Middlebury

 

Task Force on Staff Development and Professional Growth

Chair, Members, Advisory, Liaison

Drew Macan, Chair
Matt Biette
Dave Donahue
Patti McCaffrey
Patrick Norton
Dean Ouellette
Liza Sacheli
Harold Strassner
April Tuck
Barbara Hofer
Bob Huth, advisory
Charlotte Tate, liaison

Charge to Task Force

  • Identify ways to support the staff by expanding opportunities for the development and professional growth of staff employees (To confer as appropriate with the Staff Council Subcommittee on Staff Development)
  • Consider ways in which we can make it logistically feasible for staff members to participate in development opportunities while also doing the work needed to allow the College to function well
  • Identify how the College can best promote diversity within the staff (To confer as needed with the existing ad hoc Committee on Staff Diversity)

 

Executive Summary
May 2005

Note: Each Task Force Report is a collection of background information, analyses, and recommendations that are submitted to the Planning Steering Committee and the President. Over the summer, the Steering Committee and the President will review and discuss all 15 sets of recommendations together in the context of the College's available resources.

Purpose and Scope

Middlebury's core mission is "to provide the strongest learning environment we can to the talented young people who choose to study here." One strategy President Liebowitz identified to advance the mission was the professional development of staff.

The Task Force on Staff Development and Professional Growth was charged with the responsibility of:
• identifying ways to support the staff by expanding opportunities for the development and professional growth of staff employees,
• considering ways in which the College can make it logistically feasible for staff members to participate in development opportunities while also doing the work needed to allow the College to function well, and
• identifying how the College can best promote diversity within the staff.

Guiding Principles

The task force developed the following set of guiding principles to serve as the foundation for staff development relative to the mission of the College.
• Staff development is a critical investment at all levels of the institution.
• Access to staff development must be equitable and consistent throughout the College.
• Diversity is an integral aspect of staff development.
• As an educational institution, the College champions the value of lifelong learning and development throughout the organization.
• Staff development opportunities are communicated in as many ways as possible to reach all staff members.
• Staff development efforts are connected directly and clearly to the goals of the organization, allowing each staff member to contribute as a responsible citizen of the College community.
• Staff development takes many forms designed to meet the unique needs of individuals, their departments, and the College.

Definition of Staff Development

Staff development provides staff with the tools necessary to be active contributors to the College's mission. Initiated by supervisors or individuals, it is the means by which staff can gain the skills, knowledge, and abilities to support the evolving needs of the College. Staff development takes various forms, including but not limited to conferences, workshops, seminars, mentoring, and degree- or certificate-granting programs.

Methods

The task force hypothesized that staff development support is inconsistent across the College community and that there is not a unified cultural understanding of staff development and its connection to the College mission. It constructed surveys to assess staff development from the perspectives of department leaders and the general staff population. To gain an external perspective, the task force queried peer institutions and local businesses.