Original Issuance Date: July 1975

Last Revision Date: September 28, 2021

UW System Administrative Policy 155 (SYS 155), Faculty Development and Renewal – The 1970’s and Beyond, provides the umbrella statement of purposes and procedures within which Institutions of the UW System are establishing programs for faculty development and renewal.  The key components of an effective Systemwide effort are:  (a) a sabbatical leave program (to be addressed in UW System Administrative Policy 156 (SYS 156), Guidelines for Faculty Retraining, Renewal, and Development, and (b) a program for facilitating intrasystem faculty exchange and transfer (UW System Administrative Policy 157 (SYS 157), Faculty Development and Renewal – A System Policy for Faculty Transfer and Exchange).  The purpose of seeking development of these components is three-fold: (1) to renew the participating faculty members and academic departments; (2) to increase options available to departments in meeting unanticipated teaching needs through services provided by faculty member from another Institution of the System; and (3) to assist faculty members and departments in meeting shifting workload requirements for programs within and among Institutions of the System.

The policy guidelines outlined in this paper are intended to assist individual faculty members, departments, and Institutions in achieving the foregoing purposes.


I. Background

Two long range problems may be identified as affecting the intention of the faculty of the UW System to maintain and enhance the quality of their instructional programs.  First, the UW Institutions and other universities will probably be unable in the next decade to bring new, young faculty members into their departments at rates remotely approximating those characteristic of the three preceding decades.  This means that unusual attention and effort needs to be given to providing opportunities for presently employed members of the faculty to renew and expand their scholarly preparation, and extend their contact with ideas and developments undertaken by colleagues in other Institutions. Second, shifting patterns of student enrollment together with the continuing development of new instructional materials, courses, and course sequences create dislocations between the numbers of faculty with particular competencies needed by an Institution and the numbers available in the current faculty. Such dislocations may be particular to one Institution, or general to the System, or even observable nationwide.  This fact joined to the limited capacity of Institutions to expand faculty ranks means that faculty members facing the possibility of redundancy or obsolescence in terms of their current scholarly preparation need opportunities for renewal, retraining and to develop new competencies more urgently needed by their department, their Institution, other Institutions of Wisconsin and the nation.

Based on the assumptions outlined in SYS 155, Faculty Development and Renewal – The 1970’s and Beyond, it is essential to stress the need for faculty to keep pace with the rapid growth of knowledge and to expand their areas of concentration within their respective disciplines. Working with faculty colleagues in other programs or at other campuses within or outside the state would extend flexibility to meet changing program needs and to enhance program quality by broadening faculty perspective. Also, such cooperative efforts could help faculty to develop methodological and research skills, to cultivate the sense of creativity and to achieve more effective teaching through improved and new course materials and curricular offerings.  The expansion and integration of future faculty development efforts, as outlined in SYS 155, Faculty Development and Renewal – The 1970’s and Beyond and as approved by the Regents in May, 1975, are given further support through the operating principles and recommended approaches set forth in this paper.

II. Intra System Faculty Exchange, Transfer and Renewal: Operating Principles

A. Faculty Exchange:

A program of Faculty exchange would allow departments and institutions to mutually profit from the stimulus of new ideas and perspectives.  In the past such intellectual stimuli generally occurred through the dual dynamic of new faculty appointments during an institution’s expansion phase, and position turnover in a mobile employment market.  The appearance of a “steady state” environment has severely diminished this dynamic and threatens to freeze personnel movement and turnover.  This means that the intellectual vitality which previously occurred by chance must now be facilitated through planning.

UW System Administration, in cooperation with the campuses and the faculty, will establish a mechanism for identifying those faculty who wish to be available for short term (semester, one year or two year) opportunities to teach at another Institution of the System.

Institutions and departments are urged to consider the programmatic flexibility and merit of a short term appointment for faculty members from another Institution of the System as a means of:  (1) providing enhanced opportunities for colleagues in other Institutions of the System to expand their association with teaching and research in neighboring Institutions, and in a spirit of reciprocity to enlarge such opportunities for their own faculty; (2) meeting the need for short term additions to their teaching force while further study is made of the need for an additional appointment to their regular teaching ranks; and (3) establishing a longer time period between the identification of a funded vacancy and the selection and appointment of a regular faculty member to fill this vacancy.

B. Faculty Transfer:

A program designed to facilitate intra-system faculty transfers between departments and institutions would allow faculty members to consider open positions and would allow departments and institutions to consider talent presently available within the UW System.  While it is not anticipated that faculty transfers would constitute a major element in a systemwide program of development and renewal, recent system experience indicates that a few faculty members are interested in the intellectual stimulus of a new institution and a new set of colleagues. Where these faculty interests and institutional needs reciprocate each other to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, opportunities for faculty transfer should be facilitated.  In essence, a faculty transfer operates as a “new hire” for a department. Questions of faculty status, promotion and tenure would be negotiated between the prospective faculty member and his or her prospective department and institution.  In all cases, appropriate administrative clearances should be made between the affected institutions.

Institutions and departments are urged to consider colleagues from Institutions within the System who wish for any of a number of reasons to transfer as possible appointees to fill identified vacancies on a continuing rather than a short term visiting basis.

C. Faculty Renewal and Retraining:

A program of faculty renewal and retraining would be a significant element of a systemwide program of faculty development and renewal.  Further, it would be designed to interface with institution based programs developed under the guidelines of SYS 155, Faculty Development and Renewal – The 1970’s and Beyond. It is anticipated that in the future faculty will be asked to make greater application of their professional skills to interdisciplinary settings and programs, personally tailored programs, continuing education, etc. Given the rapid flow of new information, the development of new analytical skills and the development of new modes of analyses, opportunities must be made for faculty renewal and retraining on a regular basis.

Institutions are encouraged to consider making opportunities available for short term post graduate study to: revitalize existing expertise, acquire familiarity with new analytical skills, develop a working knowledge of new methodologies, acquire familiarity with learning approaches for new clientele (learning contracts, competency based education, self-paced instruction modules, assessment, credit by examination, cooperative education, etc.), evaluate interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving education, etc. Further, institutions are encouraged to make opportunities available for faculty retraining to expand existing faculty expertise and institutional program flexibility.

The approaches to this area are several and could utilize existing system resources; e.g., post graduate summer or semester coursework; special course audits, retraining leaves of absence; faculty exchanges designed for new program experience; intra-consortial appointment opportunities; temporary or permanent joint appointments with other institutions, etc.; special work arrangements with other agencies in the public sector or firms in the private or program within the UW System or an institution, program, agency or firm outside the System, the arrangements would have to be negotiated to the mutual satisfaction of the affected institutions.

D. Contingency Provisions:

A fourth element of a systemwide program for faculty development and renewal grows out of recent system experience with tenure layoffs.  While we would hope that sound academic/fiscal planning and intelligent management of personnel resources would avoid a future declaration of fiscal emergency and the laying off of tenured faculty, contingency provisions should be made for transfer, retraining and reassignment programs consistent with Wisconsin Administrative Code, UWS 5.16, 5.17, 5.18, 5.19, 5.20, should such a need arise.

The arrangements to be used in facilitating interinstitution’s exchange, transfer visitation, and transfer for the renewal and development of System faculty also constitute a contingency procedure for facilitating the retraining and relocation of faculty members who might be faced with layoff under the provisions of Wisconsin Administrative Code UWS 5.16-5.20. While one of the purposes of the facilitating probability of future layoff actions, it is appropriate to specify the particular relationship of laid-off faculty, or faculty on notice of layoff to the protocol set forth in this document.

E. The Role of UW System Administration:

The function of UW System Administration is to work with a systemwide faculty development and renewal committee and act as a facilitator to: aid in the identification and publication of exchange, transfer renewal and retraining opportunities; aid in the negotiation of exchange, transfer, renewal and retraining opportunities; aid in the articulation of appropriate arrangements to coordinate a systemwide program of faculty development and renewal; and provide incentives for intra-System exchange, transfer, renewal and retraining opportunities largely in the form of specified cost sharing arrangements whereby UW System Administration will act to remove the economic barrier to expanding use of such transactions.

The systemwide faculty development and renewal committee will recommend approaches to insure effective coordination of the program.  Concern with qualitative aspects of faculty exchange, transfer, renewal and retraining will enhance professional development of the faculty and further the institutional ability to serve the changing needs of students.

Revision 2: September 28, 2021

Revision 1: December 9, 2019

Issued: July, 1975

Approved by the Board of Regents: July 16, 1976