WMU instructor teaching in class

Support for WMU Instructors

WMUx is the university’s hub for teaching and learning innovation. Founded in 2020, WMUx houses the Office of Faculty Development, the Instructional Design and Development team, and the Instructional Technology Center. Our physical spaces are in Ellsworth Hall and the University Computing Center, but we can also meet with you virtually via Webex for consultations. Almost all our events and workshops are held online and are recorded so that you can access sessions, even if they take place at times when you are unavailable.

If you are interested in professional development or classroom management advice, including help with academic job market materials and interview strategies, you can contact Dr. Gwen Tarbox, Professor of English and Director of the Office of Faculty Development. Dr. Tarbox can be reached at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu.

If you are working on developing a course, rubric, or assignment, you can get in touch with the Instructional Design and Development team using the contact form.

If you need help with educational technology, including Elearning, Mediasite, and Webex, our Instructional Technology Center is here to help you, either in person in their University Computing Center office or via Webex. You can get in touch using the contact form.

Whether you are early in your teaching career or are an experienced educator, WMUx exists to support you with a comprehensive suite of services, resources, and events. We encourage you to explore the variety of ways you can engage with WMUx and click below to find some additional information for your specific instructor group. 

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) Memberships

WMU has an institutional membership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), the leading provider of professional development in higher education. As part of our membership, we can offer all faculty, academic staff and graduate students access to the following:

  Back to top


Activate Your NCFDD Membership

 Claim your free WMU Sponsored Membership by completing the following steps: 

  1. Visit facultydiversity.org/join 
  2. Under “Select Your Institution,” choose “Western Michigan University”
  3. Select “Activate my Membership” 
  4. Complete the registration form using your WMU email address.
  5. Check your WMU email account to find a confirmation/welcome email. Click “Activate Account” in the email. 
  6. Please contact faculty-development@wmich.edu if you have any questions.

  Back to top


Faculty Success Program 

In addition to the basic membership benefits, NCFDD offers an intensive Faculty Success Program designed for employees who are preparing to go up for promotion to associate professor, full professor, or master faculty specialist. The added cost for this service can be paid by the faculty member from their own funds or from professional development funds that may be available to them at the unit or college level. WMU is currently exploring the possibility of making funding available to faculty members who would need funding support and will send out a message to all faculty in Fall 2023 with further information. If you have any questions in the interim, please contact Dr. Gwen Tarbox, Director of the WMUx Office of Faculty Development at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu.

WMUx Teaching Resources

Are you preparing a syllabus or planning classroom activities for the first time? Perhaps you want to make your course materials accessible or are interested in trying out video grading. WMUx has established a Teaching Resources page that includes dozens of articles on topics related to every aspect of teaching. Each article includes an overview, helpful tips and examples, as well as a list of further reading. 

Another valuable resource is our Event Archive, where you can watch recorded workshops and trainings that have taken place over the last year. Many archived sessions include free supplementary material, such as PowerPoints or handouts, covering topics ranging from DEI pedagogy and video production to job market materials and gamification.

WMUx Events and Certificates

During the Fall and Spring semesters, WMUx sponsors workshops, makers labs, roundtables, and guest lectures designed to support your teaching and learning. To participate, sign up on the Events page. Most of our sessions are recorded and placed in our Event Archive section, along with any accompanying materials.

During the summer, WMUx runs a Summer Series that offers the opportunity to earn certificates of completion by attending all the sessions in an individual series or by attending multiple sessions across series. These certificates can be listed in your vita as evidence of your interest in professional development.


Tenure and Promotion Information

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. Every semester, the WMU-AAUP holds 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. New faculty members are invited to join our Early Career Faculty Learning Community (ECFLC) that is offered every year. Members decide upon topics that interest them related to professional development and meet once per month to engage in activities and socialize. In the fall, invitations to sign up for the ECFLC are sent to all faculty members who are in the first four years of their appointment.

  Back to top


Instructional Development Project and Travel 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 40.4 of the Western/WMU-AAUP Agreement 2021-2026.


Apply Now

Part-time Instructors

WMUx PIO Contact 

Elizabeth Cowan, a part-time instructor in the School of Music, is also the part-time Instructor Organization faculty fellow in WMUx. She is available to meet with you one-on-one to hear your concerns or to help you discover helpful teaching and learning resources. You can contact Elizabeth at elizabeth.cowan@wmich.edu

Over the last year, Elizabeth helped develop a part-time instructor survey and conducted PTI focus groups. We are using the survey and focus group data to help us develop this site and to offer content that part-time instructors have told us is important to them.

  Back to top


Receiving Onboarding Assistance

When you are hired as a part-time instructor (PTI), you will go through an onboarding process with the WMU Human Resources department. This office can answer any questions that you have about your contract, your paycheck, and the logistics of securing an ID and a parking permit.

Your hiring department may have an onboarding process for new PTIs, but if it doesn’t, you can set up a meeting with the chair or supervisor to learn more information about the department and the course(s) that you will be teaching.

  Back to top


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.

Apply Now

Graduate Students

WMUx OLLI Graduate Teaching Fellowships

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) provides community members aged 55+ the opportunity to attend university-oriented enrichment courses on a wide variety of topics. Every fall, OLLI collaborates with WMUx and the WMU Graduate College to sponsor a unique professional development opportunity. If you are a doctoral student with at least one year’s experience as an instructor of record, teaching assistant, or lab assistant, you should consider applying for a WMUx/OLLI Teaching Fellowship for the 2023-2034 academic year!  Past courses taught have included subjects such as Jane Austen movie adaptations, prairie ecosystems, snake handling, and autonomous vehicles. 

During the Fall 2023 semester, fellows will work with WMUx’s Teaching and Learning Team to develop a 1-3 session class that they will then teach to OLLI members during March or April 2024 in the modality of their choice (synchronous or in-person). In return, fellows will receive a $300 scholarship that they can use for their research. For more information, consult the Announcement document. Applications, which include a brief survey and a letter of recommendation from your advisor, supervisor, or department chair, are due on Monday, October 16 at 5 p.m. Questions? Reach out to Dr. Gwen Tarbox at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu