Institutional Faculty Development Plan

(Revised September 1997)


The impetus for the UW-Madison faculty development programs continues to come from at least three different sources. (1) In established departments or areas of study, the important concepts and methodologies are changing as the body of knowledge expands. Faculty members continue to need special opportunities for focused study of these changes other than the limited opportunities during the course of on-going duties. Faculty also need to develop and learn to use appropriate new instructional technologies and research methodologies. (2) Meanwhile, the societal problems to which a university addresses itself, both in teaching and research, continue to shift in form and nature, and the boundaries between disciplines shift over time. To deal with such developing issues, faculty members often need an introduction to another discipline entirely or else an opportunity to explore in depth the areas where traditionally separate disciplines intersect. (3) Finally, the university's teaching responsibilities have also been modified by changes in the cultural diversity and age distribution of the student population, in an increased emphasis on enhancing undergraduate learning experiences, and demands by the broader community for training in new or different skills. The university is concerned that new and different service to these extended populations of new and "non-traditional" students will be necessary to assist them to reach their full intellectual potential.

Thus, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been actively involved in sustaining and developing new mechanisms for faculty development that respond to these needs. We believe that our mission is to continue to monitor the current faculty development programs and to expand them as changing times require and budgetary resources permit.

Specifically, the faculty development programs have emphasized ways to allow faculty members to amplify or focus their specializations or to acquire new ones. Presently, UW-Madison administers an assortment of long-term faculty development programs and short-term options. Both "traditional," long-term development options (e.g., sabbaticals supported by UW System and multiple-year campus-supported research or creativity awards) and shorter term and special constituency opportunities (e.g., conference attendance, workshops for computer training) are included. These varied programs and opportunities provide faculty and faculty/administrators with development opportunities at various stages in their careers. They are meant to weave together a variety of campus initiatives associated with institutional advancement with initiatives sponsored by the UW System and opportunities made available from other sources. As faculty members enter various career stages and seek to widen the range and scope of their work, they frequently need to acquire skills and approaches that push the limits of their own disciplines. For example, historians concerned with population trends may need to broaden their knowledge of demography, sociologists concerned with life stages may need to add competence in development psychology or family resources or gerontology, while organic chemists whose courses attract medical students may need to become more familiar with physiology and biochemistry.

In addition, the campus is committed to aligning faculty development programs with the 1995 "Vision for the Future" document issued by Chancellor Ward. The document's priorities: (1) maintaining our research preeminence; (2) reconceptualizing undergraduate education; (3) joining the global community; and (4) updating the Wisconsin Idea, and the articulated mission to encourage and support interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research will be an important aspect of faculty development programs and policies.

Faculty development programs and funding have the broad effect of stimulating on-campus faculty planning in general, within and between departments and among schools or colleges. Each proposal requires departmental and school or college evaluation and endorsement, as well as central campus review; this reflects a collective sense of purpose. In the long run, this "value-added" process at various levels of evaluation contributes to an enhanced definition of institutional goals for the future. Our collective process also helps to establish an exemplary model for coping with the challenge confronting all universities today: maintaining intellectual competitiveness and the most modern expertise among faculty in the face of shrinking resources and shifting enrollment patterns.


˜ Implementation Philosophy

Faculty development grants permit individuals to pursue programs of study in their own or another specialization or field by reducing, or relieving them of their teaching obligation for a semester or an entire academic year. The attempt is made to make these awards career-stage specific, so that they become available at appropriate professional junctures to have maximum effective impact. Some development awards focus on specific areas (e.g., the arts and humanities) which have traditionally gone under-rewarded. Most awards are competitive (see next section).

In accordance with UW System rules, proposals for training faculty members in fields related to their academic specialties are eligible to receive one-half funding from a UW System account when matched equally by institutional funds. The intent is to help faculty obtain an entry to these other fields and specializations rather than to have to follow lengthy programs of study. The assumption is that once begun or once vital initial support is garnered, the faculty members can and will continue the learning process through the usual route of individual professional initiative.


˜ Typical Faculty Development Implementation Procedures

1. The Provost (or his/her designee, the Associate Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs) announces the Faculty Development and individual programs/options to deans, department chairs and individual faculty members via Wisconsin Week, indicating the timetable for submitting proposals and procedures for review of applications.

2. Nominations for development grants are based on departmental need for the kind of programmatic extension and augmentation in the nominee's area and on the nominee's expressed interest and potential for development through such an award. In making such nominations, deans and departmental chairpersons agree that recipients will be released from departmental obligations during the period of the award. Long-range departmental strategies are encouraged although each faculty development proposal is reviewed on its own merits.

3. Departments submit an application for the nominee including an updated curriculum vita and a short but substantive description of the proposed development activity (2-3 typed pages). This includes a statement of purpose of the activity and, among other things, an indication that the applicant has discussed thoroughly the feasibility of the study program with appropriate faculty and departmental chairpersons from cooperating department(s). The form of the programs may vary, depending upon the nature of the disciplines involved; the program of study may or may not include taking formal courses. Programs may also include laboratory work to develop skills involving new techniques or using excellent physical facilities which the faculty member cannot utilize without a concentrated block of time. The department executive committee's approval of the proposal is based on the collective judgment as to departmental needs and purpose, the contribution of the individual proposal to that purpose, and the capacity to cover departmental teaching commitments and other responsibilities through a combination of department's budgetary flexibility and matching funds from UW System.

4. Deans establish mechanisms for handling faculty development options, such as administrative review of applications at the school or college level and establishing ad hoc review committees or using existing one. On the basis of the college level review and the unit's own budgetary flexibility and programmatic concerns, each dean submits a ranked list of proposals for a campus-wide peer review process to the office of the Provost. Once the campus-wide review is completed, the Provost's office submits the UW-Madison nominations and supporting materials to UW System Administration, as required.

5. Funds allocated from the UW System faculty development account are transmitted to the dean for use in whatever way the college and/or the awardee's department agree best satisfies the requirement that the departmental program not be diminished as a result of the award. (This may include, but is not restricted to, hiring a part-time replacement for the award recipient.)

6. Grant recipients must submit a written report on the activities and accomplishments made possible by the award to the dean and to the appropriate associate vice chancellor. This forms part of the basis for evaluating the program systematically.

7. Throughout the review process, preference is given to faculty whose abilities and interest give promise of long-range contributions to the academic programs of this institution. In addition, preference may be given to applications which involve enhancement of faculty methodological skills, support for which is usually precluded from funding by the Research Committee of the Graduate School. Proposals which stress contributions to undergraduate teaching and learning along with curricular innovation are solicited specifically and receive enhanced attention.



1. SABBATICALS—This is a development program that provides funding for instructional, curriculum, and research enhancement through competitive grants, released time, and sabbatical leaves. The main option here is the UW System (UWS) funded sabbatical program which enables faculty—those with six or more years of instructional service—to have released time to engage in intensive study in order to become more effective teachers and scholars. Although focused on individual and professional activity, these development programs are expected to enhance the university's research and teaching mission and benefit the students and colleagues of the sabbatical holder after returning to the campus.

2. Another example is the UWS FACULTY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS which provide faculty members of any rank with released time for renewal, retraining, and development by adding to their competencies, either through acquiring new competencies within their principal fields or through work in a related field for one or two semesters of study.

3. ORIENTATION and other "initiation" programs for faculty, faculty/administrators and staff who are new or at early stages of their careers. UW-Madison's main program of this type is the Wisconsin Idea Seminar (WIS), coordinated by the Office of Outreach Development. WIS is an intensive five-day traveling introduction for up to thirty-five recent faculty, academic staff and administrators to enhance their teaching, research, and service capabilities by, inter alia, illuminating the role of the university throughout the state. The WIS seminar receives funding from the William T. Evjue Foundation. Other Big Ten campuses have drawn on the Madison model to set up similar programs.

4. For faculty who are still in probationary (tenure track) status, there are the RESEARCH-SERVICE GRANTS. These grants supplement or enrich research opportunities available to untenured faculty who have given unusually large amounts of time and effort to university service outside their own departments (e.g., campus- or system-wide committees). The program provides summer salary support for the grantees to pursue worthy research projects.

5. Probationary faculty who are members of under-represented groups ("minorities') are eligible for MINORITY FACULTY RESEARCH AWARDS, coordinated by the UWS Institute on Race and Ethnicity. With these grants, non-tenured minority faculty may gain released time during a semester (limited to spring or summer) to conduct research on any topic to facilitate gaining tenure.

6. A general faculty development opportunity, funded in part by UWS, is the annual UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING IMPROVEMENT GRANT. The purpose of the program for which instructional staff submit competitive proposals, is the promotion of innovative undergraduate teaching and learning. This program is one of several coordinated across the UW System by the Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council (UTIC).

7. Also, the WISCONSIN TEACHING FELLOWS PROGRAM, meant to recognize promising teacher-scholars who are in their first ten years of teaching, allows fellows to attend UTIC-sponsored conferences, research a project on teaching issues, attend a week-long UTIC faculty college and participate in a two-week summer institute in Madison. Nominations are made at the end of the first semester and some funding support is available from the Provost's office.

8. There are several programs available on a nomination basis for faculty and staff who are midcourse in their careers. The Graduate School Research Committee awards the ROMNES FACULTY FELLOWSHIPS, which finances faculty research activities for four years; THE VILAS ASSOCIATES AWARDS, sometimes referred to as "Baby Vilas professorships," provide two summers plus a research stipend for mid-career faculty on the basis of unit nomination and a competitive research proposal; and because of special research support difficulties in the humanities, fine and applied arts, THE FACULTY DEVELOPMENT IN THE CREATIVE ARTS program was initiated for tenured faculty in the humanities and creative arts. It provides multiple years of supported research funding and stresses program as well as individual staff development.









Romnes Fellowship

up to 4 years past tenure



WARF Mid-Career

5 to 20 years past tenure



WARF/University Houses Professorship

unrestricted: senior



Vilas Associates

5 to 20 years past tenure

up to

$60,000 ***


9. Programs for faculty interested in administrative issues facing the University include the CIC Academic Leadership Program (participants are nominated by their Deans, selected by the Provost), and a similar program for faculty and academic staff—The Administrative Development Program, led by Professor Emeritus Joseph Kauffman. In addition, half-tim e associate administrative appointments now in place in the Graduate School, Provost's office and College of Letters and Science, in effect, provide practical, on-the-job internship in administrative leadership for persons who become faculty/administrators for three to five years.

10. Development programs for new and continuing FACULTY-ADMINISTRATORS such as the recently expanded set of workshops for new chairs represent another sort of development opportunity. The most recent addition to this concept is a regular series of meetings for new and continuing unit chairs on a regular basis (up to five times per year). Issues covered include personnel management matters such as hiring and recruiting faculty, mentoring faculty for tenure and post-tenure reviews. Sensitive issues workshops (e.g., harassment) are given by the Office of Human Resources and the Associate Vice Chancellor in charge of these issues.

11. AD HOC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES. Library computer seminars are available through DoIT (Division of Information Technology).

12. PRE-RETIREMENT PLANNING PROGRAMS. Each year, the Office of Personnel Support Services provides a pre-retirement planning program for faculty and academic staff who anticipate retirement in the near future. Information about both long- and short-range planning is presented. Subjects covered include the Wisconsin Retirement System, Social Security, estate and financial planning. Additionally, individual pre-retirement counseling is available throughout the year from Personnel Support Services staff.

13. SMALL GRANTS PROGRAMS. These include small grants to cover travel and material costs for attendance at local and regional events related to teaching improvement, e.g., the $500 UTIC/UWS Small Grants Programs. This program has a Fall deadline each year.

14. PRE-APPOINTMENT PROGRAMS. In order to broaden and deepen the diversity of the Madison faculty and to encourage outstanding minority and women to pursue academic careers at UW-Madison, the Chancellor's Pre-faculty Fellowship opportunity was established in 1989. Under the program, a small number of Anna Julia Cooper Awards have been made (and are available) on an ad hoc basis. The program is restricted to minorities and women to whom departments have offered assistant professor positions, so that the department is fully committed to these young scholars.

This program (AKA Cooper Fellowships) offers one-year postdoctoral fellowships (full academic year salary plus summer support) to enhance the competitiveness of outstanding minority and female scholars for academic appointments and subsequent retention through tenure, by supporting them in the conduct of an explicit research plan, and by providing mentoring and guidance toward advancement of their academic careers. The program provides a year of research and scholarship prior to assumption of faculty status. The pre-appointment grant year will not count on the Cooper scholar's tenure clock. The program assumes that a year of secure immersion in research, without the uncertainty and demands of job searches and the assumption of new teaching duties, would enhance the development of unique research agenda, and would enable these young scholars to do their best as probationary faculty when they begin their tenure track appointments in the following year.

15. Numerous programs deal with instructional improvement, diversity and curriculum transformation. Instructional excellence awards (TEACHING AWARDS) are available on a nominated, competitive basis each year. More than a dozen of these are available from various funding sources, awarded on the basis of faculty, department, and student organization nomination of faculty—regardless of rank or specialty—whose teaching is outstanding and merits recognition and reward. Both regular classroom and outreach teaching are recognized. POST-TENURE REVIEWS are mandated for all tenured faculty (full professors) every five years. Usually, these reviews include a statement of the faculty member's long-range career plans which, with the cooperation of the department and college administration, can be developed into an important part of the individual's own development plan.

16. Not included here are the many serendipitous opportunities for development available on a daily basis (in the form, for example, of campus conferences, university lectures, seminars, area studies or disciplinary "brownbags", and attendance at lectures by colleagues). Their importance, however, is recognized in the general faculty development equation.