Faculty Research and Development
We believe that an active scholarly life and excellent undergraduate teaching go hand in hand. Faculty who are engaged in their professional worlds bring cutting-edge discoveries, critical debates, exciting new research and discipline-defining conversations into their classrooms, labs and studios. They readily share with students their excitement about the disciplines to which they have dedicated their lives, and model the many and varied forms of engagement in scholarship and research that are possible at a liberal arts college.
We are proud of the fact that we define 'scholarship' broadly. An active professional life may by evidenced by publication, performance, exhibition and conference presentation. It may also be evidenced by involving students in research, accepting leadership in a professional organization, helping to organize a conference, editing a book or journal, bringing disciplinary expertise to a community project, exploring the scholarship of teaching in a discipline (and perhaps publishing in this increasingly significant field), and engaging in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues at Monmouth or elsewhere that leads to the creation of joint projects, new courses and other opportunities.
Scholarship that models for our students our commitment to the liberal arts ideal is exactly what we hope to foster and what we see exemplified every day at Monmouth College. In this context, what do we mean by the liberal arts ideal? Each faculty member will answer this in his or her own way, but, in general terms, we mean cross-disciplinary collaboration; the integration of knowledge, action and ethics; collegiality; creativity; a breadth of interests and commitments reflective of lively curiosity about our world and people in it; and rigor in thinking and scholarly production.
Here, you will find a summary list of internal research and development opportunities, with PDFs attached to each explaining the application process, deadlines and other details.
Professor and Associate Dean Frank Gersich helps to coordinate faculty development opportunities and resources at Monmouth, and is a fountain of information in himself. Professor Gersich is the director of the Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center, the director of the assessment program, and the liaison to the ACM, with its rich program of faculty resources, workshops and conferences.
This page contains the application forms (for student travel, non-science equipment, and software) for development funding disbursed by the FIDC, as well as the College's travel guidelines. An invaluable resource for all faculty.
Research-Related Travel and Conference Attendance
Tenure-track faculty at Monmouth receive an annual allocation for research-related travel and conference expenses, which may be rolled forward for a second year for particular conference expenditures (but will not continue to accumulate).
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research
Monmouth students and faculty have many opportunities to engage in substantive collaborative research: throughout the academic year, in short-term intensive experiences in January and August, in summers of collaborative research in laboratories and field settings (with on-campus housing available for students).
Monmouth College has a standard sabbatical system on a seven-year cycle. Eligible faculty receive notice in the year preceding the year of eligibility; sabbatical proposals are due in the fall of that preceding year. Sabbaticals are a half-year at full pay or a full year at half-pay.
There is a limited pool of money for expenses related to sabbatical research and creative projects. Faculty apply to this fund at the same time that they apply for their sabbaticals.
Restricted Development Funds from Active Grants
At present, Monmouth has active grants from the Wells Foundation (for science and business), the AAC&U's Theory into Practice Initiative (Citizenship: Green Initiatives), and the Monmouth College Board of Trustees Initiative (general advancement of the academic program). Guidelines for application are in PDF below.
Departmental Assessment Projects
There is a limited pool of money within the Dean's Office for departments that have substantial plans to review and revise their curriculum (courses or the structure of the major and/or minor) in light of data derived from departmental and all-college assessments. Faculty interested in applying to the dean for funding should speak with Professor Frank Gersich about their plans, needs and timeline.
There is a limited pool of money within the Dean's Office for groups of faculty (i.e., three or more) who have substantial plans to work together to develop curricular projects and initiatives, such as an emerging area-studies minor, a team-taught course or joint-student-faculty research initiative, or the creation of a set of linked courses. These initiatives may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary. Faculty interested in applying to the dean for funding should speak with Professor Frank Gersich about their plans, needs and timeline.
Instructional Technology First Adopters
The College is committed to assisting faculty members who intend to implement new instructional technology within a course (or courses) and plan to spend significant time in the summer adapting courses and assignments to the possibilities opened up by the new technology. This funding will be available through the FIDC disbursement process.
Discounts for Working Luncheons
The Dean's Office has arranged to make available discount coupons for local restaurants for faculty engaged in the mini-grant opportunities above, and for faculty who arrange for a summer meeting to discuss pedagogical readings, readings on assessment in higher education, or professional literature in similar all-college programs and initiatives (the integrated studies program, general education, educating for democracy, civic engagement, international study and study abroad, etc.).
The Faculty Colloquium is a venerable program at Monmouth College, occurring every Friday at 4:00 in the Library seminar room. Monmouth faculty present the results of recent research and creative work. Students are welcomed. Food and drink are available beforehand in the lobby area on the ground level of the library.
Roundtables on Teaching
The Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center (the MTLC) offers regular luncheon roundtables on various topics central to successful teaching at a selective literal arts college: how to foster critical, civil, substantive discussion, how to structure writing assignments, how to incorporate electronic resources into the classroom, how to develop problem-based-learning courses, how to combine lecture and experiential learning, how to structure a community-based learning experience, and more.
Workshops on Academic Advising
Faculty typically begin to formally advise students in their second year at Monmouth. In preparation for their work as advisors, the new-faculty-orientation leaders arrange a series of workshops and training sessions on academic advising in the second semester of the new faculty members' first year.
In addition, the Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center offers occasional seminars upon academic advising to the entire faculty, enabling conversation about advising practices, innovations, and objectives. These conversations provide a forum for faculty to share ideas, pool resources, identify points of special expertise, confer together about complex situations and work together toward an ever-better academic advising program.
Wine, Cheese and Data Workshops
The faculty assessment committee, in conjunction with the faculty director of the assessment program, arranges workshops throughout the year to disseminate the results of assessment projects and surveys and to foster faculty discussion about the findings, as well as coordinated action based upon the data available.
Other workshops enable departments and individuals to share their assessment practices and projects, presenting successful initiatives, leading discussion about ways and means, and reflecting upon the information they have acquired and the next steps they will take.
The Hatch Scholarship Award
The award honors Monmouth College professors who have distinguished records of scholarship. Scholarship in this context includes faculty-student research projects, pedagogical research, creative activities and traditional research in peer-reviewed publications. The award is conferred by a committee appointed by Faculty Senate, with representation from fine arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Award recipients from the previous year are ineligible during the immediately following academic year. The award is announced annually.
The Hatch Teaching Award
The award honors Monmouth College professors whose teaching or mentoring have changed the lives of their students. After graduation and upon thoughtful reflection, former students realize how specific professors have changed their lives. The impact might have come from a rigorous, inspiring course that made all the difference in graduate school or on the job; through providing difficult advice in a caring manner; or by teaching an independent study or serving as a mentor. The award is announced annually.
The Hatch Service Award
The service award honors individuals and groups (individual departments, committees, informal faculty groups as well as mixed groups of faculty and staff) that do especially noteworthy work for Monmouth College. Recipients from the last three years (or representatives from the awarded groups) serve on the selection committee. The award is announced annually.
Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Faculty Development
ACM faculty development opportunities are available to Monmouth faculty by virtue of Monmouth's membership in the ACM. Opportunities include FaCE grants, workshops and conferences.
ACM FaCE grants are the primary mechanism for ACM support for faculty research and curriculum development. Deadlines for proposals are typically in October and March. This is an initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation.
Professor Frank Gersich, ACM liaison, publicizes ACM faculty development opportunities on the Monmouth electronic bulletin board, but you should also keep an eye on the ACM website for grants, conferences and workshops of particular interest to you.