SPH Faculty Development Proposal for Additional Funding

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SPH Faculty Development Proposal for Additional Funding

Approved by Governing Council on April 18, 2013

Overview: The professional development of SPH faculty is critical to the strategic plan and overall success of the School and its departments. In recent years, SPH has demonstrated its commitment to enhancing faculty development by featuring this as a goal in the current strategic plan (September 2010), providing resources to create a Director of Faculty Development (October 2010), and doubling funds for pilot research projects from $35,000 to $70,000 (July 2011). To address expectations for performance and promotion, the Faculty Development Committee has requested additional funds that would support the career development needs of SPH faculty.

Purpose of Funds: Faculty members often require funds to support aspects of career development, such as the costs associated with enhancing the collegial networks that enable funding and collaboration and of staying on the cutting edge of their fields. Examples of such expenses include publication costs, travel to meetings, short courses on new skills, educational materials (e.g., books, subscriptions), and technological tools (e.g. software). The Faculty Development Committee, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate and department chairs, will prepare a set of guidelines on the purposes and activities to which these faculty development funds may be applied.

Amount of Funds: The total amount of funds allocated to this new faculty development purpose will be up to $200,000, with the actual amount dependent on a determination of how many dollars are currently in department budgets for this purpose. This estimate is based on a metric of $2,000 per full-time faculty member, prorated for faculty whose appointments are between 50 and 100%. The dollar amount allocated to an individual faculty member in a given year will appropriately depend on their career status, development needs, and access to other funds.

Administration of Funds: This pool of faculty development funds will be included in the annual budget of each department. The current FDA process emphasizes faculty development and provides an important opportunity for faculty to discuss developmental goals and activities for the coming year with their department chair. Supporting the career development of faculty is one of the most important responsibilities of department chairs, who will oversee the disbursement of funds to support the goals and activities of their faculty members in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Faculty Development Committee. Additionally, management at the department level allows for a flexible system that will most efficiently use this resource to meet the varying needs of the faculty.

Monitoring of Funds: An item will be added to the annual FDA form so that faculty members and department chairs can discuss requests for, and allocation of, development funds for faculty members for the coming year. The Faculty Development Committee, in consultation with the Faculty Senate and department chairs, will develop a tracking form for use by department administrators to record the allocation of funds.

Evaluation: After the first year of implementation, the Faculty Development Committee, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate and the department chairs, will evaluate the use of SPH faculty development funds. The FDC will compile results from faculty FDA forms and will also carry out a survey to gather feedback from faculty members and department chairs. The survey will provide respondents with an opportunity to share positive feedback (e.g., highlight especially valuable development activities supported by funds, critical feedback (e.g., bad experiences regarding access to funds or approval of activities), or suggestions for improving the program. The Faculty Development Committee will report its findings to faculty and administration.

Marianne Prout
Director of Faculty Development
Boston University School of Public Health

Faculty Development Needs Assessment Survey and Report

Click here to learn more about the Faculty Development Needs Assessment Survey and Report.