Core Strategy: Faculty Retention & Development
The Prep/CE faculty is one of the department’s greatest resources. While increases in compensation need to occur incrementally, there are non-salary enhancements that we can make in order to keep our faculty engaged and committed.
- Opportunities to help shape curriculum. Our faculty chairs will be asked to continue developing their departments in a curricular context, not just an administrative one. By the same token, we will encourage them to engage their faculty in focused discussions around curricular development and enhancement.
- Clearer expectations and communication. The Faculty Handbook has not been updated in several years. As a result, there is no printed or online resource for faculty members when they have questions; and more importantly, the lack of articulated expectations can lead some to perceive a lack of transparency by the administration. Clearly stating our policies provides a tool to build consistency, equity, and trust.
The development of a bi-annual faculty newsletter, highlighting the work of our faculty and offering insight into the administrative side of Prep/CE, will help facilitate communication and foster a greater sense of community among faculty. Annual all-faculty meetings will be held, and faculty chairs will be strongly encouraged to schedule biannual departmental meetings. The Faculty Council will attend annual retreats, in addition to monthly meetings.
- Professional development opportunities. In addition to the Jean Stackhouse award, which is presented each year to an outstanding faculty member who is nominated by their peers, professional development grants are available to Prep Faculty through the College’s Faculty Professional Development Fund. Resources for additional, more program-specific professional development will be built into Prep’s annual budget beginning in 2012–13.
- Recruitment and succession planning. As mentioned earlier, the Prep/CE faculty regularly demonstrates extraordinary commitment to our students. Their high-quality teaching is the hallmark of a Prep/CE education. Finding teachers of that caliber is an ongoing and sensitive process; by engaging our current faculty in Prep/CE’s recruitment activities, they will have the opportunity to play an active role in shaping their community of professional colleagues.
Playing a faculty leadership role in Prep/CE is a major commitment, and a great deal of work for minimal compensation. For those faculty who want and/or need to step back from those responsibilities, but feel compelled to continue out of a sense of duty, having formal succession protocols in place will give them the freedom to take the steps that they need in order to stay invested and invigorated. Also, on those rare occasions when a transition in leadership is required for the health of Prep/CE’s programs, succession planning would provide staff and faculty leaders with tools to make any needed changes.