7.0 Faculty Development

  1. Faculty Development

    1. Faculty Development Policy and General Procedures

      To increase the opportunities for the continued professional development of the faculty and thereby ensure institutional renewal by timely and pertinent teaching, research including scholarly publication and or creative activity and service, the Campus may designate money and time to assist the faculty member in meeting his or her professional responsibilities.

    2. Developmental Leaves

      1. Sabbatical Leave for Faculty

        Only ranked faculty members (including ranked faculty members who are serving in administrative positions) are eligible for sabbatical leave. Eligibility is established by completing twelve semesters of service to Missouri State University (summer teaching excepted). A faculty member granted a sabbatical leave will be entitled to University support amounting to full pay for a half-year's leave and no less than one-half and no more than three-quarters pay for a full-year's leave, depending upon the external financial support available to the faculty member. Faculty members on sabbatical leave will receive their salaries in twelve monthly payments. They will participate in the retirement program and will have their fringe benefits paid by the University. Funds provided for travel, housing, and other living expenses are not considered to be "Salary".

        A sabbatical leave is not an automatic right; applications must be submitted according to the deadline specified in the academic work calendar prior to the academic year for which the leave is requested. Applications will be submitted to the division chair for recommendation to the dean of academic affairs. All applicants must be notified of the final decision regarding their applications by the end of the first complete week of February. Only one proposal from a faculty member is to be considered during a single academic year.

        The project for which leave is requested must be beneficial both to the faculty member and to the University. The sabbatical leave will provide an opportunity primarily for research and study in the faculty member's academic discipline and may include travel related to the research and study. Proposals to obtain an advanced degree will not be approved.

        Faculty members are obligated to return to Missouri State University-West Plains for at least one year following the sabbatical. Following the sabbatical leave, the faculty member will submit to the dean of academic affairs and to the division chair a report of research and study conducted while on leave. Any faculty member who has completed a sabbatical leave and who has failed to submit the report is ineligible to apply for a subsequent sabbatical leave until such report has been filed.

        In computing years of service that will apply toward eligibility for promotion, time spent on sabbatical leave will be counted. A faculty member who has taken a sabbatical leave is not eligible for another paid leave until the completion of 12 semesters of service to Missouri State University-West Plains subsequent to the paid leave.

      2. Educational Leaves

        Leaves for ranked faculty members wishing to return to graduate school to complete an advanced degree are subject to recommendation by the chancellor and approval by the Board of Governors. Educational leaves will be allowed under the following guidelines:

        1. Educational leaves are a privilege and not an automatic right. Salary funds must be available before educational leaves will be granted.
        2. The faculty member must demonstrate clear intent to complete all course work for the academic degree during the period of the leave.
        3. The faculty member will return to Missouri State University-West Plains for at least one year following the termination of the leave.
        4. The time accrued for a sabbatical leave will be forfeited upon the acceptance of an educational leave, and the twelve-semester period to be accrued for sabbatical leave will start with the beginning of the semester following the faculty member's return to Missouri State University-West Plains, excluding summers.

        Applications for educational leaves will be submitted according to the deadline specified in the academic work calendar, prior to the academic year for which the leave is requested. Applications will be submitted to the dean of academic affairs.

        Faculty members who are on educational leave will receive their salaries (full pay for a half-year's leave or half pay for a full-year's leave) at the same rate as would have been compensated if the faculty member were teaching. Salary will be paid in twelve monthly payments, and faculty members on educational leave will participate in the retirement program and have their fringe benefits paid by the University.

        In computing years of service that will apply toward eligibility for promotion and tenure, time spent on educational leave will not be counted.

      3. Special Leave for Faculty

        Any full-time faculty member who in the opinion of the dean of academic affairs deserves a leave for a specific purpose not listed in other portions of the Faculty Handbook may be granted such a leave with or without pay. Final approval must be granted by the Board of Governors.

        Following the special leave, the faculty member is obligated to return to Missouri State University-West Plains for at least one year. Within 30 days after the leave period, the faculty member will submit to the dean of academic affairs a report of activities conducted while on leave.

        In computing years of service that will apply toward eligibility for promotion, time spent on special leave will be counted.

    3. Faculty Development Resources

      1. Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL)

        The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) offers programs and resources for faculty, teaching assistants, and academic units. The center provides seminars and workshops throughout the year on a variety of topics for the improvement of learning, teaching, and leadership, as well as support for projects and learning communities.

        The center sponsors the Showcase on Teaching and Learning. The FCTL also conducts research, collaborates with other offices to enhance the effective use for technologies for learning and teaching, and is a source for print and electronic resources on professional, instructional, and organizational development. Faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for individualized consultations and other networking opportunities.

        More information about the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning can be accessed at its website https://www.missouristate.edu/fctl/.

    4. Extramural Support for Research and Development

      Faculty members must coordinate, after first seeking approval from their division chair and the dean of academic affairs, through the office of sponsored research on the Springfield campus all requests for outside financial assistance for University research and instructional activities. The office of sponsored research will disseminate current information on government and foundation financial support, seek potential sponsors for projects, assist faculty in the preparation of proposals, assure that the proposals are processed through the institutional review system prior to submission, and maintain adequate time-effort records. Requests for assistance must be submitted on the appropriate forms which are available from the office of sponsored research.

      Approval by the University is not required for a fellowship which is totally funded outside the University, although all fellowship applications must be filed with the office of sponsored research. Faculty members receiving such fellowships must make appropriate arrangements with the administration if fellowship obligations require release from normal faculty duties.

    5. Faculty International Teaching Opportunities

      1. China Program

        Ranked faculty members may apply for teaching opportunities on the Missouri State University Branch campus located on the campus of Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China. Application and approval must be made through the department head/division chair and the dean of academic affairs.

      2. International Travel Support

        Faculty members making presentations at respected events in international venues are eligible to make application to the dean of academic affairs. Applicants are expected to demonstrate additional resources have been pledged in their support including departmental, college-level, and personal contributions. Additional information can be obtained from the office of academic affairs.

    6. University Funds for Faculty Development

      1. Enrollment in Coursework at Missouri State University

        Full-time members of the Missouri State University-West Plains faculty may enroll free of tuition and student fees for up to fifteen (15) credit hours in Missouri State University classes in an academic year (fall, spring, summer, intersessions). See section 6.2.5.1 for further information.

      2. Educational Assistance

        Full time faculty members (including ranked faculty members serving administrative positions) at the West Plains campus are eligible for educational assistance of up to and including the maximum stipulated amount of their annual individual development fund monies per fiscal year as funds are available. This educational assistance is for tuition only for graduate coursework in the faculty member's academic discipline which is not available through any Missouri State University program.

        Faculty intending to use their development funds for this purpose should notify both their division chair and the dean of academic affairs during the semester prior to the one(s) they wish to enroll for graduate coursework. Notification is to include the name of the institution(s) and the specific courses for which one intends to enroll. The division chair and the academic dean shall each respond in writing indicating acceptance or non-acceptance of the proposal and approval or non-approval to register for coursework. The faculty member then enrolls, paying tuition. Upon receipt of an official transcript by the dean of academic affairs indicating the grade(s) earned as proof of successful completion of the coursework, the faculty member shall also present evidence of tuition payment for that coursework. No funds will be made available for unsuccessful ('C'-or lower grade) or incomplete coursework. Faculty development monies will be paid to the faculty member up to and including the stipulated maximum.

      3. Professional Activity (Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity) Time

        Upon the recommendation of the division chair, the dean of academic affairs may authorize reassigned time in order to provide time for professional activity. A faculty member taking advantage of this opportunity will be required to report to the dean of academic affairs, when requested, concerning his or her research.

        In planning academic assignments, the division chair will provide blocks of time for professional activity by individual faculty members who request it.

        Faculty who have the rank of Full Professor and who have an annual teaching load of 30 credit-hours may apply for a reduction of six credit hours per academic year to develop, conduct, complete, and communicate an approved research project or professional activity.

        The application will be made to the Dean of Academic Affairs, at the earliest, during the spring semester prior to the faculty member’s first fall semester as a Full Professor. However, the faculty member may, as long as he/she remains in good standing as a Full Professor, apply in any spring semester after his or her initial year as a Full Professor with the project commencing August 1 of that year. If approved, the application is sent to the chancellor for approval; budgetary constraints may contribute to an application being denied.

        The research project or creative activity must be proposed to and approved by a three-person faculty review committee appointed by the faculty member’s Divisional Personnel Committee. Approval by the University’s Institutional Review Board may also be required. If approved by the review committee and the IRB (if needed) the project or activity proposal is sent to the Dean of Academic Affairs for final approval.

        Criteria for what will constitute an “approvable” research project or creative activity will be developed by the Faculty Senate in association with the Dean of Academic Affairs. The project or activity must be completed no later than July 31 of the project’s third year, and must result by that same date in a juried article published in a national (U.S.) academic journal, a non-self-published book, or some other substantial work juried by peers within the appropriate academic discipline. If such results are not present after the three-year-period, then the faculty member will return to the standard teaching load of 30 credit hours per fall/spring semester.

        If successful, the Full Professor may apply for subsequent projects or activities and thus continue receiving the six credit hour reduction, or he/she may return to a teaching load of 30 credit hours per academic year.

        No reduction of teaching load from the approval of a research project or creative activity will result in a reduction of compensation.

      4. Travel

        The campus recognizes the importance of original research being conducted by faculty members, and the participation of faculty members in learned and professional society activities. As money is available, travel funds will be provided to support the participation of each full-time ranked faculty member in one professional meeting per year in order to present a paper reporting on his or her original research. The faculty member will be reimbursed for the most reasonable and economical transportation costs available as well as reasonable lodging, food costs and registration fees as per the University travel policy. The number of days for which food and lodging will be allowed may be limited to less than the full period of the convention.

        Further, the Administration, when possible, will provide funds to pay the transportation costs to one professional meeting per year for remaining full-time ranked faculty members who are not reporting on their original research. Reimbursement will be provided for the most reasonable and economical transportation available.

        Travel assistance to state conventions will be provided, as funds allow, under the following policies:

        A formal request for expenses must be made in advance to the division chair and must be approved by both the division chair and dean of academic affairs. A report of professional activities at the meeting will be submitted to the dean of academic affairs upon request following the meeting, including a copy of the paper presented. Faculty and staff members traveling at Missouri State University expense must submit receipts for commercial transportation, lodging and food expenditures as well as registration fees in order to receive reimbursement.

        For further information refer to the University Travel Policy at https://www.missouristate.edu/financialservices/travelregulations.htm

        If a faculty member travels on University business, all travel expenses which meet travel guidelines will be paid by the University.

      5. Professional Organization Dues

        Full time faculty may request the payment of dues for one (1) professional organization, directly related to the faculty member's duties, per fiscal year. As funds are available, this payment will be made from the faculty member's individual annual development fund monies. Payment will be processed through the office of academic affairs.