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Professional Development Guidelines for Review and Recommendations on FPL's, SRA's, and Course Reductions

The Professional Development Committee has been charged by the Faculty Assembly with the responsibility of reviewing applications for FPL's and SRA's and recommending action to the Dean, as well as advising the Dean on the granting of other course reductions.


The deadline for receipt of applications for FPL's and SRA's or other course reductions is February 1 (except in cases where an extraordinary and timely research opportunity presents itself). About this time, the Dean and Director and the Associate Dean will provide budgetary projections indicating how many sections of release time there may be for the next academic year. If this number falls below the total recommended in the Faculty Policy on Workload Reductions, the Dean will explain why. The Associate Dean will also indicate which applications for release time can be granted without necessity of replacement, thus sparing any budgetary cost. With this information in hand, the PDC will prepare a ranked list of the applications.
It is the responsibility of the faculty applicant to prepare a proposal which will adequately explain the timeliness and merit of the proposed project to colleagues who most often are from another discipline.

In order to determine the relative priority of the applications for FPL's and SRA's, the PDC will consider the following factors:

1.   Normally, at least two years must elapse between consecutive SRA's for an individual faculty member. Exceptions may occur when there are fewer applications than available leaves or when a very special case can be made for the uniqueness, importance or urgency of the research opportunity.

2.   The faculty member's scholarly productivity as a result of previous leaves/reductions.

3.   The merit of the proposal itself and its significance to its respective field. The PDC will evaluate the quality of the proposal. If its significance lacks clarity or if there remain unanswered questions regarding the proposal itself, the PDC reserves the right to consult with department chairs or others referees named by the applicant or the chair for clarification.

4.   The impact the prospective leave will have on campus course offerings and other programs, which is important especially in determining the time of the leave.

In examining these criteria the PDC will weight all four factors in an attempt to maximize the total faculty's combined contribution to scholarship as well as the professional growth of individual faculty.

In accordance with the recommendation put forth by the Faculty Workload Committee which was unanimously endorsed by the Faculty Assembly, the SRA or FPL for faculty with a seven-course load would occur during the heavy quarter and involve a three-course reduction. For faculty with a teaching load comprising fewer than seven courses per year, the SRA and FPL would involve a two-course reduction.

In forming its recommendations for single course reductions, the PDC will consider the following points:

  1. Faculty with current FPL's or SRA's may apply, but applications from faculty without such awards will take priority. Applicants with FPL's or SRA's must convincingly show the PDC that a single course reduction is required to take advantage of an extraordinary professional opportunity.

  2. The relief requested must pertain to a project that clearly exceeds the normal workload expectation of a faculty member on our campus.

The PDC should follow a procedure of review that will maintain maximum flexibility and fairness. This includes timely notice of opportunities, procedures, and deadlines. Committee minutes or reports should keep all faculty informed of the final disposition of these matters. See the Application for Special One-Course Reduction (“Forms” page).

Important PDC Deadlines

Feb 01
Requests for one-course reduction, SRA, Seed Grant, FPL

Apr 01
Supplementary Travel Funds – Second Cycle (up to $1,000 per year)

May 15
PDC teaching, research, and service grants - Second Cycle (up to $1,000 per year)

Oct 01
Supplementary Travel Funds - First Cycle (up to $1,000 per year)

Nov 15
PDC teaching, research, and service grants – First Cycle (up to $1,000 per year)

Applications for international travel funds are taken continuously (up to $700)

  1. All the deadlines are set at 12:00 noon of the specified dates.
  2. If a deadline falls into a weekend, it will be automatically postponed to 12:00 noon
    the following Monday.
  3. The two deadlines for the supplementary travel funds are temporary and may be
    changed in the next fiscal year, after an evaluation of such funds by the PDC.