(Program Description and Guideline details have changed, please review carefully)
The Professional Development Assignment (PDA) Program at the University of Memphis
encourages faculty members to continue their professional growth as scholars and teachers.
In the College of Arts and Sciences over 400 PDAs have been awarded since 1977-78.
Faculty members may apply for a PDA for one semester, at full pay, or for one academic
year, at half pay. Faculty being approved for a full academic year PDA cannot change
to a semester after the approval has been granted. Linda Bennett, the Associate Dean
for Graduate Studies and Research in the Office of the Dean in 107 Scates Hall, can
provide details about the PDA program.
Guidelines For Professional Development Assignments Program
Faculty members interested in obtaining a Professional Development Assignment apply
early in the fall semester of the year prior to the anticipated Assignment:
Priorities To Be Used By The Selection Committee
- First priority will be given to proposals that advance the faculty member's scholarship
and/or teaching and that show clear potential to enhance the faculty member's contributions
to the department or division, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University.
- Priority will be given to proposals that clearly specify the plan for work during
the leave period.
- Priority will be given to faculty members who have not received a previous Assignment.
At the same time, those faculty members who have received an earlier Assignment are
encouraged to apply and those with strong proposals will be supported when possible.
- Priority will be given to tenured faculty members. For non-tenured faculty members,
priority will be given to faculty members who have completed their third year review.
A & S Procedures For Professional Development Assignments Program
- A three-member Professional Development Assignment Committee of the College of Arts
and Sciences Council for Graduate Studies and Research, coordinated by the Associate
Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, reviews the proposals.
The committee is made up of three College Council members who serve for a period of
two years and who represent the three disciplinary areas of the College (Humanities,
Social Sciences, and Natural Science and Mathematical Sciences). Typically one member
is elected by the College Council, one is selected by the Dean, and a third member
carries over from the previous year.
Depending on continuity of College Council members, this typical plan can be modified,
but the intent is to balance the subcommittee between members selected by the dean
and members elected by the College Council and to ensure all three disciplinary areas
- After each member has reviewed the proposals, the PDA Committee meets with the Associate
Dean for Graduate Studies and Research.
Each committee member reports his/her decision as to whether the candidate (1) should
definitely be funded, (2) should be funded if budgetary considerations permit, or
(3) should not be funded even if there are sufficient funds.
A supporting rationale is provided. If possible, the committee arrives at a consensus
about each candidate.
- Based upon the PDA Committee's recommendations, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
and Research contacts the Chair/Director of all applicants and develops a budget for
the cost of covering the courses of applicants who have been approved at either the
first or second categories.
The costs of covering each faculty member's courses and the total cost of the program
- The Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research discusses with the Dean and the
Dean's professional staff the substantive issues that emerged from the PDA Committee's
review regarding the merits of proposals and the financial feasibility of funding
faculty members who were ranked at the first and second categories.
Based upon this information, a decision is made about whom to support for the upcoming
- The Dean and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research writes and delivers
a letter to each PDA applicant by the end of the fall semester, indicating whether
or not a Professional Development Assignment has been awarded. Copies of these letters
are delivered to the Chair/Director of the faculty member's department/division.
- Faculty members who are granted a PDA sign a contract and submit this signed memo
along with a one-paragraph description of the proposed work to the Office of the Dean
Electronic PDA Application
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