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XI. Professional Development

Richard Bland College is committed to supporting professional faculty development. The College provides resources and opportunities for professional development for full- and part-time faculty. Department chairs are responsible for coordinating faculty development activities. Areas supported by the College include, but are not limited to, funding of applied research designed to improve student learning outcomes, presentations at professional meetings, on-campus workshops and seminars, study leave, educational leave, and release time for special projects.

A. Faculty Attendance at, and Participation in, Professional Meetings

Funding for faculty travel can come from departmental budgets, the Faculty Development Program budget, the Richard Bland College Foundation, funds from grants, or a combination of these and other sources.

Faculty members are encouraged, within budgetary constraints, to attend professional meetings. If classes are in session during the time of the meeting, arrangements to cover classes must be made in advance with the department chair, who will in turn notify the Dean of Faculty as to the disposition of classes during the period of absence using the Faculty Absence Report Form (

Faculty members are required to complete travel forms prior to departure to a professional meeting. Travel regulations are discussed below. Complete information regarding travel regulations may be found in the Office of Finance. Faculty should review policies before making work-related travel plans or arrangements.

B. Other Categories of Faculty Development

Many additional opportunities exist for supporting the professional development of faculty members. Some of these are discussed in the upcoming section on academic leave and leave taken as a sabbatical. Others may take different forms not involving leave or travel, e.g., purchase of hardware, software, or other educational supplies that discipline budgets cannot fund.

For funding requests not involving travel, faculty should submit a written request for funding that explains why the request is being made and gives a projection of costs. The initial request need not exceed a single page, although faculty may submit whatever documentation they wish. Should the Chief Academic Officer require additional information, s/he may request this be provided before funds will be approved. Within sixty (60) days of completion of a purchase, or an activity not involving travel, the faculty member should submit to his/her department chair and the Chief Academic Officer a report that describes early experiences with, or results of, the supported activity.

Faculty Handbook

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