WMU instructor teaching in class

Support for WMU Instructors

On-demand access to help WMU instructors thrive. Whether you are early in your teaching career or are an experienced educator, we are here to help you imagine, innovate, and design. WMUx offers many ways for you to connect with us, from participating in workshops and learning communities to setting up an individual consultation, and we provide these customizable services at no cost to you or to your department.

In addition to resources for specific faculty groups, such as a suite of online articles and tutorials, we offer professional coaching, instructional consultations, and teaching observations. If what you are looking for isn't listed below, click on the links to set up a one-on-one conversation. Not sure who to contact? Don't hesitate to reach out to us using our contact form.

See resources for...

Graduate Students

WMUx welcomes graduate teaching assistants to contact us with any problems or questions about the courses they teach. View our calendar of events and general programs for more ways to get involved.

WMUx-OLLI Teaching Fellow Program

WMUx and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WMU (OLLI) are delighted to announce an exciting professional development opportunity called the WMUx-OLLI Teaching Fellow program. This program is open to all doctoral students who have served for at least one year as a teaching assistant or an instructor of record at Western Michigan University and are in good academic standing.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WMU provides intellectual and cultural stimulation, personal growth, and social engagement opportunities for mature adults in an informal, university-level learning atmosphere. Past courses taught in the WMUx OLLI Teaching Fellow program have focused on Jane Austen movies, prairie ecosystems, and poetry writing.

As part of the WMUx-OLLI Teaching Fellow program, successful applicants will develop and prepare a short course focused on their research area during the Fall semester and will teach it in Spring 2023 as an OLLI course.


Participant Expectations and Benefits

Applicants chosen for this opportunity will work with the WMUx Instructional Development and Support team to develop a short, 1-4 session course based on a topic related to their research that will be delivered as part of the OLLI curriculum during the Spring 2023 semester. Participants will have the opportunity to refine their instructional skills in a supportive environment, and to receive mentoring and feedback, including advice on material delivery, facilitating discussions, and laboratory methods.

Additionally, participants can use their WMUx-OLLI Teaching Fellow experience as the basis for a WMU Signature designation on their transcript. In recognition for their work, participants will receive a $300 scholarship to be used for course, research, or travel expenses. The scholarship will be disbursed to the student's WMU account after all program requirements have been completed.


Program Requirements

Applicants must be available for Webex preparation meetings to be held on October 3, October 17, and November 14, 2022, from noon to 1:30 p.m.


Session 1: Orientation, Examples, Setting the Task

 Date: October 3, 2022       Time: 12 - 1:30 p.m.

Participants will see sample lesson plans, discuss their proposed courses, and workshop their proposals.

Session 2: Lesson Planning

 Date: October 17, 2022       Time: 12 - 1:30 p.m.

Participants will learn about effective lesson planning and become familiar with the lesson template.

Session 3: Project Tuning

 Date: November 14, 2022       Time: 12 - 1:30 p.m.

Participants will workshop their proposed lesson plans in advance of their one-on-one meetings with an ID.

Online Instructional Design Meetings

 Date: Late January 2023

Edit your lesson plan with assistance from WMUx.

OLLI Course Rollouts

 Date: March-April 2023


Application Process

To apply, complete the   WMUx OLLI Teaching Fellow Application Form. Applicants should also ask their faculty advisor or dissertation director to submit a letter of recommendation to Dr. Gwen Tarbox at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2022.

Successful applicants will be informed on Friday, September 23, 2022. In order to participate, applicants must agree to attend all of the workshop sessions listed above. Any questions regarding the program or the application process can be directed to Dr. Gwen Tarbox, Director of the WMUx Office of Faculty Development, at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu.

Part-time Instructors

Instructional Development Project Grants

Grants for instructional development will be awarded by the Office of Faculty Development, to support efforts of Board appointed, bargaining unit faculty at Western Michigan University to improve student learning through instructional and curricular redesign and innovation. Funding is provided for in Article 17.5 of the WMU-PIO AFT/AFL-CIO Agreement 2021-2025.

Please note: Part-Time Instructors and PIO members should use the Project Grant application to apply for funding (NOT the Travel Grant application).

Learn about and apply for Instructional Development Project Grants  


Further resources specific to part-time instructors' needs are in progress and will be made available shortly. For an individual consultation, reach out to the WMUx OFD director.



New Faculty Members

As early career faculty, you can rely on WMUx for confidential and timely assistance with your instructional questions and projects. The following opportunities will help you jump start your career at WMU.

Developed in partnership with the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, New Faculty Orientation (NFO) will introduce you to the people and resources that relate to teaching and learning at WMU. You and your cohort will engage in a syllabus boot camp, refine your research agenda, meet with your subject area librarians, get to know many of our Student Affairs and Student Success staff, and connect with current undergraduate and graduate students.

The first two days will take place on campus, with lunch and light snacks provided. An evening reception with food and drink will conclude the second session. The third day we will meet online as we familiarize you with our Learning Management System and our Faculty Activity Reporting system.

Save the Date(s)

New Faculty Orientation

Fall 2022

Session IAugust 159 a.m. to 5 p.m.On campus
Session IIAugust 169 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.On campus
Provost's Reception for New Faculty
(plus ones invited)
August 165 to 7 p.m.Gilmore House
Session IIIAugust 179 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.online via Webex

Early Career Faculty Learning Community, 2022-23

After you get settled into your first couple of weeks at WMU, you will join your NFO cohort in a series of monthly meetings designed to build community and to help you create a new course or edit an existing course around a Quality Matters and inclusive, equitable teaching framework. This course design experience can become part of your teaching portfolio for tenure and promotion, and it will enable you to network with and get to know the entire WMUx instructional design team.


Tenure Track Faculty and Faculty Specialist Tenure and Promotion Resources

As you work towards tenure and promotion, there are two resources that you should regularly consult: your department's policy statement and the WMU-AAUP Agreement. During the Fall semester, the WMU-AAUP will hold a tenure and promotion workshop, but you can also set up a confidential professional consultation with us where you can work with an experienced faculty member to plan your teaching and research agendas.

Learn more  


Mid-Career Faculty

After the initial relief of achieving tenure and promotion, you may find yourself asking, "What next?" Or, you may now be a few years beyond promotion, wondering how to balance service responsibilities with your teaching and research. Maybe you feel stuck and just need to talk to someone about your next steps.

You don't need to go through this phase of your career on your own. We are here to help. Set up a confidential professional consultation with us where you can work with an experienced faculty member to plan your teaching and research agendas.

Learn more about professional consultations 


Experienced Faculty

Promotion to Full Professor or Master Faculty Specialist often opens the doors to administrative positions within WMU or within national and international professional organizations. To learn more about pathways to senior faculty and administrative opportunities, or to receive informed advice regarding next steps, set up a confidential professional consultation where you can work with an experienced administrator to discover the possibilities.

Learn more about professional consultations