Denison, DePauw Share $60,000 Grant From The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Posted: February 4, 2002
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made a $60,000 "planning grant" to be shared by Denison University and DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.), as the two liberal arts colleges study initiatives that would help faculty members enhance career growth. The institutions will hold a series of retreat-style meetings in January, February and April 2002 at which institutional representatives will discuss how the colleges can help faculty balance their needs for teaching, research, course development and service.
"Our two institutions are similar in that we are facing major transformations," said Denison President Dale T. Knobel. "Denison and DePauw are committed to enhancing faculty salaries, managing faculty workload, and reducing the student-faculty ratio to 10-to-1. At the same time we are doing this, both our institutions are facing a wave of retirements from the faculty ranks. All else remaining equal, that means we will be facing a correspondingly larger wave of new faculty members to be hired, nurtured and mentored."
Faculty members have different needs for "release time" for growth and development at different stages of their careers. Young faculty members may need to concentrate more on preparing to teach new courses, while more experienced colleagues may need to find new ways to remain fresh in their disciplines. All may need help keeping up-to-date with instructional technology and meeting institutional expectations for retention, tenure and promotion.
DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms said, "With relatively rapid change in the faculties at both institutions, we must consider how to help new faculty members become acculturated to the residential liberal arts college ethos. How will new faculty leadership be cultivated? How will relatively young professors learn the arts of chairing a department, serving on committees, mentoring younger colleagues, and supporting the growth and development of mid-career colleagues? This Mellon planning grant will help us begin bringing these issues to a focus."
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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