3.7.3 The institution provides evidence of ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. (Faculty development)
University of Louisiana System Policy expresses an expectation that faculty engage in professional development as demonstrated by the following passages from Chapter III Faculty and Staff Section I “Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Academic Staff”:
Each member of the academic staff is expected to be devoted to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the System exists: instruction, research, and public service.
Faculty are the System’s primary performers of instruction, research/scholarship, and service, and should be encouraged in applying their creativity, ingenuity, knowledge, experience, and professional skills in performing many diverse functions.
Faculty development at the University of New Orleans takes place at the individual, department, college and university levels as described in the faculty section of the Employee Handbook. Individual faculty duties vary as outlined in Administrative Policy AP-AA-22-2 Faculty Workload. A review of data submitted by faculty (described below) indicates that professional development activities at UNO vary widely in terms of format including: conference attendance, workshop attendance, webinar and seminar participation, inquiry/learning groups, department-level collegial groups (such as “brown bag” lunches), and faculty sessions focused on evaluation of student learning.
At the University level, the majority of faculty development opportunities are coordinated through the Office of Academic Affairs directed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Professional development related to safety topics is coordinated by the Office of Human Resources and professional development related to computer and software use is coordinated by University Computing and Communications. These offices report to the Vice President for Business Affairs. Following is a description of university-level professional development:
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Each semester, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs offers face-to-face professional development sessions on topics related to the development of successful applications for external funding and managing grants/contracts following an award. The series of sessions is advertised by semester and includes topics such as funding basics, budgeting, organizing queries in PeopleSoft, subcontracts, and seeking funding for the Summer Research Program. All sessions are converted to on-line, on-demand training and made accessible to faculty via the ORSP website. A total of 34 faculty participated in the face-to-face ORSP professional development sessions during the 2013-14 academic year.
The goal of the program is to assist faculty members in becoming more competitive in obtaining funding for their research and scholarly efforts. Funding is provided to allow faculty members to visit a federal program manager at their office. Two programs are offered: one for emerging faculty and one for tenured faculty. A total of 4 faculty participated in this program in 2013-14.
Professional Development Forum for Early Career Faculty
The purpose of the New Faculty Professional Development and Mentoring Forum is to provide faculty within their first three years at the University of New Orleans an opportunity to learn more about the University and to provide mentoring for a successful academic career. The forum series is topic oriented and provides an opportunity for participating faculty to join in the conversation and discuss matters related to their role as a faculty member in fulfilling the University’s mission in teaching, research and service. A total of 38 faculty participated in the series In 2013-14. Topics included the promotion and tenure process, faculty career paths, responsibility centered management (RCM) budget models, and using universal design strategies to improve curriculum and instruction..
Institutional Effectiveness Professional Development
Following the SACSCOC five year review, the University of New Orleans was placed on monitoring status for a two year period due to issues related to Institutional Effectiveness (CS 126.96.36.199). Professional development related to institutional effectiveness was instituted for faculty as part of the initiative to address this issue. The Office of Academic Affairs created professional development materials related to the development of student learning outcomes, development of annual institutional effectiveness goals and measures, and the use of the WEAVE software adopted by UNO to manage institutional effectiveness data. Training was implemented in fall 2013 for all 318 full time faculty in the academic colleges as well as the faculty in the library. Follow up professional development sessions have been held at the department level throughout the 2013-14 academic year.
The Instructional Technology office provides training to faculty on the use of Moodle, UNO’s Learning Resource Management System. One Director, certified by Moodlerooms in Moodle and Joule system administration and a supervised staff of student workers provide training and support. Training topics include: basic Moodle use, course development, developing quizzes in Moodle, gradebook set-up, the Moodle file system repository, and compliance with the Americans with Disability Act regulations using Moodle. Both group and individual formats are used for training. In addition to topics related to Moodle, training is also provided on the use of AdobeConnect for synchronous on-line instructional delivery. Over 100 faculty participated in technology training sessions during academic year 2013-14.
The Summer Research Award program assists faculty with research and scholarly efforts conducted after the regular year academic contract. It is a competitive program in which faculty members submit proposals that are reviewed by the Research Council. Two programs are offered. The Stimulating Competitive Research (ScoRE) provides seed money to enhance the ability of a faculty member to compete for extramural sponsored funding. Priorities include preliminary data collection, planning and writing a grant proposal, maintenance of lab activities while preparing for a new area of research and the purchase of research equipment. The Creative Endeavor Opportunity (CEO) program provides support to launch programs of research, scholarship, exhibition, or performance. Over the past five years, 111 scholarly and research awards have been given by the University. A total of 13 faculty received awards for Summer 2013 for a total funding level of $111,423. A total of 19 faculty received awards for Summer 2014 totaling $159,380.
Sabbatical leaves are available to eligible faculty. Written guidelines and procedures are disseminated via email to all departments in the fall semester. In compliance with the University of Louisiana System Bylaws/Rules, sabbaticals may be granted for a one semester or one academic year period. Two faculty have been approved to receive sabbaticals in the 2014-15 academic year.
University Computing and Communications Center
The University Computing and Communications Center provides faculty training sessions on the use of the University’s computing key systems and applications. UCC’s training unit provides relevant technical training throughout the year on topics related to PeopleSoft and Microsoft applications for faculty as well as staff and students. Training is mainly provided through group-delivered workshops in the Faculty Staff Resource Center although one-on-one and e-learning materials are also provided.
Office of Human Resources Training
In accordance with the Louisiana Office of Risk Management-Loss Prevention Unit, all state agencies are required to have documented review of written policies and conduct documented awareness on the following topics: Drug-Free Workplace (every five years), Sexual Harassment (annually), Code of Governmental Ethics (annually), and Violence in the Workplace (policy review recommended annually). The majority of training for these topics is conducted electronically. An automated policy review is sent by email for employees to acknowledge completion. Results are captured electronically. Face to face training sessions are conducted for personnel who do not participate in the electronically-mediated sessions in a timely manner. A brief description of human resource training is provided.
Notification of Training
The primary means of informing faculty about university-level professional development opportunities is via information posted on the university website and individual notification via email.
College/Department Professional Development
Some faculty development is planned and executed at the college and/or department level. During Academic Year 2013-14, the College of Education and Human Development held two professional development activities for faculty in the college. Training related to the use of Livetext software was held for teacher education, educational leadership and counselor education faculty. Livetext is used by the college to support teacher and educational leadership students in the development of portfolios and by all faculty to manage student assessment data. A second professional development activity was a three part series on Urban Education which brought national experts to campus to deliver a lecture series on urban education concepts and instructional techniques.
Department-level professional development activities vary based on the needs and interests of faculty. Types of professional development activities include brown bag lunch topic discussions, presentations by an outside speaker, peer mentoring and other types of collegial learning formats. The examples below illustrate different approaches used by departments to deliver professional development.
The Department of English organized four professional development activities for faculty who teach freshman English (a general education core curriculum component). Participation in Teaching Circles is required for freshman writing faculty. Meetings are held in groups of 4-6 faculty to discuss issues deemed relevant to the instruction of freshman writing. Recent topics included responding to student writing, teaching writing to English as a first language students, avoiding plagerism, and discussing the role of argument in writing. Twice a semester, brown-bag lunches were held on the following topics: scaffolding assignments, engendering student accountability, and using technology in the classroom. Annually, the department holds a three day Teachers’ Institute which includes content on the program’s identity, learning outcomes, and curriculum as well as on pedagogy, syllabus development and the use of technology. New faculty mentorship is also provided on an optional basis to new faculty in the department.
In preparation for the 2013-14 academic year, faculty who teach the UNIV 1001 course (one credit course required for all first-time full-time freshmen) participated in training on the StrengthsQuest assessment which was incorporated as a new activity in the course beginning in the fall 2013 semester.
Four members of the Department of Special Education and Habilitative Services participated in a webinar series sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education on redesigning initial teacher education programs to incorporate a “blended” model of preparation for special educators that results in dual certification.
Individual Faculty Report of Professional Development
The University of New Orleans has adopted Faculty 180 to assist full-time faculty in tracking their academic accomplishments. One reported field focuses on participation in individually negotiated professional development activities. The information below is extracted from a review of the reported data to provide three important findings: the number of completed activities, the types of professional development activities completed by faculty, and the percentage of faculty participating in professional development.
Table 1: Number of completed professional development activities by college
|College||Summer 2013||Fall 2013||Spring 2014||Total #|
|Education & Human Development||3||10||16||29|
Table 2: Types of professional development activities completed
|Type of Activity||Number of Completed Activities|
|Summer 13||Fall 13||Spring 14||Total|
Table 3: Percent of faculty reporting professional development activities
|College||Number of Faculty||Number of Faculty Reporting Professional Development Activities||Percentage of Faculty Reporting Professional Development Activities|
|Education & Human Development||24||7||29%|
|AP_AA_22_2_Faculty_Workload||University of New Orleans Administrative Policy AP-AA-22-2 Faculty Workload|
|Back_to_School_Fall 2013||Materials Used for Mandatory Faculty Development Sessions in Fall 2013|
|Fac_Travel_Grant||Description of Faculty Travel Grant Program|
|HR_Train_Des||Description of Mandatory Safety Training Sponsored by Human Resources Office|
|IE_Train_Summary||Summary of Participants in IE Training|
|Instruc_Tech_Train||Instructional Technology Training Website|
|Instruc_Tech_Train_Summary||Summary of Instructional Technology Training Sessions 2013-14|
|New_Faculty_Professional_Development_Forums||2013-14 New Faculty Professional Development and Mentoring Forum|
|ORSP_Training_Web||Training opportunities offered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs|
|Sabbatical_Web||Materials for Sabbatical Request on Academic Affairs Website|
|StrengthQuest_Website||Description of StrengthQuest Initiative Adopted by UNIV 1001 Faculty|
|Summer_Res_Award||Description of Summer Research Awards on Website|
|UL_System_Chap_III_Sec_I||University of Louisiana System Bylaw/Rule Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Academic Staff|
|WEAVE_Train||Example of training materials for WEAVE|