6.5 FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
The institution provides ongoing professional development opportunities for faculty members as teachers, scholars, and practitioners, consistent with the institutional mission.
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North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is committed to ongoing professional development of faculty as instructors, scholars and researchers. Various units on campus provide multiple opportunities for professional development. Throughout the academic year, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), in the Division of Academic Affairs; the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence (CLOE), in the Division of Human Resources; and the Center for Distance Education and Extended Learning, in the Division of Academic Affairs, offer a wide variety of professional development opportunities for all faculty—full-time and part-time. Tenured and tenure-track faculty also benefit from professional development related to their research productivity and outreach activities. For instance, the Division of Research conducts regular training for new and continuing faculty on research methods, proposal development, and research ethics. Part-time faculty have no research or outreach obligations to the university. Examples of professional development activities include CLOE’s Teaching and Learning Practices badges and the CTE’s professional development conferences. All faculty who teach online, be they full-time or part-time faculty, are first trained by the Office Distance Education and Extended Learning (DEEL) and the Instructional Technology Training and Development (ITTD) unit provides a wide variety of in distance education-related workshops that support continued professional development.
The variety of professional development activities available to faculty at the institution include AggiesLEAD Digital Badges; Professional Development Day; and the Empowered to Lead Conference. These opportunities are shared with faculty at the beginning of each semester via emails. These workshops and other events are also publicized through frequent University Communications and bi-weekly Human Resources listserv announcements. As faculty and staff enroll in and complete these “courses,” certificates are awarded. As faculty master certain “competencies,” an online portal tracks and awards an AggiesLEAD digital badge. Earned badges are often displayed by the faculty and identify those who have achieved.
Together with these professional development opportunities, each academic department receives professional development funds as part of its annual operations budget. These funds reimburse faculty expenses for attending conferences and workshops that are more specifically related to their academic disciplines. Tenured and tenure-track faculty also have a variety of special opportunities for longer-term professional development, for example, release time, and travel grants.
Faculty members are constantly reminded of the professional development opportunities, through the Internet, but also through University Communications, via email blasts, and other social media tools. Faculty also become aware of professional development opportunity through academic departments and colleges and through their professional organizations.
The N.C. A&T Faculty Handbook, Section 6.9.2 describes the institution’s policy regarding Extended Leave of Absence. Full-time tenured faculty may request that extended leave for professional growth be granted for the purpose of study, research, or other professional services. These leaves of absences must be approved by their Department Chair, their College Dean, and the Provost.
The N.C. A&T Faculty Handbook, Appendices E-1 and E-2 provides for Waiver of Tuition and Fees for Faculty and Staff of the University of North Carolina. Permanent, full-time faculty (or staff) of the University of North Carolina (UNC) may request adjustments in their normal employment schedules to take advantage of this tuition waiver. Faculty (or staff) seeking this waiver must be accepted into the program if the course is to be taken at another UNC institution. In addition, their supervisor/department chair must agree that taking this course will not interfere with normal employment obligations, or agree to alter those obligations to accommodate the course. Only three course may be taken during the academic year.
The Faculty Reassigned Time Policy provides for a substantial period of uninterrupted time for a full-time tenured faculty member with more than seven years of service to obtain professional leave that is similar to a sabbatical. Faculty must apply a year before the leave and their proposal is reviewed by the Chair, Dean, and the University Reassigned Time for Faculty Committee. Upon return to service, the faculty member must write a report on their accomplishments during this time. Two (2) faculty took advantage of this reassigned time in the last five years.
One measure of evidence that faculty are actively engaged in professional development activities is through self-reporting by each faculty member when they update Digital Measures, maintained by OSPIE. Because Digital Measures is a self-reporting repository, not all faculty have entered their data. Institutional records show that approximately $2.5m were spent in professional travel done outside the institution between January 2019 and December 2019. The funding support came from several sources, including state appropriations, funded research and philanthropy.
On-campus evidence that faculty are actively engaged in professional development activities is available through attendance data and other measures gathered by the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence (CLOE), Instructional Technology Training and Development (ITTD), the Division of Research and Economic Development (DoRED), the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), STEM, ADVANCE IT, Bluford Library, and departments and colleges. CTE workshops serve an average of 25 faculty each time, and the CLOE training served 309 faculty between August and December 2019.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State provides ongoing professional development opportunities for faculty members as teachers, scholars, and practitioners, consistent with its institutional mission. As evidenced by the narrative and summary of activities, N.C. A&T is committed to the development of all its faculty.