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Recent Entries

You’ll find the latest from the Adams Center staff here at the Adams Blog.  The content varies, but the subject is always the same: teaching and learning.

2024 Black History Month Celebration

In honor of Black History Month, the Adams Center hosted two sessions celebrating Black influence in a variety of areas. Faculty in various fields of study shared the significance of Black influence in that field.  The first session included art, music, and film....

AI Syllabus Statement

In September 2023, Inside Higher Education (IHE) published the Hanover Research Report on Artificial Intelligence:  Benefits, Challenges, and Sample Use Cases of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education. This offers a good overview that you may find helpful in...

Honors Colloquia and Honors Contracts: Fall 2023

Dr. Trey Shirley provided information about applying for and developing an Honors Colloquium. These slides detail the new tracks for the Honors College and the process for creating a colloquium. For the 2024-2025 school year, applications are due January 12, 2024. In...

Attendance, Participation, Engagement… oh, my!

A topic of frequent conversation at the Adams Center includes policies and classroom practices about attendance, participation, and engagement. Faculty often find themselves trying something new each semester or implementing a new, promising plan only to have it go...

Thinking about AI Syllabus Policies

As the semester approaches, the reality of ChatGPT (and other large-language-model tools) use looms large. Students across higher ed report that they use AI extensively, and many faculty are designing ways to use AI in class assignments, activities, and scaffolding....

Leveraging Canvas in Your Teaching

The Adams Center for Teaching Excellence at ACU in conjunction with the Innovation Foundry recently held three exciting sessions to address the use of Canvas, the university's learning management system. These sessions covered a variety of topics, from the...

Contact Us

Laura Carroll

Executive Director

Scott Hamm

Assistant Director and Learning Designer

Rodney Ashlock

Director of Faculty Development

Amy Boone

Teaching and Learning Specialist

Hollye Jaklewicz

Administrative Coordinator

Stephen Rektenwald

Assistant Director of Educational Technology

In 1994, the President of the University established a Professional Development fund to be used to supplement currently budgeted monies dedicated to faculty enrichment. This document summarizes the purposes of the program, the process used to allocate the funds, and the closing dates for applications to be received.

Purposes of the Program

The Presidential Fund for Professional Development is a special fund of $11,000 that has been set aside to assist University faculty in becoming excellent teachers and scholars. Monies from this fund are intended to support faculty members traveling to conferences to improve their teaching or to present their research and scholarship at national or international conferences. Priority will be given to those attending conferences about teaching

Awards from the Presidential Fund for Professional Development will be given in amounts up to $1,000 per fiscal year, per faculty member.

Eligibility to Apply for Funding

In order to be eligible to apply for funding, the faculty member must attend a conference (or conference track) related to teaching. The conference can be directly related to the applicant’s field or a general teaching conference (for example, a Lilly conference). The applicant does not need to present at the conference. If the applicant chooses to attend a teaching track at a disciplinary conference, they must attend at least three sessions related to teaching. Faculty who attend a teaching conference will meet with Adams Center staff to share what they have learned.

Alternatively, an applicant may be presenting their research at a national or international conference or program within his/her discipline. The event must be generally recognized by the discipline as a major conference or program. The presentation can be either a paper or poster accepted through a peer-review process or an invited presentation. 

Monies from this fund may not be used to supplement participation that is otherwise funded by the conference organization. Monies from this fund must not be used to exceed the costs of conference participation. 

Application Process

Applications will be submitted to the Faculty Development Committee through the online form. Applicants should be prepared to provide: 

Rationale for attendance

        • A description of the teaching conference the faculty member wishes to attend and a rationale for how the conference will enhance the applicant’s classroom teaching, OR 
        • A description of the faculty member’s selection for participation in the meeting (noting how peer review has been involved in his/her selection). A copy of the acceptance or invitation letter for the presentation must be included, along with an abstract of the presentation.
        • Travel Budget
              • The budget must reflect any funds allocated by other sources, including the faculty member’s department. The budget should indicate how the funds that are being requested will be used (travel, registration fees, and so on), and should reflect the total expenses that the faculty member expects to incur.Travel Budget
          • The budget must reflect any funds allocated by other sources, including the faculty member’s department. The budget 
      • Applications for awards will be accepted three times each fiscal year for as long as the Fund remains in effect. Closing dates for applications are:
        • Summer Cycle: 5 p.m. on the second Monday in April. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from June through September.
        • Fall Cycle: 5 p.m. on the second Monday in September. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from October through January.
        • Spring Cycle: 5 p.m. on the last Monday in January. This cycle includes travel to events that occur from February through May.
      • Applications must be supported by a recommendation from the faculty member’s Department Chair, confirming the prestige of the conference or program and the significance of the faculty member’s participation. The Chair will receive an invitation to complete the recommendation form once the application has been submitted. Prior to applying, therefore, applicants should discuss with their Chair their plans to apply for Presidential Funds.  
      • Complete applications will be evaluated by the Faculty Development Committee, and this committee will make a recommendation for awards to the Provost’s Office.
      • The Provost’s Office will notify faculty members in writing whether or not they have been awarded funds. Upon award, funds will be transferred to the departmental FOAPs provided by the faculty member on the application.

      Criteria for Awarding Funds

      If the Faculty Development Committee receives more applications from eligible faculty than can be funded in a given cycle, they will use the following criteria to select which applications to fund: 

      • The committee will consider the quality of the proposal, the conference’s scope of influence, and the applicant’s need for funding. 
      • Preference will be given to applicants who did not receive Presidential Funds within the current or previous fiscal year. 
      • Preference will be given to junior faculty building their portfolios for tenure and promotion. 
      • The committee will aim to distribute Presidential Funds across the widest variety of departments and colleges. If there are multiple applicants from the same department, the committee will use the above criteria to select which applicants receive funding. In some cases, the committee may choose to offer smaller awards in order to fund multiple applicants from the same department. 

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