MAILED: Jan. 22, 2001
Major new professional development opportunities for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and academic staff were announced this week by the universitys chief academic officer Provost Ronald Satz.
Satz introduced three new programs, which will help support faculty and staff in the pursuit of opportunities for enhancing the learning environment, increasing professional development and strengthening student learning. The Office of Academic Affairs also will enhance two existing programs.
Chancellor Donald Mash said the new programs are a result of needs identified by faculty and staff through a new strategic planning process introduced last year as well as through the annual review process.
We asked our faculty and academic staff to tell us what they could do if they had the funding, and they said they wanted to take part in more professional development opportunities, Mash said. Teaching and learning are at the core of our enterprise, and our faculty and staff care deeply about creating the very best environment for a quality educational experience for our students.
Awards of up to $500 each, or $30,000, will be available for travel support for presentations of the results of research and other scholarly and creative activities at professional meetings. Approximately $130,000 annually will be awarded for special projects, curricular redesign and guest lecturers, artists and other professionals. A faculty acculturation program will be inaugurated in the next academic year and will involve time reassignment for new tenure track faculty to participate in orientation sessions about the university community and issues pertaining to teaching and learning.
Also, new resources will enhance existing programs which encourage faculty and academic staff to engage in research and other scholarly activity and which encourage departments to provide time reassignment for research and scholarly activity. This includes enhancements to the Time Reassignment Incentive Program, which earlier won an award for creativity from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
These programs aim to heighten interest in, and support for, teaching and learning and to help encourage innovation and research in the scholarship of teaching, Satz said in his announcement. They provide professional opportunities to assist faculty and academic staff in responding more effectively to challenges associated with advances in disciplinary knowledge and pedagogy as well as new technologies and their applications.
The new programs supplement existing professional development support provided by the various units, departments, schools and colleges as well as those offered through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration, the Network for Excellence in Teaching and the Center for Instruction Technology Improvement and Innovation.
Mash said he hopes future fund-raising efforts coordinated through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation will enable the university to increase the level of support for these initiatives and existing programs in the years ahead as well as to develop additional professional development opportunities.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Jan. 23, 2001