C.8. Faculty Professional Development
a. Professional Consultation. At least two terms before the first review (normally during the third semester of teaching), a faculty member on regular appointment will invite the department chair and one other tenured colleague to visit one class each. The faculty member will also discuss progress in scholarship with the chair of the department. Before the end of the term in which these visits occur, the chair will hold an oral consultation with the faculty member about his or her teaching and scholarship, based on the class visits, on the chair's reading of course evaluations, and on the faculty member's progress in scholarship. The other senior colleague who visited classes will be present at this consultation. The dean for faculty development and research (DFDR) will ensure that this process takes place.
b. Faculty Professional Development Fund. The general purpose of the Faculty Professional Development Fund (FPDF) is to benefit the College by strengthening the faculty in its various professional capacities. The fund supports a wide variety of faculty activities, including: research expenses, travel to research sites, professional conferences and workshops, pedagogical and course development, additional training, and purchase of materials needed for teaching and research (which are not readily available). Up to $200 may be requested for payment of membership fees to professional organizations. The FPDF not only supports ongoing research, but also may be used by faculty who wish to develop new teaching materials and methods, or who need to develop new skills and expertise (consistent with the College's academic mission).
The fund is administered by the DFDR. Faculty should plan their research and travel activities in advance in order to meet application deadlines. Applications are due a minimum of one month before the travel date or project start date. An application form is available on the Academic Affairs website. A hard copy of the form should be submitted to the DFDR before the appropriate deadline. The application should include a detailed budget. When available, program descriptions for workshops and short courses should be appended to the application.
Travel expenses will be reimbursed for the most economic fare or means: automobile usage at the current mileage rate and air travel at coach or economy rate. The maximum monthly food and lodging allowable expense, when conducting research, is $3,500. All expenses subvented by a grant must be documented with original receipted bills. When a project involves the hiring of assistants, the jobs must be offered first to Middlebury College students. Faculty members should consult the student employment coordinator in preparing a budget. The coordinator will advertise the position and arrange for interviewing of qualified candidates for the position. Only if no qualified students can be found may others be hired. Recognizing that going to conferences is an important aspect of one’s professional activity, but also recognizing that funds are limited and need to be used for an increasing number of professional development opportunities, proposals for travel that include paper, poster, or artistic presentations, serving as discussant, or chairing sessions, will receive greater priority and greater levels of funding than those that do not.
The following activities and expenses will not be supported by the Faculty Professional Development Fund:
1. Journal page charges. A separate, limited fund exists for this purpose. A Scholarly Publication Subvention Fund (SPSF) application form and bills should be submitted directly to the DFDR.
2. Research leading to the completion of a terminal degree.
3. Personal journal subscriptions.
It must be emphasized that the Faculty Professional Development Fund is not large enough to cover all out-of-pocket expenses for faculty travel and research and that grants from the fund are not an entitlement. It is often necessary to deny some requests and reduce others. Faculty frugality and restraint are essential ingredients in making the fund serve the faculty and the College as well and as fairly as possible.