Office of the Provost
Office of the Provost
In the spirit of Vision 2020, the Provost's Office is pleased to announce a number of new initiatives to support the work of our faculty. Through the generosity of university donors, a new array of funding and support opportunities is available this spring through the Excellence Fund at Southern Miss.
Our loyal donors believe in us and are enthusiastically supporting our institutional efforts towards Vision 2020 and beyond.
The ACUE Faculty Development Institute (ACUE) is a program that has been in place since fall 2016, and through the generosity of the Excellence Fund for Southern Miss we will be able to extend it through the 2019-2020 academic year. ACUE provides selected faculty fellows with the opportunity to meet with their colleagues regularly as they work through a robust online course in evidence-based teaching, recognized by the American Council on Education. This course has been demonstrated to enhance the learning, academic performance, and persistence of students, and faculty who have participated in our ACUE Faculty Development Institute have enjoyed the collegiality and community the experience offers. Applications for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 cohorts (15 faculty each) will be due on April 12, 2019. Please visit the Center for Faculty Development for more details.
The Summer Grant for the Improvement of Instruction program is a long-standing tradition at Southern Miss. Through this avenue, we are able to offer a small number of faculty the opportunity to invest time in revising or creating courses during the summer months. Thanks to the Excellence Fund for Southern Miss, we will be able to continue and expand this program in the upcoming year. The recipients for summer 2019 have already been awarded, and the call for applications for summer 2020 will come out in early fall 2019. Look for the announcement and link to apply in future newsletters!
The Excellence Fund is also underwriting Interdisciplinary Investigations. The School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development sponsors this series to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration, and to engage the public in interdisciplinary research and creative activities taking place at USM. More information on the 2019-2020 investigative series can be found on the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development’s website.
Quality Matters is a non-profit organization that focuses on quality assurance in online education, providing widely respected training and certification of faculty, courses, and programs. The University is affiliated with Quality Matters and has had more than 100 faculty complete the first level of training, on Applying the Quality Matters Rubric. For each new course certification in 2019, the Excellence Fund will underwrite the cost of course certification and the faculty member will receive a $500 stipend for each course certified (until funds are depleted). For more information on Quality Matters and training opportunities, contact the Office of Online Learning.
If you have completed the process of course certification with Quality Matters, apply below for your stipend.Apply
Applied Learning Opportunities: Going Beyond the Classroom is an initiative based on decades of research demonstrating that students learn more and retain information longer when they apply that knowledge outside the traditional classroom through research experiences, community-based learning, service-learning, and collaborative and/or project-based applied experiences. Connections between a student and faculty members are the most critical to student retention, and engaging in out-of-class applied learning is a powerful avenue to build those crucial relationships.
Through this initiative faculty may request funding for applied experiences that provided deeper opportunities for their students to learn course material. Examples of such experiences may include touring local historical sites, visiting a museum in a nearby city, going to archives, traveling to conduct research in a neighboring state, providing transportation for a local community research project, and so on. Funding requests may range from $100-1500. Proposals should articulate the expected learning impact from the experience and how that impact will be assessed. Data gathered about the courses and impact of these experiences will help determine how the initiative influences student learning, retention and performance.
Preference will be given to faculty members who have completed the Service-Learning Faculty Development Seminar, at least one semester of the ACUE Faculty Development Institute, or the Innovative Teaching Workshop (January 2019). Faculty teaching in the Jump Scholars program and/or the ACES Living-Learning Community program are especially encouraged to apply.
Multidisciplinary research contributes significantly to the scholarly activity at the University and is a vital component of the research enterprise. Through this Multidisciplinary Research Teams Program Development Grant, faculty members are encouraged to work with colleagues from varied disciplines to develop grant proposals and pursue other research and scholarly activities. Faculty teams of five or more faculty are eligible to submit a proposal for funding to support the development of a significant scholarly project. The proposal must include a specific end product, to be completed by December 2019, such as a grant proposal, a creative production, or a survey for distribution. Members of the team(s) selected for funding will each receive up to a $3000 grant to support their work on the project.
As the University strives for increased multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, collaborative team teaching can provide an avenue for creative ways to approach our classes. Through the Collaborative Team-Teaching initiative, faculty members are encouraged to reach across disciplinary lines to teach high-demand, undergraduate courses in new and innovative ways, drawing on the contributions of two or more faculty members to the design and delivery of the course. Faculty may propose a team-taught course (two or more faculty) to be delivered in any session in the 2019-2020 academic year. Faculty members on collaborative teams selected for this award will receive a $3000 grant for any course development, materials, or other associated costs. Preference will be given to multidisciplinary teams and those teaching high-demand undergraduate courses. Assessment data will be collected to ascertain the impact of the team-teaching format on student learning outcomes and determine whether expansion of the project would be beneficial to the institution.
Presentation of research or travel for other research purposes is an important part of scholarly life. Faculty members sometimes need additional research travel support to add to the funds they have available through their unit, grants, or other sources. The Supplementary Research Travel Support Grants in the amount of $100-1000 to support their unmet research travel needs will be available until the funds are exhausted.
Finally, the Future Faculty Development Initiative is a diversity development initiative, similar to one established at Virginia Tech. In order to recruit faculty to USM from under-represented groups, engaging in practices that fall outside of our normal search procedures may help us build bridges to draw from graduate programs or professional conferences. Under this initiative the Excellence Fund will provide small travel grants of up to $2000 for doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and early career professors from other institutions in order to connect them with faculty and students at USM around common research interests. Although this can be done at the school or discipline level, most connections are made individually through conferences and professional development events. The Future Faculty Development Initiative could fund up to 12 visiting scholars for campus visits. Look for more details in the coming months but consider this opportunity as you attend conferences or interact with research colleagues across the country.