with our governing documents.
Voluntary Appointment Reduction Option for Tenured Faculty (VARO)
The Voluntary Appointment Reduction Option (VARO) is a program that allows tenured faculty to voluntarily trade income for a reduced teaching appointment. VARO permits faculty to reduce their teaching appointment to reflect personal and professional needs and interests.
Retirement Options for Tenured Faculty
In addition to traditional retirement, the College offers a phased retirement (PRO) option. PRO allows a transition of up to three years teaching a reduced load prior to retirement.
Resources for Faculty Support
The John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning (KCEL) is a resource center for Gustavus faculty at all stages of their careers. The KCEL hosts events designed to bring together faculty for focused conversation on pedagogy, assessment of student learning, and collaboration among colleagues.
Start-Up Funds: The College provides start-up funds for new tenure-track faculty members. Start-up funds are negotiated on an individual basis at the time of hire. Amounts vary across fields depending on the costs required to develop a program of scholarship or research. Separate from start-up funds, all incoming tenure-track faculty members are provided library funds to build collections in their discipline.
Internal Grants: Gustavus strives to support faculty in research and scholarly endeavors. In support of this mission, a number of funding opportunities are available through the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. For information about internal funding opportunities, visit their Grant Opportunities page.
Grant-Writing Support: The Office of Government Grants and Sponsored Programs assists faculty in identifying potential external funding sources, in developing grant proposals for both individual and institutional initiatives, in managing funded projects, and in reporting on the use of grants funds.
Permanent Residency Assistance
Gustavus Adolphus College sponsors and process several types of permanent residence petitions for those faculty who occupy positions that qualify for sponsorship. For more detailed information on the process as well as qualification criteria, please contact Julie Kline, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, for additional information.
Health and Wellbeing
Gustavus subscribes to a wellbeing model that identifies nine areas an individual should focus on in order to live a healthy life: Emotional, Physical, Relational, Spiritual, Intellectual, Career, Financial, Environmental, and Vocational. The Gustavus Wellbeing for Employees (WE) program offers educational opportunities, assessment tools, and physical activity experiences so that employees can achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Programs are available free of charge or at a minimal cost to employees. Personalized fitness appointments and personal training are also available free of charge through the Health and Exercise Science department.