Professional Development

The university is committed to developing high standards and quality of its education. Thus, its professional development is considered an essential long-term investment, aiming to enhance good teaching practice by implementing new instructional strategies to enable the faculty members to respond positively to the changing needs of students. Therefore, the university is allocating a certain percentage of its budget toward Faculty development to provide the opportunities for Faculty through the Dean. The university encourages excellence in teaching and scholarly activities through offering programs to enable the Faculty to improve personal and professional qualities as educators.

ِA- Opportunities for University development include:

  I. New Colleague Orientation and Mentor Program

The Orientation Program, designed to acclimate Colleague to AFU community, has three primary components:

  1.  a two-day orientation seminar held in late summer.
  2. a series of fall workshops on topics helpful to new Colleague.
  3. a Mentor Program through which experienced Colleague work with new Colleague during their first year at the university, offering them opportunities to discuss professional and personal concerns.

  II. Release time for creative/scholarly projects

 All faculty members are encouraged to apply for three credit hours release time to develop creative/scholarly projects.

  III. Travel to Professional Conferences

Support for travel to professional conferences is available through the Dean after the dean gets approval from the vice president for administration and finance. Faculty members should submit copy of all necessary forms, along with a memo explaining the purpose, to the head of the department who, provided he/she approves the request, will forward the document to the Dean for final approval. Travel expenses are calculated according to the guidelines set by the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Written report on funded travel and an expense report with attached receipts must be submitted to the head of the department within one week after the travel is concluded.

  IV. Workshops on Advancement of Teaching

The workshops aim at advancing the art of teaching, particularly through effective and innovative uses of technology. The workshops are not limited to supporting Faculty use of technology, it support a broad range of initiatives aimed at improving teaching and student learning, supporting Faculty and student research, and exploring issues in higher education in general . Examples of the latter include Faculty discussions on plagiarism, scientific writing, scientific editing etc.

   V. Workshops on Research

The overall mission is to increase the number of students involved in research (creative scholarship/activity). In this context, workshops, sponsoring internal funding opportunities, hosting the annual Festival of Scholars are provided for students and Faculty members. Specifically, the workshops help Faculty members develop grant proposals that involve undergraduate research/scholarly opportunities, provide Faculty members training on how to effectively mentor undergraduates as they complete a scholarly project, and explore ways in which teaching and research can be integrated.

  VI. University Colloquia

University Colloquium will be hosted each semester where Faculty members share the results of their research. A committee of Faculty chooses speakers and respondents. An open discussion follows the presentations.

B- Eligibility

All Faculty members (part- or full-time appointments) are eligible to participate in the University's development programs. Special eligibility requirements associated with the individual programs are described with each program.

C- Required Approvals

Applications for all Faculty Development Programs require departmental and Dean's signatures. These signatures certify that:

(1) the applicant meets the requirements for the given program,

(2) the proposal merits support,

(3) acceptance of the award in an individual case will not impair the instructional activities of the department,

(4) the proposal is consonant with the University's strategic plan, and

(5) the application follows the requested format.

D) Announcements of Opportunities and Award Recipients

The University annually announces the developmental opportunities available to Faculty along with the procedures and deadlines governing each such opportunity. This information is also continually available on University web site, which is updated on a regular basis. Following the review and evaluation of proposals submitted for each developmental program, the recommended proposals be forwarded to the Dean for his/her approval.

E- Relevant criteria for selection of applicants

The Dean evaluates applications for Faculty and staff development program. In every case, the evaluation focuses on the following: -

  1. The productivity and achievements of the applicant.
  2. Academic experience and practices characterizing the applicant's field of study.
  3. Project's potential for contributing to the Faculty member's professional development.
  4. Quality of professional products in relation to field and years of academic service.
  5. Consistency of professional productivity, in relation to years of academic service.
  6. Awards, fellowships, grants, and other honors earned.
  7. Consultant-ships, editorial assignments, review assignments, and other invitations that imply peer recognition.
  8. Conferences, displays, guest lectures, and other professional contributions.
  9. Special assignments and services performed for the university.
  10. General reputation and attitude of the applicant inside the university.