As one of many strategies employed by the BTtoP Project, and the campuses it supports by grants, BTtoP focuses intently on supporting faculty needs and rewards. This support is especially important for faculty involved in intensive engaged pedagogies and activities that tend to require extra hours and often result in little traditional recognition or reward.
Project Director Don Harward makes clear the motivation behind the Project’s new direction and focus in a recent note to the Leadership Coalition—fifty-three institutions funded to advance campus change for learning: “It is universally acknowledged that unless the faculty provide the leadership, the changes identified as fundamental to creating and strengthening cultures for learning—the transforming changes that help students connect their own sense of purpose, civic development, and personal well being to the full aim and practices of liberal education—will not occur or will not be sustained.”
The Project will focus the final two years leading up to BTtoP’s tenth anniversary in 2012 on attention to faculty perspective. Kicking off the “Focus on Faculty” will be a January 2010 Leadership Coalition Faculty Conference, involving campus teams of two to three faculty members from more than fifty-three institutions gathered to plan how the Project might be of help to campuses to launch programs, resources, and other opportunities that give attention to faculty and their leadership to bring about changes that strengthen the cultures for learning on our campuses.
In late 2009, Dr. Ashley Finley, national evaluator for the BTtoP Project and Leadership Coalition, will conduct the first round of a Faculty Survey at five institutions and will present preliminary data at the January conference. Topics covered in the survey will include reward structures for promotion and tenure; teaching and learning efforts as valued components of scholarship; and time constraints that impact faculty members’ willingness or ability to engage in pedagogies intended to advance essential learning outcomes.
Findings from this survey and the conference in January will guide the Project’s agenda for 2010–2012 as it looks forward to emphasizing the faculty perspective and role in initiating and sustaining transformative change.