In exchange for a course release, the Faculty Leadership Program offers an opportunity for selected faculty to acquire a more comprehensive awareness of university operations, current or upcoming initiatives, trends, and relevant literature, as well as work on a team project and present its findings to the president and provost. Accepted applicants meet once a week for an all-day, campus-led immersion program that assists participants in developing a collaborative project to positively impact the institution and student success.
The Faculty Leadership Program fosters an exploratory team environment that requires participants to relegate all other campus responsibilities to non-program hours. It is part of the Campus Connection Initiative, which aims to develop a more interconnected, knowledgeable, and adaptable campus community capable of responding quickly and collaboratively to challenges and opportunities.
Encouraging interdisciplinary activity and collaboration at Austin Peay State University (APSU) will support the institution’s mission and vision while enhancing our current academic culture. An institutional repository (IR), which is a tool for consolidating the scholarly output of the university, would provide a much needed foundation for interdisciplinary activity and collaboration and could include a “Call for Collaboration” portal. The benefits of utilizing an IR as well as increasing interdisciplinary activity and collaboration include increasing research on campus by leveraging multiple expertise, allowing for applications to otherwise unavailable grants, and providing opportunities to explore innovative methods to increase student success. Additionally, an increase in interdisciplinary activities and collaborations will increase the enrollment of high performing, transfer, and international students through the enhancement of quality research and high-impact learning experiences, which will also attract high-quality faculty and staff. There are two major obstacles to encouraging interdisciplinary activity and collaboration: a lack of cross-campus knowledge and a lack of resources. Creating an institutional repository would overcome the lack of knowledge by providing accessible information to faculty, staff, and students, while simultaneously creating an opportunity to promote APSU. Additionally, an IR would provide an opportunity for university and community-wide recognition of accomplishments, which would produce healthy competition and increase motivation. After the knowledge is accessible to the campus, then the lack of resources can be addressed through increasing the use of the IR or providing additional support.
Implementation of the IR must include buy-in during the early development stages, which may include new internal grants, release-time, or healthy competition. The IR must be able to handle a wide array of archival materials, including pdfs and high quality videos and images in order to house materials such as conference proceedings, theses, field studies, research reports, works in progress, presentations, lecture series, and videos/images of creative activities. The cost of implementing and maintaining an IR will vary depending on the implementation method, and the staff and processes involved in curating the data. Software cost will either come in the form of money paid to a provider who would supply software as well as server space and bandwidth, or in an investment of personnel and physical resources to host the IR on campus. No matter which software option is chosen, there is a secondary cost for curating the data in the repository, which would likely be in the form of staff at the Woodward Library. These costs, however, are far outweighed by the benefits of an IR to the university and its faculty, staff, students, and local community. With an IR that promotes collaborations, Austin Peay can achieve its strategic goals, while preserving and promoting our legacy.
(Austin Peay State University, 2018-04-24) Chester-Fangman, Christina; Hooper, Michael; Hunt, Kate; Markov, Sergei; Truhon, Stephen
The goal of this proposal is to create the Center for Adjunct Faculty Support & Engagement, or “CASE,” at Austin Peay State University (APSU). In learning about issues on campus as part of the Faculty Leadership Program (FLP), our cohort become aware of the large number of adjunct faculty members at APSU and their impact on our students, as well as the inadequate support for adjunct faculty and the difficulties of their recruitment and retention. The mission of the proposed Center is to implement best practices available at other institutions of higher education to support our fellow adjunct faculty. These practices include thorough orientation and training for adjunct faculty, adjunct faculty mentoring, professional development, and the recognition of adjunct faculty. The existence of this proposed CASE will help to 1) improve the learning experience and success of our students; 2) recruit and retain the best possible adjunct faculty at minimal additional cost; and 3) foster a sense of engagement, satisfaction, and belonging to the institution for our more than 350 APSU adjunct faculty members.