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Compliance Certification Report
Comprehensive Standards 3.7.3

Last Updated Aug 13, 2004
(static edition)

Comprehensive Standards 3.7.3:

The institution provides evidence of ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners.

The Institution Certifies Compliance: Yes

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 30

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

The University of Memphis provides numerous vehicles by which it encourages and rewards the ongoing professional development of its faculty. Professional development is recognized and rewarded in the annual evaluation process, [1] in tenure and promotion decisions, [2] and through a number of awards conferred on faculty.

Planning and Annual Evaluation

The responsibilities of individual faculty members are set each year in consultation with the department chair and reviewed by the dean of the college concerned. In the Faculty Planning Report, each faculty member and chair project how the faculty member’s time will be divided between several categories of teaching, research, and service. At the close of each academic year, the department chair evaluates each faculty member on his or her performance in teaching, research, and service, as components of an overall rating. Department chairs are evaluated by their faculty and their deans on their professional as well as administrative performance. The provost’s office maintains an on-line bank of faculty curriculum vitae, which faculty are expected to update at least yearly, in support of the evaluation process. The official university curriculum vitae format includes publications; presentations at professional meetings; creative activities; grants and contracts; public, university, and professional service; and recognition and honors earned. [3]

Professional Development Assignments  

Tenured faculty may apply for a professional development assignment (PDA), which provides release time from teaching duties for one semester with full pay or one year at half pay, to develop research, teaching, or service capabilities. Applications for PDAs are accepted yearly by each dean’s office. [4]

Teaching:  Advanced Learning Center

Apart from formal and informal mentoring by more experienced faculty, the Advanced Learning Center [5] assists faculty in teaching effectively, particularly through the introduction of technology in the classroom.

Research:  Faculty Research Grants

The university allocates funds to faculty in the form of Faculty Research Grants on the basis of competitive proposals solicited each January from tenured and tenure track faculty. [6] Awards are decided by one of three faculty committees (Arts and Humanities; Science, Engineering, and Mathematics; and Social Sciences and Business). The maximum award is $6,500. Faculty research grants are funded through indirect cost reimbursement on externally funded projects. In fiscal 2004, $107,454 was awarded for faculty research grants. [7]

Research:  Office of Research Support Services and Grants and Contracts Accounting

The Office of Research Support Services [8] assists faculty in all stages of preparing proposals for externally funded research. It maintains the university’s membership in the Community of Science funding and expertise databases, through which faculty members can identify both potential sources of support and potential collaborators. It assists faculty in preparing proposal budgets to meet both university accounting and sponsor requirements. It also assists faculty members in ensuring that proposed research complies with all legal requirements regarding human and animal subjects. The office assists proposal writers in identifying any conflicts of interest that may need to be managed during the project. It arranges electronic submission of proposals with the required university endorsements when appropriate as well as the reproduction and mailing of hard copy proposals when needed. When notified that an external project will be funded, it transmits to the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting the required information to set up a project account and, if necessary, arranges an advance account so that paperwork delays on the part of the sponsor do not delay the work being done.

The Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting [9] maintains separate accounts for externally funded projects and provides online access to account budgets to project directors and grant managers. This office is responsible for billing sponsors and documenting grant expenditures as required by sponsors, minimizing the administrative burden on faculty engaged in research.

University Travel Funds

Each department is provided with a basic travel budget for faculty to attend professional meetings. Financial assistance for travel also may be requested from the deans’ offices, from the Office of International Programs, and from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

Research, Teaching and Service Recognition

A variety of award programs [10] are in place at the UofM to recognize outstanding faculty. The University Board of Visitors presents an Eminent Faculty Award to one faculty member each year to recognize outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching, and service. The University of Memphis Alumni Association makes up to five Awards for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity and two Distinguished Advising Awards each year. Further, four members of the University faculty are presented Distinguished Teaching Awards each spring in recognition of the high quality of their teaching. Finally, the Briggs Excellence in Teaching award recognizes teaching excellence at the undergraduate level and an overall commitment to undergraduate education.

Many of the schools and colleges within the university provide internal award competitions. Several of the colleges have named professorships, funded by gifts to the university, to which faculty members can be named for a set term. For example, Dunavant University Professorships in the College of Arts and Sciences provide an annual allocation of $5,000 for up to three years to support the recipient's research. [11]

The university supports and reports faculty achievements through a number of publications. News of faculty publications is carried in the in-house monthly “Update.” [12] The University of Memphis Magazine appears quarterly and features articles on faculty achievements. College newsletters and websites [13] provide further public recognition. Press releases are mailed to local and national media for achievements of more general interest.

Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Provost; Vice Provost for Research; Academic Deans

Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] Faculty Handbook, Chapter 4, Faculty Evaluation
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[2] Faculty Handbook, Chapter 4, Tenure and Promotion Overview
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The CV Management System

Standard Curriculum Vitae Format

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UofM Policy UM1288 Professional Development Assignments

2004 recipients of a Professional Development Assignment

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[5] Advanced Learning Center
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[6] Faculty Research Grant Application
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[7] Faculty Research Grant Recipients
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[8] Research Support Services
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[9] Grants and Contracts Accounting
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[10] Faculty Handbook, Chapter 7, Professional Development and Awards
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[11] College of Arts & Sciences, Dunavant University Professorships
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[12] March 2004 Update
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Sample College Website

Sample College Newsletter

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