The Office of Faculty Development is a support service. It respects full autonomy of each faculty member to control course content and to select instructional methods most suited to student learning of that material. Services provided by the Office expand awareness, opportunities, and choices for professional practices and instruction beyond what an individual faculty member is likely to have time to uncover or discover alone. CSUCI is a unique university, and learning how to nurture it well is a constant opportunity for this Office and the entire campus.
The Mission of Channel Islands is centered upon student success through helping our students to first define and understand their highest aspirations and then to meet these successfully. Channel Islands' model for education rests upon the "Four Pillars:" (1) Interdisciplinary Education, (2) Experiential and Service Learning, (3) International Perspectives and (4) Multicultural Perspectives. Although this is a model presented at the large scale of the institution and degree, successful enactment ultimately does depend on actions of individuals through high quality teacher-student and student-student connections both within and outside the classroom. Optimizing the quality of such connections is one way in which faculty development supports the Institutional mission. The Office is a resource for any individual—full-time or part-time, of any job title classification—who teaches our students.
Good courses alone, even outstanding courses, cannot in themselves guarantee delivery of the kinds of education and degrees envisioned in the Campus Mission. Although our individual efforts and courses can teach skills and content, research indicates that carefully designed curricula enacted over longer periods than a single term are essential to producing high level thinking ability and intellectual development. Thus, after attending to needs of individual instructors and their courses, the next level of support offered by Faculty Development lies at the levels of programs and degrees by helping units to incorporate cutting-edge knowledge in design and assessment of learning experiences at different stages in students' educations.
Dr. Carol Holder, Interim Director, began the pioneering work of the Faculty Development Office in 2002, when she established basic services to faculty to support instructional innovations and scholarship. She began building a reference collection, acquired equipment such as digital video cameras for recording classroom interactions, and began coordinating faculty mini-grants for innovation in teaching and scholarly and creative activities. Carol, who retired in 2004, participated in the search for a full time director, which led to the hiring of Dr. Edward Nuhfer in July 2007. Ed and Carol are both colleagues in POD, the premiere professional organization for faculty developers, and have actively collaborated on activities of benefit to CSUCI.
In addition to the above, additional services were provided to faculty starting in August, 2007. These included an inaugural one-page monthly newsletter ("Riding the Bow Wave"), the ability to contribute to an electronic journal by the same team who created the Making Teaching Public initiative. The journal consists of accumulated findings, materials, and advice that have been authored by CSUCI instructors in the course of discovering things that serve students at this campus extraordinarily well. Other new resources include access to a wealth of classroom diagnostic tools, confidential consultations, and thematic workshops offered at the request of units, individuals and at the initiative of the Director and the Faculty Development Advisory Committee. Other services include assistance in development of sophisticated teaching philosophies as blueprints for career practice, help in preparation of dossiers for performance evaluations, assistance in professional writing tasks, personal mentoring as requested, and sponsoring of events that celebrate teaching and scholarship.