Faculty Development | Kent State University

Faculty Development

Kent State University provides support for faculty development in teaching and research and creative activity. The University has faculty professional improvement (sabbatical) and research leave policies under which eligible faculty may petition for a semester or a yearlong leave. Additionally, faculty members at the Kent State Columbiana Campus at East Liverpool have the opportunity to apply for Regional Campus Teaching and Professional Development Awards when available. The East Liverpool Campus also makes available workload equivalencies and follows University policy regarding faculty travel and reimbursements for scholarly and development activities.

  1. Scholarship of Teaching

    The University—and Kent State University at East Liverpool—provide faculty teaching development support in numerous ways. The Campus offers faculty support to attend pedagogical conferences; give pedagogical and professional papers; and gather materials unavailable at the Kent Campus. It also provides workload equivalencies and financial opportunities for purchasing materials (software, multimedia equipment, etc.) and working on teaching or curricular innovation.

    The University Teaching Council (UTC). The UTC hosts a variety of teaching and learning projects around the eight campuses of Kent State. An annual conference sponsored by UTC is a celebration of the scholarship of teaching across the eight-campus system which features nationally prominent keynote speakers along with poster displays and panel discussions on various topics.

    The list below does not address those subtle and complex qualities that go toward making an outstanding course or an outstanding professor. Rather it addresses those items that lie within the power of faculty to follow, exhibit, or adopt.

    1. Class Management

      The following items are seen as minimal expectations of any college instructor. For the most part they involve actions and procedures easily undertaken and readily assessable.

      1. Regular and reasonable office hours consistent with the university policy and the needs of students.
      2. Provision of syllabus including, but not limited to, the following:
      3. a statement on course objectives and expectations,
      4. a general calendar indicating the substance and sequence of the course and important dates and deadlines, and
      5. a clear statement of grading policy and grade weighting.
      6. office hours, including online office hours.
      7. Punctuality in starting/ending classes.
      8. Reasonable notification of and provision for faculty absence.
      9. Adequate notification of assignments, examinations, and changes in syllabus.
      10. Provision of reasonable make-up procedures for legitimately missed exams or other graded work.
      11. Evaluation of work with adequate and constructive comments written on the students' papers or orally to the whole class as is appropriate to the character of the test or assignment.
      12. Evaluation of work within a reasonable time frame that allows the student to benefit from the instructor's comments prior to the next assignment.
    2. Basic Pedagogy

      The intellectual and judgmental skill essential for acceptable teaching is more open to interpretation than class management techniques. However, the following items are presented as constructive suggestions for improving teaching on our campuses

      1. Content, assignments, and approach reasonable to the level, aims, and nature of the course.

      2. Concern for appropriate teaching technique.

      3. Effective use of class time.

      4. Adequate class and course preparation.

      5. Testing and grading practices relate directly to course content and assignments.

      6. Communication skills appropriate to the level of students and subject matter in the course.1

      7. Knowledge and currency regarding subject matter.2

       

      1 It is largely the responsibility of the administration to identify the problem area in communication skills through appropriate screening procedures and when complaints are raised concerning faculty. A plan for faculty improvement should be prescribed and then appropriate class assignments be made for the faculty member involved.

       

      2 It is the responsibility of faculty members to remain current in the material covered in their own courses and to be knowledgeable about developments in their disciplines, especially as regards changes in cognate courses within the department or school curriculum. The administration shares this responsibility, first in providing time and encouragement for professional development, and secondly, in responsibly managing class assignments appropriate to the knowledge and background of the individual faculty member.

    3. Student-Faculty Relations

      Interpersonal relations inevitably are difficult to prescribe and evaluate, and yet they set the tone and environment for the learning experience. In this regard, the Committee views the following as essential.

      1. Courtesy/civility/respect.

      2. Establishing a climate wherein questions, relevant comments, and intellectual interaction are encouraged.

      3. Nondiscriminatory treatment of students based on their personal or social backgrounds, preferences, or characteristics.

       

    4. Commencement

      All full-time faculty members are expected to participate in the annual commencement, wearing academic dress.

  2. Research and Creative Activity

    Kent State University provides a wealth of opportunities for faculty professional development in research and creative activity.

    Institutional Research & Creative Activity Support/University Research Council. The University Research Council funds research and other scholarly activity, travel to professional conferences, publication page charges, and publication reprint charges. The University also awards Summer and Academic Year Research and Creative Activity Appointments to faculty members selected through a peer review process.

    Faculty Professional Improvement Leaves (Sabbatical). Research and Creative Activity Sabbaticals and Leaves of Absence policies are detailed in the University Policy Register.