The Faculty Professional Development Center (FPDC) had its beginnings in the collaborative efforts of the Faculty Professional Development Study Committee (FPDSC), a body initiated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), developed with the Administration, and put forth in the contract agreement signed in April, 1993. In their report, based on two and one-half years of study, the committee drew attention to the many and diverse forms of support for faculty professional development in existence at Kent State University, most notably the University Research Council (URC) and the University Teaching Council (UTC).
The report contained suggestions for strengthening some of these efforts, for making all efforts more broadly known and available, and for creating other opportunities as needed. The committee offered a conceptual framework for faculty professional development and recommended the creation of the Center. The report was presented to the President and to the Faculty Senate for discussion. President Cartwright and Senate Chair Robert Johnson created a planning committee to provide detailed recommendations on housing, staff, budget and reporting. In February of 1997 the planning committee submitted its report. By late August 1998 a director was appointed and in September the Center and its staff began formal operations.
In June 2013, Provost Todd Diacon requested that, through the proper shared governance processes, appropriate faculty members and administrators examine the current direction of the center and consider clarifying the mission and focus. The Faculty Professional Development Re-design Steering Committee was formed to meet this purpose.
The committee members were nominated by Deans, Chairs and Directors, Faculty Senate, and AAUP. The core working group considered all elements of the center including name, focus, location, staffing, etc. and consulted with faculty colleagues throughout the process. In an effort to include as many perspectives as possible, an advisory group to the steering committee, consisting of other nominated faculty colleagues as well as professional development individuals from within and outside the university periodically provided feedback and insight as the ideas and suggestions were created.
Significant recommendations in the final report (PDF) include:
- The re-focus of the center’s mission towards teaching and learning
- Significant increase in the staffing of the center to support expanded offerings
- The creation of a virtual university-wide clearinghouse of information to ease faculty access to the support services available