Miller fountain with Richmond Center

Faculty Development, Grants, Programs & Awards

Whether you are early in your teaching career or are an experienced educator, the WMUx Office of Faculty Development exists to support you with a comprehensive suite of services, resources, and events. 

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 at gwen.tarbox@wmich.edu

We encourage you to explore the variety of ways you can engage with WMUx. We also invite you to share your own research interests and specialty through our faculty spotlights. Read below to find some additional information for your specific instructor group or explore our links for information on memberships, grants, programs and awards. 

Faculty

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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