College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Home
  • About
  • Strategic Plan
  • Strategic Theme 3: Faculty Scholarship, Teaching and Mentorship

Strategic Theme 3: Faculty Scholarship, Teaching and Mentorship

We will enhance resources that support scholars as intellectuals, educators and individuals across all academic ranks. We will seek to provide robust support to stimulate faculty productivity in research and scholarship. This includes a clear appreciation for research, publication and creative activity across all of our disciplines. We will seek to support this productivity through increased efforts and resources to obtain competitive grants, fellowships and external awards. Our efforts will champion our faculty in their drive to be leaders in their disciplines and in interdisciplinary efforts that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Strategy 1 – Amplify research support and recognition

Actions

  1. Sustain the Research Excellence Initiative through private fundraising to support research through a) seed and bridge support to faculty and students for enhancing and sustaining research projects; b) release time to enhance research and student mentoring; c) support for travel to conferences, research and performance activities; d) funding for external review of creative works and research products; and e) support for staff research projects
  2. Define creative approaches to increase research time and flexibility, including re-evaluation of teaching requirements, buy-out structure and teaching releases, including courses taught outside of the standard fall and spring semester terms (e.g., winter)
  3. Determine mechanisms to enhance nominations and successes of faculty for external and internal awards by raising awareness of available awards and by providing support and guidance for preparation of nomination materials
  4. Encourage community-engaged scholarship by clarifying its value in the evaluation of faculty and considering other initiatives, such as training, to familiarize faculty with best practices in community-engaged scholarship
  5. Communicate the value of research and scholarship and its benefits to society to our stakeholders and state leaders
  6. Enhance funding opportunities for faculty and students by increasing interactions among faculty and between research-focused centers and institutes such as the Hall Center, Life Span Institute, Institute for Policy & Social Research and Higuchi Biosciences Center
  7. Improve post-award support to College faculty and students by enhancing communication between the Shared Service Centers and the KU Center for Research in order to increase time for research productivity
  8. Facilitate connections with industry partners through research sponsorships, research collaborations, internships, faculty-industry sabbaticals and/or professional development training
  9. Build support for post-doctoral fellows to contribute to the goals of their research group, while developing their own individual career trajectories
  10. Work to support infrastructure improvements that will facilitate research, particularly for units that are operating under outdated research facilities that hinder productivity and external funding potential
Strategy 2 – Bolster innovative teaching and mentorship

Actions

  1. Promote innovative teaching including course redesign efforts and increased connections with campus resources including the Center for Teaching Excellence and Center for Online & Distance Learning
  2. Increase support for faculty to expand research opportunities (including the supervision of fellowship and other external funding opportunities) for undergraduate and graduate students
  3. Fundraise and seek national partners for improvements in engaged learning and other cutting-edge instructional spaces
  4. Further develop teaching specialist and other instructional-focused positions where consistent with the mission and goals of a unit to support enhanced contributions of instructional staff
  5. Develop support mechanisms (including time and financial resources) for faculty pursuing discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary training in pedagogy and/or mentoring on campus through offices such as the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for Online & Distance Learning, as well as through off-campus opportunities
  6. In collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence, conduct a College-wide review of best practices for evaluating teaching and mentoring, and begin to integrate findings into unit and College-wide evaluations
  7. Explore incentives and training that support and acknowledge the considerable time commitment and importance of student research mentoring efforts
Strategy 3 – Revitalize hiring practices and career development through transparent and equitable strategies

Actions

  1. Identify, study and implement strategies (e.g., fundraising for professorships, increased recruitment and retention of students) to generate resources that can be used for support of faculty lines
  2. Ensure hiring practices that include diverse applicant pools and consider the application of more broad definitions of excellence (see College DEI Plan, Section II) 
  3. Develop strategies and resources to inform faculty early in their career about grant and fellowship development, promotion and tenure expectations, feedback about progress beyond the third-year review and resources to mitigate barriers, with particular focus on the experiences of traditionally marginalized faculty
  4. Assess and address factors limiting associate professor progression and full professor excellence, with particular focus on the experiences of traditionally marginalized faculty  
  5. Work closely with units to ensure annual evaluation procedures are clear, equitably applied and ratings are given in line with the rigor outlined in the units’ guidelines and goals
  6. Clearly outline and share the College strategy for faculty hiring priorities and retention, especially related to counter offers and equity adjustments
  7. Ensure under-represented faculty have the support needed to succeed (see College DEI Plan, Sections I and III) (see College DEI Plan, Sections I and III)
  8. Enhance mentoring at all levels, in collaboration with the Provost’s Office, by developing training and guidelines that support individual utilization of best practices, expanding opportunities for mid-career faculty to receive strong mentoring, and supporting the targeted pairings of faculty mentors across disciplines as needed

Accountability metrics

  • Annual total funds available through the Research Excellence Initiative
  • Prestigious awards earned by faculty
  • Research expenditures
  • Teaching evaluations
  • Faculty diversity measures
  • Average time for faculty progression from associate professor to full professor
  • Faculty satisfaction rate, as measured in annual anonymous feedback survey