F Report on Professional Development

[The following report was endorsed by the Faculty Senate on July 21, 1980.]

The ad hoc Instructional Improvement Committee has undertaken the review of the administration's Long Range Plan for Faculty Development. We have studied the plan carefully ourselves. We have also obtained the advice from other people interested in this topic--both at an open meeting held on 15 April 1980, and in informal discussions at other times.

We have decided to make a number of additions and amplifications to the administration's plan. In order to present these in as straightforward a manner as possible, we have rewritten the entire report, incorporating our recommendations with the original plan. This will save people from having to work from two documents, inserting remarks from one into the other as directed.

There are two significant changes in form to which we want to direct your attention. First, we are presenting a long list of "recommendations." They are not in any priority order, they represent a wide range of aspects of professional development, and they vary widely in cost, from practically nothing to very high. We felt it was our place to Imagine and dream with suggestions, while it was the administration's role to determine the costs and relative merits of these recommendations and to rank them along with other University needs. While we do not expect to see all of our recommendations adopted, we do want to share with the rest of the University the fruits of our study and discussion in this area.

The second major change in the form of this report is that we have termed it a "report" on professional development activities. In each of the areas we consider, we have presented a summary of current activity and some recommendations. We have not defined University goals on professional development, nor have we written this document in the form of a "plan" with costs, an orderly series of steps, and a list of persons responsible for each step. Again, we feel that the translation of this report into an action- oriented plan needs to be done by the administration, so that it can be organized in parallel with other University plans. Our document is intentionally a report and not a plan.

We invite you to study this report and to be prepared to offer your comments at the Faculty Senate meeting of 14 July 1980 (at 3:00 pm in the Shiloh Room of the University Center).
For the ad hoc committee on
Instructional Improvement:

Russell French
Charles Pfleeger
Charles Reynolds
Mary Richards


The decade of the 1980's will be one of retrenchment rather than one of expansion for many aspects of academia. Stable or declining enrollments, as well as generally pessimistic economic forecasts, indicate that the infusion of new money into professional development programs will be moderate at best. Goals for professional development must be clearly established so that the spirit of professional improvement is not constricted along with the budget. Priorities need to be established and resources provided to those areas most promising for the institution.

During the decade of the 80's, it is also likely that knowledge in most areas of academia will expand at a rate similar to the explosion of the past few decades. The time available for sustaining one's own competence seems almost to be in inverse proportion to both the quantity and quality of new knowledge that must be acquired just to keep pace. With today's fresh emphasis on effective teaching, on student advising, on the necessity for an active interest in the institution, and on the knowledge of one's discipline, the number and variety of skills an academic professional must develop are potentially staggering.

A traditional method for faculty renewal and professional development has often been the hiring of new faculty members with backgrounds and skills different from those already on the campus. However, because of the predicted low accession rate, it will now be necessary for colleges and universities to rely principally on present faculty to provide fresh perspectives; to initiate new instruction, research, and service programs; and to maintain the vigor needed to respond to the changing needs of students and society.

There are two basic assumptions concerning professional development at UTK. First, faculty need to know a greater diversity of things today than they did a decade or two ago, especially in those matters that reach beyond their own disciplinary field. Second, opportunities for new knowledge in these extraordinary areas of competence are often readily available to the majority of college faculty and administrators. In these times of tight money, it is important to recognize that the necessary updating of one's own competence as a well-functioning academic professional need not be excessively expensive.


Professional development is "... an attempt to improve teaching effectiveness in higher education."1 "[It] is an institutional process that seeks to modify the attitudes, skills, and behavior of faculty members toward greater competence and effectiveness in meeting student needs, their own needs, and the needs of the institution."2

Some readings in this area call this subject "faculty development". However, professional development is a more descriptive term; because it indicates that all aspects of the professional lives of faculty members and administrators have the potential to change. The development of faculty members is inevitable -- as human beings, faculty members will grow and change over time. The right opportunities can direct this development to improving the competence and effectiveness of the professional staff at UTK.

Professional development, then, is the series of changes that occur in the various professional aspects of faculty members' lives. Just as there are a number of separate tasks that faculty members are called upon to do professionally, there are also a number of aspects to professional development. The categories of professional development include:
(1) maintaining currency with one's own discipline;
(2) developing and continuing a vigorous research activity;
(3) contributing to the public service mission of the university;
(4) improving teaching ability;
(5) improving skills as an advisor;
(6) engaging in curricular review activities;
(7) developing skills to assist in the administration of the institution;
(8) learning evaluation techniques;
(9) refreshing one's zest for the profession.
No one faculty member is expected to have an interest in all of the areas listed above. Also, because of personal preference, one person may never have an interest in certain of these components, and most people will want to concentrate on only one or two of these components at a time. The individual faculty member should participate in the selection of areas for development.

However, there must be institutional support and encouragement of efforts in all of these areas, so that as faculty members become interested in one aspect of their development, that interest can be recognized and nurtured. Thus, the university administration must anticipate faculty development needs instead of reacting to them. While the primary responsibility for selecting and initiating a faculty development activity always rests with the individual, the institution can achieve far more growth if there are programs and mechanisms in place to encourage and support individual interests in development.

As noted above, most faculty development efforts can be accomplished at little or no additional cost to the university, because they frequently make use of talent existing on the campus. Nevertheless, the university should budget some funds to support and encourage these activities. Sometimes a small salary supplement or bonus can have an extremely positive effect on the morale of a faculty member who is involved in a faculty development effort. Also, modest amounts of money should be available to departments that encourage professional development so that departments can afford to alter the work loads for faculty members seriously engaged in development activities.

Listed below are descriptions of, analyses of, and recommendations for each of these areas of professional development for faculty members. General recommendations for professional development at UTK are given at the end.


Disciplines grow and change over time. Furthermore, as faculty members acquire new knowledge, their interests may shift, perhaps in response to changing institutional needs. As a means of continuing scholarly growth, faculty members may want to retrain to move into a new area of teaching or research activity, to pursue study in a cognate area that will help in teaching or research, to take time to reflect on the "broader view" of the discipline, to refresh their knowledge of the subject, or to take time to acquire a different perspective on the discipline.

These kinds of activities are a normal part of the development of faculty members. There are already a number of institutional support programs that assist in these kinds of changes.


One of the major ways in which faculty members learn of and evaluate significant developments in their disciplines is through personal contact with other leading scholars. The most common means of achieving this is by attending scholarly or professional meetings. Such meetings bring together scholars of similar interests and usually include presentations of unpublished research findings. Scholarly renewal may also involve travel of other types: for example, a planner may travel to evaluate urban renewal efforts or a classicist might travel to examine a newly-discovered manuscript.

Unfortunately, in a time of financial stringency, travel budgets are closely scrutinized, both by university officials and by legislators, as places where "fat" can be trimmed from an expensive university budget.

(1) The university administration should continue vital efforts to convince legislators of the professional necessity of travel. Efforts should be made to reacquire funds that have been trimmed from travel budgets over the past years. (2) Department heads should continue to use discretion in apportioning limited travel funds. Policies such as a blanket "one trip per year" or "expenses covered for presentation of any paper" do not necessarily lead to the optimum use of travel funds. Consideration should be given to the professional value to the faculty member of travel to the meeting, to the cost of the travel relative to its benefit, and to other opportunities for disciplinary growth in which the faculty member has already taken part. (3) Special consideration should be given to promoting regional professional activities. Three faculty members may be able to travel to a meeting in Atlanta for the same cost that one would require to go to Los Angeles. Attention should be paid by department heads and by leaders in each discipline to invigorating regional societies so that the benefits to faculty members attending regional meetings will be as great as those gained from attending national meetings.


In 1976-77 the "Faculty-Staff Leave Development Program" was established. Awards under this program are made to a limited number of faculty whose work in upgrading themselves in their current areas of specialization requires that they be away from campus. The program allows for leaves of up to fifteen months at up to 50% of salary.

UTK has long had an informal system of released time allowing faculty members to devote substantial time to research or development projects concurrently with instructional, departmental, and institutional responsibilities. Such arrangements as differential assignment of teaching responsibilities, schedule rearrangements, and quarter-banking arrangements have been made to allow for released time. Some departments have also been able to utilize graduate teaching assistants in order to increase the flexibility with which released time can be scheduled.

In some disciplines, career development grants also provide the possibility of released time. Such grants are available from federal agencies and from other private sources.

(1) UTK should expand the scope of its leave program so that faculty members can be funded for a period of investigation, research, reflection and/or renewal. Although such a program is expensive, the effect on faculty morale and professional development will be substantial. If a comprehensive program cannot be funded initially, the present program should be expanded incrementally.

(2) Department heads should be encouraged to use course scheduling as a means of assisting faculty development. Differential scheduling policies should be used as a way of recognizing the different professional development needs of individual faculty members. Attention to the total work load is especially important for new faculty members who may be asked to prepare to teach a wide variety of new courses at exactly the time when they must also establish their research careers. Course scheduling should always be done in consultation with the faculty members involved.

(3) Faculty members should be apprised of, and department heads should promote, professional development activities that can be achieved during a leave without pay. Exchanges of faculty with other universities, industries, or government groups have the potential of making significant contributions to faculty development. U.S. and foreign scholars can also be encouraged to spend their sabbaticals at UTK.

(4) The university should actively promote opportunities that can be attained during such leaves without pay. Such activities have two benefits: they provide the faculty member with a fresh perspective on the discipline while on leave, and they provide a "ripple effect" as these faculty members return to campus and share their new insights with their colleagues. The university should coordinate such efforts by making information about internships available. It should also make such activities attractive by paying the university's share of employee benefits while the faculty member is on leave.

Renewal/Shift in Interest

As disciplines expand and as faculty members grow, the interests of faculty members in their previous specialities may diminish. Also, as the accession rate of new faculty members stabilizes, people presently on the staff may need to change areas of specialization in order to fill vacancies. The university has responded in the past by retraining selected faculty members, and it must continue to do so.

(1) The university must do all reasonably possible to hire outstanding faculty members. For hiring at the senior ranks it may be necessary to use endowment funds or to solicit special gifts in order to attract qualified people. Senior faculty members are important mentors to guide younger faculty members in developing a research activity.

(2) Department heads should discuss with each faculty member the role that her or his scholarly activity plays in the department. In a department with a number of specialists in an area where the professional and educational interest is declining, the head should be especially encouraging to faculty members who wish to expand their areas of specialty. In other words, the department heads should be attuned to the needs of the discipline, and should support faculty members who wish to move to areas in which the department has a need.

(3) Faculty members should be encouraged to broaden their knowledge in support of their professional careers. For example, a professor of art history might want to take some course work in history or literature of the period in which she has a specialization, or a professor of computer science might want to take courses in accounting in order to understand some of the end products of the computation. Since the goal of the work is to enhance the faculty member's effectiveness in his or her field, such course work and similar activities should be recognized just as research is.


The present programs funded through the "Faculty Research Fund" will, with the addition of endowment income, be able to be expanded during the next decade. The flexibility of the programs is vital to their overall success, and the availability of full or partial funding for scholarly endeavors must remain a high institutional priority.

Dissemination of Research Results

Every year, many UTK faculty make significant research discoveries, or they develop and implement innovative applications of research through public service. The current "Centripetals" series provides a means for such developments to be shared with other UTK faculty. Some departments have also established avenues for communicating scholarly and professional results intradepartmentally. The UT Press disseminates information of both a scholarly and a regional character. The publications dealing with the area are also an important component of the University's public service activity.

(1) The current Centripetals program appears successful and should be maintained so long as the interest and the quality remain high. Recipients of UTK research grants should be encouraged to present their findings at such sessions.

(2) Where possible, UTK funding for research should be expanded. Funding for equipment, research initiation for junior faculty, and summer support for research effort are all efforts that should be continued.

(3) The Office of Graduate Studies and Research should be available to assist in the preparation of proposals and grant applications. This office should be able to guide faculty members with a constructive, critical review of proposals, and suggestions of appropriate funding sources. The office should also assist in the typing and duplication of proposals.

(4) The important publication effort of the UT Press should be recognized and maintained.

Faculty Exchange

The possibilities of scholarly and professional renewal from exchanging faculty among institutions are twofold: both the exchanged faculty member and his or her colleagues benefit from exposure to new people and new ideas. There are a variety of models for faculty exchange programs, but promotion and coordination has so far been minimal. One cause of limited success in faculty exchanges is a mismatch among faculty interests and department needs. Coordination activities need to be very sensitive to the needs of departments in such changes.

(1) UTK should encourage exchange of faculty members. This encouragement might take the form of participation in a regional or national faculty exchange program. The most viable mechanism for establishing successful faculty exchanges, however, remains the "buddy system" where colleagues or cognate area colleagues make contacts with professional colleagues at other institutions.

(2) The university should be flexible in faculty exchanges. In some cases the home institutions will pay the salaries of their faculty members; at other times it may be necessary to hire the swapped faculty members as visiting professors. Sometimes a faculty member in one discipline may be exchanged for one in an unrelated area. The central administration should have some discretionary funds that can deal with such special cases, and someone needs to be responsible for facilitating the exchanges.

Visiting Professionals

The contributions of visiting faculty and professionals have been an important factor in building the quality of the academic program. Faculty development can be fostered and promoted through association with leaders in a field. A limited number of "visiting professorships" allocated to departments which need to bring a specialist in their discipline for a limited period of time could provide increased quality in the educational experiences of students and the development of faculty. This objective is inherent in a faculty exchange program, but requires an additional effort to bring truly outstanding scholars and professionals to the campus.

Some departments have been very successful in arranging for scholars and professionals on leave from their regular posts to spend time at UTK. The College of Business Administration's "Visiting Executive Program", the College of Communication's visiting journalist series, and other organized efforts by colleges and departments are highly successful. Part of the success of UTK in this area lies in our geography: our location in the sun- belt and our proximity to the Smoky Mountains are strong attractive forces which we should continue to exploit.

One of the prime objectives of the endowment fund for professional development being sought through the Tennessee Tomorrow campaign is to provide support for distinguished visiting scholars, researchers, teachers, artists, and interns.

(1) The endowment fund should be supplemented by unrestricted university funds to support visiting professionals and faculty.

(2) Departments should be encouraged to make arrangements for visitors in their multi-year planning. Outstanding scholars often make leave plans one or more years in advance. The university should establish a means of assisting departments by guaranteeing funds for visitors one or more years in advance of the actual visit.

(3) Visitors should be used to enrich the academic climate of the university. Part of the task of the visitor is to stimulate: to generate excitement and ideas in the area of expertise. Thus, the visitor should expect to work with the faculty and graduate students. Among things that the visitor might do are to offer seminars for graduate students and faculty, to assist doctoral students looking for research topics, and to work with newer faculty by helping them to establish research activities or funding programs.


Public service is one of the three central missions of the university. Although degree of involvement in public service will vary from department to department and from faculty member to faculty member, it is important for departments and faculty members to recognize their roles in public service. Public service is carried on in the individual department; it is not an activity relegated to the Institute for Public Service.

In some regards, the changing demography of the university has altered the form of public service for the university. A decade ago, the typical student was between 18 and 25 years of age; education of people over 25 was considered an act of public service. Now, however, the university is faced with a large number of returning students and so a part of the public service activity has moved into the campus classroom. Continuing education, professional certification, and noncredit programs are all part of the public service effort of the university.

Other public service activities--speaking at civic organizations or providing advice to business or governmental groups--may be insignificant to the faculty members involved, but they can be of great importance in establishing the reputation of UTK. The reputation of the university has a direct impact on recruiting new students. Various university outreach activities can help to attract students of non-traditional age groups. Finally the reputation of the university has an important relationship to development and fund-raising activities.

Public service provides a valuable faculty development opportunity. It gives a faculty member time to spend in the field, to make practical application of the theory and knowledge, and to meet and work closely with other professionals engaged in a different aspect of knowledge acquisition, application and evaluation. Often the products of our educational process are intangible--student learning or abstract research results. Public service can be fulfilling because the projects are carried to completion.

(1) The administration must recognize the need to continue support for public service work by faculty members.

(2) Contributions to public service should be rewarded in the same way contributions to teaching or research are rewarded. The department is the key point in this reward structure. Promotion and tenure recommendations and merit salary raises should recognize strengths in public service.

(3) Where necessary, department, college, and campus agencies should be created to secure public service contacts and to assist in public service efforts.


The teaching mission of UTK remains the most visible activity in which UTK is involved. Students, parents, alumni/ae, legislators, and other members of the community think of classroom teaching as the primary activity of the University. Yet most faculty members are hired because of their disciplinary excellence, with little or no attention paid to the teaching skills of those faculty members. It is important that faculty become aware that improving teaching skills is a justifiable goal of faculty development.

Recognizing the need to reassert the teacher component of the teacher-scholar, the Chancellor created the Council on Teaching and Learning. This group did much to identify important issues related to instruction and to make recommendations concerning these. The council did valuable work on testing and grading, academic dishonesty, and the role of GTAs. More recently the work of the council has been assumed by the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Improvement. This group developed and administered the GTA teaching seminar. It has also proposed a seminar on teaching techniques for new faculty members.

The university has engaged in a number of efforts designed to improve the instructional abilities of its faculty members. During Fall, 1979, a seminar on teaching for graduate teaching assistants was held. This seminar was offered for credit to a group of GTAs selected from across the campus. The goals of that seminar were both long- and short-range. In the short range, the course sought to provide information on the teaching process to some of the GTAs who have direct contact with a large number of students early in their college careers. In the long range, however, some of the same GTAs may choose teaching as a profession, and thus this bit of initial training may help the profession in general. Since these GTAs are both instructors and students simultaneously, they may transfer insights to the classes they take as well as to those they teach. Additional seminars emphasizing teaching techniques and skills, are expected to be held in the future.

The university has a number of teaching awards, ranging from the Alumni Outstanding Teacher awards to the Lindsay Young Distinguished Professorships. The university should continue to recognize the many excellent teachers on campus and propose them as models. In addition to university recognition, many colleges and some departments recognize their outstanding teachers. Some departments also recognize outstanding teaching by GTAs.

The UTK Learning Research Center is a resource for instructional improvement, having been organized in 1965 to encourage faculty members to improve teaching/learning activities. The center facilitates student evaluation of courses and faculty, produces a quarterly pamphlet, "Teaching Learning Issues", promotes and conducts research on various teaching-learning issues and distributes articles in the area of teaching and learning to members of the faculty as needs arise.

Beginning in 1977 The Learning Research Center acquired a series of three one-year grants from the Lilly Endowment to fund a series of relatively new faculty members as postdoctoral teaching award fellows. These faculty members study the teaching process so that they can improve their own teaching abilities and can recommend ways to improve the quality of instruction across campus.

(1) Faculty members must be encouraged to think of the improvement of their teaching skills as a positive activity. Many instructional improvement efforts founder because faculty members believe that good teachers are born that way, or that good teaching is largely a matter of personality. Furthermore, most faculty members believe they are already good teachers. (82% of the UTK faculty responding to a recent survey marked "strongly agree" or "agree" in response to the statement "I believe my teaching rates in the upper 1/3 of faculty on this campus.") Specific recommendations include the activities listed below.
a. Workshops and seminars should be developed on specific aspects of teaching--e.g., leading discussions, constructing multiple choice exams, using media, using computers.

b. Departments should be encouraged to develop more realistic goals for teaching improvement, and to involve interested people at all levels: GTAs through full professors. GTAs are in a valuable dual role: they are both teachers and students, and they can often see the relationship between teaching and student needs better than full faculty.

c. A more obvious emphasis on quality teaching should be built into the university reward structure. For example, the College of Liberal Arts recognizes achievement in teaching by salary supplements from the Dean's office. Although modest, these salary supplements have a powerful effect on faculty morale, and they assert the importance of good teaching.

d. Departments should be encouraged to develop teaching improvement programs jointly with other departments likely to share the same kinds of difficulties (e.g., using a lecture-discussion-lab format, dealing with large classes).

e. Department heads should convey to faculty members that instructional improvement is a process of development. Although it is an attempt to overcome shortcomings, it is as valuable to want to improve as a teacher as it is to want to develop a new research activity.

Relationships Between Teaching and Other Areas of Faculty Development

Other components of faculty development--such as research activity, faculty renewal and internship leaves, study in a cognate area--can have an impact on teaching as well. Department heads should insure that faculty members understand the multiple benefits that can accrue from faculty development efforts. Department heads should also be aware of the subtle but important factors that can influence teaching.

(1) Course scheduling should be done in such a way as to make good use of human resources. A faculty member who has completed study in a cognate field should be given a teaching assignment that exercises that new talent. People selected for interdisciplinary activities should be those with the widest breadth of interest. Furthermore, people with broad interests should be encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary activities.

(2) Intradepartmental and interdepartmental teach teaching should be encourages. Team teaching can be valuable for instructional improvement of all faculty involved. Team teaching can also give students a broader view of a topic than one single instructor can provide. All faculty members involved in the teaching of a course should be able to claim the effort on a faculty service report.

(3) Office assignment can also have an impact on the development of faculty members. Often the assignment is based purely on seniority. Where two or more faculty members must share one office or adjoining offices there exists an excellent opportunity to foster a mentor/disciple relationship; alternatively, two people who need to share a piece of equipment or who have common interests could share an office profitably.

(4) Library support has an obvious impact on teaching effectiveness. It is easy, yet unrealistic, to call for extensive support in all areas that are taught, as well as all areas in which research is in progress. A more reasonable goal for library support of instruction would be to focus on certain areas of strength and importance in both teaching and research. When pruning of the collection or cutbacks in acquisitions are needed, these should be done selectively so as to minimize their impact on instruction and research.

(5) Departments should make available some professional literature--such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Change Magazine, and other selected professional readings for academicians--in much the same manner that discipline-oriented literature is often available in lounges and commons rooms. Departments may also want to begin collecting literature of a professional nature and to develop bibliographies on faculty development.

(6) Human and mechanical resources are essential to quality teaching. Adequate facilities for preparation and duplication of teaching materials are needed. As budgets diminish, there is a temptation to reduce secretarial support, photocopy allocations, or money for graders or student assistants. One of the most effective ways of promoting faculty improvement is to maintain competent support for faculty members. This includes people such as secretaries, technicians, graduate teaching and research assistants and post-doctoral fellows, as well as mechanical devices such as typewriters and photocopiers.


The University takes seriously its student advising function This advice should extend beyond the usual schedule advising, and should cover a variety of student needs. UTK has recently studied the advising of undergraduate students and has entered into a program of "mandatory advising", in which all undergraduates are given incentive to meet with their advisors at least once per year. In some departments, a special corps of advisors has been selected, with these advisors receiving recognition for their activities. In other departments, all faculty members share the advising.

(1) UTK should provide special training for faculty members who will be advising students. This training should include at least the following:
a. study of resources available at UTK to help students,
b. study of counseling skills,
c. study of interpersonal communication skills and interpersonal relationships,
d. study of characteristics of learners and phases of development,
e. study of special situations faced by nontraditional students--e.g., minority students, handicapped students, middle-aged students.
(2) UTK should place more obvious emphasis on the importance of quality advising. For example, the College of Liberal Arts rewards excellent in advising with special commendations and remuneration from the dean's office.


As faculty members, students and disciplines change, so also do curricula. Curriculum revision can be a very important activity in faculty development, for it includes a high degree of faculty involvement and control, it requires a large measure of faculty expertise, and it creates stimulation and renewal. Curriculum revision can also be a vehicle for using newly-developed faculty strengths. For example, many curriculum reforms have recently stressed interdisciplinary courses, which are a perfect use of faculty members with new skills.

(1) Course revisions are to be encouraged as important forms of faculty development, especially if they encourage a faculty member to redesign a course to meet changed goals, or if they involve varying the manner of presentation because of a changed clientele. Course revisions that exploit new developments in faculty members' scholarly work or teaching skills are also to be encouraged.

(2) Curriculum review should be recognized as a form of scholarly activity. The same activities that are important to research--surveying the literature, considering alternatives, and attaining sound results-are essential in curriculum review. The university should encourage curriculum review as a scholarly task, and should provide visible recognition of good work in curriculum review.


New Administrators

New administrators frequently come from the ranks of the faculty. Furthermore, assuming administrative responsibility can be a useful activity in the development of some faculty members. Disciplinary training does not always provide adequate preparation for the managerial and supervisory tasks required of administrators.

(1) The university should acknowledge the fact that administrative vacancies are often filled with members of the faculty. It should begin to identify a corps of people ready and able to move into administrative vacancies.

(2) People identified as likely administrative candidates--who are also interested in moving into administration--should be prepared for their possible administrative activities. They should be given administrative tasks on university, college, and departmental projects in order to help to develop leadership skills. Furthermore, new administrators should be carefully counseled and prepared for their roles by training in management skills, where necessary.

(3) New administrators, and faculty members being prepared for movement into administrative slots, should participate in conferences on the needs of the institution. For instance, ACE sponsors conferences on a variety of administrative topics of interest to universities.

(4) Identified administrative candidates should also be encouraged to engage in seminars or projects that will enhance these administrative skills.

(5) The university could engage in a visitation/evaluation program with other similar institutions. For example, groups of faculty and administrators could be sent to Big 10 or SREB schools to acquire a structured view of the administration of other institutions.

(6) The university should establish a series of internship positions internal to the university. These interns would be able to provide some necessary administrative relief and assistance in such offices as Academic Affairs, Graduate Studies and Research, and Business and Finance offices, as well as offices in some colleges. On the one hand this activity could give the faculty interns valuable supervised experience in administration. It would, on the other hand, give faculty members a better appreciation for the administrative activities carried on by those offices, thereby reducing faculty ignorance or distrust of the university administrative offices.

(7) Some person should be designated to coordinate and assist faculty members in seeking external internship posts (such as ACE interns or visiting posts with foundations).

(8) People who take administrative internships such as the ACE should be encouraged to leave Knoxville, in order to make the experience be refreshing and renewing. Such internships should be seen as valuable forms of personal development and institutional renewal, but not necessarily as steppingstones into administrative posts. Not all who avail themselves of these opportunities will be interested in or ultimately well suited for administration.

(9) The university's motives in using faculty members in administration should be to develop as many people as possible. New people should continually be brought into the pool; the same people should not always be asked to assist in administration.

Administrator Development and Renewal

A dilemma occurs because administrators are frequently chosen from the ranks of the faculty: in one sense, they are closer to the faculty and empathize with faculty needs; at the same time, continued administrative activity occupies their time and can cause them to lose touch with their discipline and with teaching.

(1) UTK should establish a leave program for administrators. During a period away from administration, administrators can teach, engage in research or perform other nonadministrative faculty activities at UTK. This contact with faculty and disciplines is important to keep administrators from losing touch with their subject areas, and to guarantee that they are still able to see issues from the perspective of faculty members.

(2) UTK should establish a system by which administrators can take a quarter or more away from UTK. During this time they will be free to teach, to visit other schools, to engage in research activities in a center for scholarship, or to learn through an internship at some other institution.

(3) UTK should establish a policy whereby administrators are encouraged to leave administration after a period of time and to return to careers as productive faculty members. More people might be encouraged to accept administrative posts if they were convinced that a move to administration does not mean permanently relinquishing scholarly careers.


Conducting an evaluation is an excellent means of identifying direction for faculty development. The university uses evaluation extensively: students in classes are asked to rate the performance of their professors, and each professor assesses the achievement of the students. Department heads annually rate their faculty members, and the faculty members in turn rate their head. The process continues throughout all levels of administration. However, it is not clear that anyone in this chain has received training in assessment, nor that the ratings themselves are being used for improvement.

Measurement of Learning and Evaluation of Students

Faculty members seldom receive any training in the construction of examinations; yet there are faculty members on campus whose specialty is the construction of valid, reliable test instruments. Recently the Learning Research Center, in conjunction with the Council on Teaching and Learning, has distributed a series of hints for construction of different types of tests.

(1) Departments should seriously consider the guidelines presented, and should use these as measuring devices against which exams in the department can be assessed. In particular,
a. Examinations administered by many people in the department ("standardized exams") should be very carefully scrutinized because of the number of people affected.

b. Examinations devised by graduate teaching assistants should be scanned by a faculty member before the exams are administered, in order to eliminate errors committed by inexperienced assistants.

c. Departments should establish bodies of interested and informed faculty members to review tests of colleagues who want comments on their exams. New faculty members should be especially encouraged to work with these bodies.

d. Departments should guarantee that faculty are familiar with a variety of forms of measurement, e.g., norm referenced and criterion referenced testing.

Student Evaluation of Instruction

Student ratings of teaching can be useful for several purposes, such as (1) improving teaching, (2) providing data relevant to judgment about teaching effectiveness, (3) directing student choice of course and instructor, and (4) stimulating students to think about their education. However, no matter how technically sophisticated our evaluation system, it is useless if its use generates such conflict, anxiety, or confusion that education is adversely affected. Student ratings can be used to improve the quality of instruction. Student ratings should not be used as the single measure of teaching; rather they should be thought of as providing data valuable to problem solving.

(1) Faculty members should be encouraged to use student evaluation of instruction as a means for improvement. Department heads should meet with each faculty member and counsel him or her regarding the strengths and weaknesses identified in an evaluation. Because of limited reliability of student evaluation, faculty members should not be berated because of a low rating in one area; rather that should be addressed as an area for concerted effort in the future.

(2) Normative data should be derived for departments and for the campus for the evaluation forms in common use (administered by the Learning Research Center). It is of little value for a professor to know that he or she scored a 2.72 on a particular item, unless it is also known that the mean for that item is 1.70 or is 4.95. Such statistics should be taken with a bit of skepticism, for it is not appropriate to compare one class rating Professor X with a completely different class rating Professor Y. Still, norms would be helpful for suggesting areas that may need development.

(3) Department heads, deans, and other administrators should continue to encourage use of nontraditional forms of evaluation as elements in the tenure/promotion/evaluation process. Student evaluation of instruction should be recognized as an important part--but only one part--of this evaluation process. Peer evaluation, examination of course materials, interviews of students, and other mechanisms for evaluation of instruction are important for professional development.

(4) Faculty members involved in the evaluation of instruction tend to report that the act of evaluation provides them a new perspective on their own teaching techniques. Thus, faculty involvement in the evaluation of instruction should also be recognized and promoted as a means of professional development.

Professional Evaluation and Planned Development For The Department Head

Faculty development must be promoted at the department level in the case of each faculty member. The annual series of performance appraisals and goal setting discussions held by the department head with the faculty should be designed to facilitate faculty development by setting realistic objectives for individual growth.

A body of literature exists on constructive use of faculty evaluation. Some departments are either formally or informally using such mechanisms as goal setting and measurement against personally-identified goals (MBO), personal growth contracting, and portfolio preparation.

The department head is a critical figure in the faculty development process. The head is responsible for the evaluation of faculty performance, as well as the facilitator and coordinator of such activities as visiting professorships, faculty exchanges, class scheduling, travel authorization, and released time. In addition to such administrative tasks, the head must encourage faculty development, while at the same time evaluating the activities of each faculty member objectively. Professional development activities for department heads began in 1979-80 when some UTK heads participated in an experimental program, "Institute for Departmental Leadership", being conducted by the American Council on Education. This program was initially developed at Florida State University, through a Kellogg Foundation grant. Depending on the suitability of this program, it might be adapted or adopted for continuing UTK use.

(1) Special attention should be paid to the selection and preparation of new department heads. In addition to training managerial matters (budgeting, reporting, affirmative action), department heads need training in evaluating faculty members, assisting faculty in self-development, and communicating with faculty concerning their performance.

(2) Department heads must understand the process of MBO or any other development-planning processes being used. A series of workshops to explain the process should be held prior to the implementation of the MBO process. After MBO is used, department heads should again discuss their experiences and problems with the system.

(3) Department heads should make sure that faculty members understand the MBO process as a means for establishing professional development goals and working to achieve those goals. MBO works in conjunction with other faculty development efforts. MBO can also be used by a department to establish its goals within a college and to measure its accomplishment of those goals.

(4) Department heads should stress the positive nature of the MBO process. This is a process in which a faculty member can assert a personal series of goals and obtain approval of the direction of the goals before any activity takes place. It is also a means in which the faculty member can determine the criteria by which he or she will be judged.

(5) Faculty members must be encouraged to develop reasonable sets of objectives. No faculty member is expected to excel in all aspects of responsibility--teaching, research, public service, and administration. Similarly, no two faculty members from the same department should be expected to adopt the same set of objectives. Flexibility of objectives must be expected and even encouraged. it should also be recognized that objectives may change between evaluation periods, and some means must be built into the evaluation to account for this.

(6) Department heads should be encouraged to use a variety of personal development tools and procedures in encouraging the growth of their departments. Department heads and faculty need to become familiar with personal growth contracting, portfolio preparation, and other such instruments.

(7) Department heads and faculty members need to understand (or be trained in) the use of faculty development and evaluation instruments such as clinical supervision of instruction.


Sometimes faculty members, who are perfectly adequate teachers, researchers, and advisors, lose the zeal they once had for their profession. Often this is related to factors entirely outside the university, such as personal problems or a physical difficulty. Still, these extramural difficulties can have a major impact on the professional activities of faculty members. Recent treatments on the topic of faculty development have recommended a holistic approach to the area: that is, personal development, instructional development, and organizational development need to be considered as related components of the professional development of faculty members.

(1) The university should establish means whereby faculty members can be encouraged in personal growth because of the obvious relationship of that to the faculty member's performance of professional duties. The growth might include improving the understanding of one's personality or developing ways of addressing personal crises (passages).

(2) The university should create workshops or seminars on personal growth, including such topics as interpersonal skills training, phases of adult development, and conflict management.

(3) Other aspects of professional development are all related to the goal of reinvigorating a faculty member. Faculty development needs to be seen as a comprehensive task, including all of the components listed above. Development in areas appropriate to each faculty member can often have a positive outcome on renewing the zest of a faculty member. The university should recognize the related nature of all faculty development efforts, and should establish development of a comprehensive faculty development program as a long-range goal.


Faculty Development Awards

In 1976-77 the university added a faculty development award program to the existing faculty research award program. This program emphasizes both research and professional development activities that may be more directly related to teaching than to producing scholarly publications. These awards have been important in establishing faculty development efforts on campus. The number and the sizes of the projects funded under this program identify the growing concern for faculty development on the UTK campus.

(1) Research awards should be kept ideologically separate from faculty development awards, for the two concepts are very different. Proposals for faculty development grants should meet the following criteria: (1) the project will have benefit for or positive effect on the campus community in general, (2) the project will involve improvement in some area of university life covered by the above list of faculty development areas, (3) recipients of the awards should be expected to share the results of their projects with the rest of the campus community so that all may profit, from the development activity, and (4) proposals should contain an indication of how the project is to be evaluated and the results of the project disseminated for maximum development benefit to the university community.

(2) To insure that faculty development awards are not confused with research awards, faculty development proposals should be screened by representatives of the Academic Affairs Office, in conjunction with the office of Graduate Studies and Research.

University Support of Professional Development

The campus administration has generally been very supportive of professional development activities. Many programs, begun within the last five years, have been identified in the individual sections listed above. This support is especially commendable in light of the limited budget under which the University has to operate. However, there have been a large number of professional development activities recommended above that should be given serious consideration. Some of these projects have zero or minimal cost, while others would be very expensive.

(1) The university should continue to support professional development. This support may also involve separate fund raising efforts, or diverting resources from other areas.

(2) Professional development activities should be ordered according to their importance and value to this campus. There should likewise be a priority ordering for all other activities on campus, and these lists should then be combined. As noted above, it is important that the spirit of professional development be maintained. This spirit can best be maintained by clearly defining the priority of professional development activities in relation to other campus activities.

(3) In order to strengthen the instructional program, departments at times need an institutional commitment of funds beyond those that would represent a proportionate increase as a part of the regular budgeting process. Commitment of funds for a specified period would allow for the introduction and evaluation of specialized equipment, development of innovative teaching techniques, and provision for acquiring the assistance of teachers having experience in similar teaching/learning methods. A limited number of such commitments should be begun on the basis of the current budget hearing requests.

Coordination of Facilities and Support Services

A variety of supporting services is necessary for faculty to be innovative in teaching, productive in research, and responsive to requests in public service. Many of the needed services are currently provided at various levels by departments and colleges, ranging from no assistance in some departments to the services of the Faculty Support Center in the College of Business Administration and the Media Center of the College of Education. Various administrative offices also offer specialized services as a portion of their overall functions.

There is presently no campus-wide coordination of faculty support services, nor are some support services necessary to faculty development and instructional improvement available to all faculty (e.g., media services, instructional software development assistance, photography services). Currently there are at least four offices with direct relationship to professional development activities (the Learning Research Center, Computing Center, Libraries, and Office of Graduate Studies and Research). Furthermore, the campus shares time with several critical system level operations (e.g., the Teaching Materials Center, Institutional Research). No campus structure exists for providing or coordinating media support services.

(1) An effort should be made to coordinate campus offices related to professional development efforts, perhaps by relating them more closely with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

(2) The role of the Learning Research Center should be expanded to include working with appropriate faculty and administrative groups to generate and evaluate professional development projects, to initiate and support instructional improvement activities, and to administer faculty development awards. Perhaps the title of the Center should be changed to reflect its expanded role and responsibility.

(3) An "Instructional Services Center" should be developed to provide media services, instructional software development assistance and photographic services to faculty. This center should be headed by a Director (same level as Director of Libraries, Director of Computing Center and Director of Learning Research Center), and it should have the responsibility for coordinating existing resources across campus as well as developing needed new ones.

(4) Appropriate campus-level personnel should work with systems administration to (a) determine appropriate campus use of present systems operations such as the Teaching Materials Center and the Office of Institutional Research, and (b) determine the campus role in the coordination and administration of these operations.

1 Phillips, S. R., "What, Then, Is Faculty Development?" ADE Bulletin [Assn. of Departments of English] May 1976, pp. 11-17.

2 Francis, J. B., "How Do We Get There From Here? Program Design for Faculty Development", Journal of Higher Education, 46, November/December 1975, pp. 719-32.


Bergquist, W. H. et al., A Handbook for Faculty Development, Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, 1975.

Bowen, H. R., Investment in Learning: The Individual and Social Value of American Higher Education, Jossey-Bass, 1977.

Eble, K. E., The Craft of Teaching: A Guide to Mastering the Professor's Art, Jossey-Bass, 1976.

Gaff, J. G., Toward Faculty Renewal, Jossey-Bass, 1975.

Gaff, S. S., et a]., Professional Development--A Guide to Resources, Change Magazine Press, 1978.

Group for Human Development in Higher Education, Faculty Development in a Time of Retrenchment, Change Magazine Press, 1974.

McKeachie, W. J., "Student Rating of Faculty: A Reprise", Academe, Bulletin of the AAUP, October 1979, 384-397.

Newman, F. et al., Report on Higher Education, U. S. Department of HEW, 1971.

Rudolph, F., Curriculum, A History of the American Undergraduate Course of Study Since 1636, Jossey-Bass, 1977.

Senate Directory
Governing Documents
   Senate Bylaws
   Faculty Handbook
   Tenure Policy



Senate Home

To offer suggestions or comments about this web site, please click here.