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Am in a Statewide meeting of Faculty Developers. I note that most hold the title of Director, however there is an Associate Dean in the room. Most are not in the Management line but hold a faculty release time role. I wonder if it would be more appropriate for Faculty Developers at Universities to hold a managerial level position and a title of Dean or Associate. This would allow the Faculty Developers to control their own budgets and sit at the table where programtic and funding decisions are made. What do you think? I also wonder if Faculty Developers should ask for permanent ex-officio seats or Senate Committees with Curriculum and Professional Development responsibilities.

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There may well be benefits to allowing faculty development personnel to share a managerial/administrative role at their respective institutions, however; I fell that being a faculty line adds credibility to role and function.
It seems that it is much easier to engage my teaching colleagues in conversations of teaching and learning from my faculty member perspective than it might otherwise be from a higher place on the academic hierarchy. Like many...I am on reduced load to perform my professional development role....and because I love my time engaging students in the classroom (and on the web), I don't think I’d want it any other way.
Great question.

My campus (Cal State Univ Stanislaus) actively resisted having the Director be an administrative position - it's held by a faculty member with 75% reassigned time to direct the program. We did this intentionally so that the Director would always have an instructional role on campus, involved in the life of a dept and college, and likely involved in research and service in ways that would help him/her to be an insider among faculty. It creates a "doing with/alongside" feeling rather than having an administrator doing things "for" faculty (perhaps under direction of higher administrators rather than faculty).

We are designed in a way that while the Director reports to the AVP of Faculty Affairs, the Director serves as an ex officio member of the faculty senate's Faculty Development Committee, and is charged in part with enacting the goals set by this committee. Most of what the Director does is in response to faculty-driven interests rather than responding to the interests of the provost's office. The Director is also attached to our faculty senate's assessment committee, but not to the committee addressing educational policy. It's not a bad idea to have the director on the ed policy/curriculum committee, although at my campus this seems less important than the assessment and fac development ones.

While there may be many benefits to having the director have more positional/structural power through a full-time administrative appointment, we have actively chosen to have this remain a faculty position serving as a supportive colleague. So far this has worked well for us, but I can envision other campuses at which I have worked where someone in an administrative role would be more beneficial. I'm not sure there is an "ideal" model except for one that allows the Director to respond to faculty needs and to have enough budgetary control to truly lead the program.

Betsy Eudey
I agree that it's important that faculty developers have a seat at the policy-making tables. I used to work 1/2 time in the classroom and 1/2 at a faculty developer and found myself overwhelmed by the two roles.

I'm now an administrative faculty member and serve on several ex-officio roles on several committees including professional development, personnel services, instructional development, and faculty senate. I also sit on the deans working group. This enables me to ensure that our faculty (particularly our adjunct faculty) have a voice when discussing policies and the implementation of these.

I believe that it's important that we hold faculty rank and that we continue to teach as much as we can. Fight to ensure that your work remains on the instructional side of the house rather than the business/administrative one. Some faculty developers are associate provosts.

We've a director of professional development in HR who is a classified staff member. He has a great deal of trouble making connections with faculty since they see him very differently than they do a faculty colleague. He has no idea what goes on in the classrooms so has little credibility with the faculty.
Faculty developers perform extremely important task of academic acculturation and orientation. they should not only have a say in the policy making in higher education but also an advisory role in recruitment and promotion of University faculty to higher positions.

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