School of Education - Accreditation Self-Study Report

Standard 6: Personnel

Faculty development relating to University mission:  To support continuous professional development and improvement of the faculty, the MnSCU Board of Trustees and the faculty union have determined the level of financial support faculty members receive for professional development activities.  Each department is allocated $1,300 per full-time equivalent for professional study and travel.  Departments employ a democratic process to determine procedures for distributing funds.

Professional Improvement funds:  Each fiscal year, Academic Affairs provides funds to support the improvement of professional skills and departmental strategic missions. The funds are awarded on a competitive basis, up to $10,000 per project. Academic Affairs establishes the procedures and criteria for awarding funds. During the 2013-2014 academic year 4 faculty members from the Teacher Education Unit were awarded a total of $39,488 to support scholarly projects (Exhibit 6.4.f.6).

Faculty workload policy is governed by the IFO Master Agreement and includes student advising, maintaining and improving expertise in a discipline and in pedagogy, serving on departmental and university committees, contributing to student growth and development, evaluating student performance, scholarly activities, and service to university and community, as well as teaching and class preparation (Exhibit 6.4.b.8, pg. 12). The master agreement stipulates that a faculty member’s teaching load does not exceed 14 undergraduate credit hours per semester or 24 undergraduate credit hours per academic year. (A 3-credit graduate course is equivalent to a 4-credit undergraduate course.) The maximum clinical supervision load is 18. At the graduate level, supervision policies are defined by professional organizations, such as CACREP. Faculty members are engaged in field experience and student teaching supervision, but rarely reach the maximum load as they are also engaged in other teaching duties. Part-time clinical faculty are valued for their expertise and strong contributions to our programs. Department chairs and the OCE work closely with part-time faculty to ensure program consistency.

Through internal and external grant opportunities, faculty are awarded reassigned time to initiate projects and/or to conduct research.  In addition, the School supports a work climate that promotes intellectual vitality, best teaching practice and scholarship, by providing faculty reassigned time and sabbatical leave. During the regular academic year, several faculty members are awarded reassigned time for various purposes ranging from assessment data collection activities to community service activities involving support for our partnership P-12 schools.