Comprehensive Standard 3.7.3

The institution provides ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. (Faculty development) 

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative: 

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides ongoing professional development opportunities for all faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners.  On-campus workshops and lecture opportunities as well as support for offsite development activities facilitate the role and expertise for all faculty.

Center for Teaching Excellence
A newly-created Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) supports all faculty efforts to improve student learning and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in the development of innovative practices of teaching and learning.  The CTE promotes teaching excellence by providing print and electronic resources, instructional services, individual consultations, videotaping, workshops on effective teaching strategies, technical assistance and advocacy, media production assistance, and website resources.  In its initial year of operation, the Center offered workshops/seminars to support faculty teaching.

Department of Learning Technologies
The Department of Learning Technologies serves to support and guide instructional design and technology to enhance the learning environments. Classroom-based programs and online development opportunities are available for individuals and groups of faculty.  Faculty have utilized these services in the 2010-11 academic year.

Committee for Faculty Excellence
Annual funding is available through each academic unit to full-time faculty members for professional development activities. A University-created committee, the Committee for Faculty Excellence (CFE) (formerly called the Teaching Excellence Committee) supports and promotes faculty excellence and faculty development in the areas of teaching and productive scholarship.  Each year the Committee awards monies to support faculty scholarly endeavors through a Teaching and Productive Scholarship (TAPS) Fund.  The purpose of this fund is to promote scholarship including original research projects, programs that support curriculum development, and travel for presentation of scholarship. Funded projects support the scholarship process with formal presentations and/or publications, improve pedagogy and curriculum development, and/or enable service projects requiring application of scholarly and/or professional knowledge.

Sabbatical Leave
As stipulated in the Faculty Manual, tenured associate professors or tenured professors with six or more years of full-time faculty status at USC Upstate are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave. Sabbatical leaves, which are awarded through a competitive internal peer-review process, are intended to allow time for further professional development through significant scholarly/creative projects. The normal sabbatical award is one half year at full pay or one full year at half pay with full benefits continuing over the course of the sabbatical. Up to four sabbaticals can be awarded each year. Recipients of sabbatical leave are separated from all other university duties during the sabbatical. Requests are submitted to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (SVC) in the fall of each academic year. The CFE evaluates the merits of the proposals and submits a recommendation to the SVC who bases the final decision on the recommendation of the Committee as well as the impact of the proposed leave on department/school operations and institutional resources.  Forty sabbaticals have been awarded since the last reaffirmation of accreditation.

Sponsored Research
The Office of Sponsored Awards and Research assists faculty and staff with identification of funding sources, preparation of proposals, and submission of proposals via the USC electronic research administration system (USCeRA). Sponsored funding to USC Upstate has been obtained from federal, state, and local governments, along with private foundations. Total funding for fiscal years 2010-2011, 2009-2010, and 2008-2009 was $2,683,372; $2,823,424; and $1,878,198, respectively.

New Faculty Development Programs
New faculty members may be assigned a senior faculty mentor, who provides guidance and support for new faculty in their roles as well as information about unit and University policies and procedures.  For example, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an extensive orientation program for new faculty “Getting Off to a Fast Start.”  The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics sponsored a series of successful entrepreneurs and practitioners to share with faculty and students thoughts of their success and advice.  

All new faculty participate in an orientation program organized by the Office of Academic Affairs.  Activities have included workshops to enhance classroom and clinical teaching and to support promotion and tenure activities.

Support Documents:  

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USC Upstate
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727
Phone: 864-503-5000
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