New Faculty Orientation

Welcome to ACU!

We are excited you are now part of the ACU family! We know how overwhelming the initial experience must be. The good news is that you do not have to remember all of the information at once. We hope we can make things easier by putting some basic information on this page. Please bookmark this for your future use.

Required for all new faculty, NFO launches as a three-day orientation in mid-August and meets monthly throughout the school year. Topics include hospitality, theological foundations for pedagogy, sabbath rest, in addition to other teaching practices. Each new faculty member is assigned a mentor. Links to many of the resources that are shared as part of the training can be found on this page.

How do I…

What tools do I have?
At Abilene Christian University we are proud to support a variety of technology tools for your teaching needs. Check our Adams Center tools page for further information.

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. 

      Brown Library Room #264
      ACU Box 29201
      Abilene, TX 79699-9201