The institution provides ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners.
Over the length of employment, the College is committed to strengthening the professional development of all instructional faculty, particularly tenured and tenure track. From an initial appointment through the awarding of tenure the investment in faculty development is of paramount importance to enhanced instruction, curriculum development and theoretical, applied and sponsored research opportunities.
The process leading to the conferring of tenure is the first step in faculty development, followed by continuing opportunities for reflection and further credentialing. The awarding of tenure ought to be an affirmation of the initial hiring process. Every effort is made to support candidates for tenure by affording them an opportunity for growth and development consistent with the potential observed in the initial interview. Standards for tenure and promotion are found in the Faculty Handbook.
Sabbatical Leave and Released Time
The College expectation is that faculty will avail themselves of the opportunity to engage in sabbatical and provisional leave for the furtherance of scholarly work and professional renewal. Such work will provide the basis for advancement in faculty rank and/or recognition among peers. Sabbatical and professional leaves are earned. Release time is compensation resulting from sponsored research activity. The sabbatical leave policy is defined in the Faculty Handbook.
Morehouse is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS). Sixteen distinguished liberal arts colleges and universities belong to this consortium. The consortium provides a mechanism for faculty to engage in numerous professional development activities including intradepartmental collaborations. Additionally, Morehouse is a member of the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education (ARCHE), which includes twenty private and public schools in the Atlanta region. In particular, it offers collaborative ways to share resources and provides services to expand educational opportunities.
The College recently signed an agreement with the Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the development of a Mentor-Protege program via its contract with UT-Battelle, LLC to provide faculty research and capacity development opportunities in the sciences and business and economics. (See supporting documents below.)
Instructional Development Activities
A number of Morehouse faculty have participated in instructional development activities. Faculty participation in development activities by division are documented in the College’s strategic plan indicators (2001-2006) as collected by the Office of Strategic Planning.
The data is presented by academic division and include the categories listed below:
Instructional development training:
Faculty intellectual/artistic contributions
Number of peer-reviewed Journals
Faculty presentations at professional conferences
Contributions in instructional development and pedagogy
Sponsored programs and research dollars
Faculty receiving research support
Additionally, scholarship and professional development is a part of the faculty member’s annual evaluation process and is based on their approved work plan for the year. The Faculty Development Committee (a part of the governance structure at Morehouse) is active in notifying faculty of both external and internal development opportunities.
The Morehouse College Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is an important link in faculty professional development. This office administers awards for sponsored research, programs, and projects. Its primary purpose however, is to develop and maintain the infrastructure needed to support the research and training activities of the College. The office seeks to facilitate the identification of support sources for sponsored projects and provides training programs for proposal writing. OSP also helps develop policies relative to sponsored activities and provides assistance with proposal development.
The normal teaching load at Morehouse is 12 credit hours, which amounts to four 3 credit hour courses per semester. The teaching load is reduced to 9 credit hours particularly in the sciences and within some departments in the humanities division to facilitate scholarly research and faculty development. Faculty members who have active grants may “buy” release time to equal not more than 50% course load to further facilitate their research.
Competitive Release Time Grants
The Faculty Research Committee administers a program to evaluate competitive proposals and provide release time equivalent to one course. The committee makes several awards in the Fall and Spring semesters to pursue scholarly work.
Faculty can apply for funds to travel to professional meetings, seminars and other development activities each year. Endowed funds, ($118,248 this year), originally provided by the Mellon and Mott foundations, support and sustain faculty development (especially conference travel). Additionally, the Division of Business and Economics has its own endowed faculty development fund which supplements its annual allocation from College-wide funds. Faculty members apply for funds through their department chair and or the divisional deans.
Other Development Activities
Faculty members are provided with instructional and professional support through the WebCT group. Additionally, several workshops are provided each semester where faculty members can learn software such as Dreamweaver, SPSS, SAS and other statistical packages as required by faculty. Faculty can also apply for financial support to attend and participate in professional meetings. The comprehensive program review process required departments to list faculty development activities in the last five years. (See Quality of Program Inputs and Processes, Section IVA5.)