Help from the Dean's Office


All members of the Dean’s Cabinet are available to meet with faculty to discuss ideas and resources for performance improvement.

Faculty Excellence Program

See details of support opportunities from the Faculty Excellence Program. Opportunities that may be particularly helpful for faculty improvement plans include:

  • Dean’s Faculty Fellowships – These fellowships provide a one-course release to focus on a major research, educational, or service initiative and provide a good opportunity to make a fresh start in scholarly work.
  • Travel to Funding Agencies – Funds are available to travel to funding agencies and talk about research areas and projects with program managers.
  • Seed Funds for Novel Ideas – These seed grants can help a faculty member get started in a new area or on a new project, thereby obtaining data or knowledge to prepare a proposal to an external agency.

Recommendations from Faculty and Chairs

The following tips are compiled from the performance improvement plans previously prepared by faculty members in consultation with their department chairs and/or the dean’s office. Most of these recommendations have been made by more than one faculty member.

  • Ask to teach a graduate course in your specialty, to help interest students in your research program.
  • Participate in workshops and proposal review panels in areas of interest.
  • Visit the classrooms of several faculty in your department or others who are known to be excellent teachers.
  • Dedicate time to write up completed work.
  • Seek to collaborate as a co-investigator on a large research initiative.
  • If regularly teaching large, undergraduate courses, request a teaching assistant who also does his or her Ph.D. project under your guidance (this approach helps overcome the chicken-and-egg problem of needing funds to support a graduate student and needing a graduate student to complete preliminary work to apply for funds).
  • Volunteer to be an associate editor or on a program committee in your field.
  • Identify something new that you are passionate about, and pursue it.
  • Consider scholarly work on teaching, including the creation of educational materials that others can use.
  • Involve undergraduates in your research, which will contribute to both teaching and research. There are several opportunities (Independent Study, Senior Thesis, UROP) that do not require financial support from you.
  • Seek service opportunities that are in areas of your passions.
  • Ask the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) or a colleague to conduct an observation and an interview of your class.
  • Ask a member or colleague to review your course materials and exams.
  • Volunteer to present a departmental research seminar, to help recruit graduate and undergraduate students for your group.
  • Be sure and take sabbatical, for a full year if possible. It will provide an excellent opportunity to begin new projects, as well as complete old projects.

R. Davis 7/20/16