Faculty and Staff Development. ERIC Digest.
by Oromaner, Mark
In their discussion of "developing faculty developers," Kapp, Healy,
Nellisen, Mihevc, deWinter Hebron, and Watt (1996) cite a number of factors
that lead to the emergence of faculty development initiatives. They include
diverse student populations, demands for accountability, cost of human
resources, new and part-time faculty, and the information/technology explosion.
Indeed, the existence of associations such as the National Council for
Staff, Program, and Organizational Development (NCSPOD) and the National
Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and journals such as
The Journal of Staff, Program, & Organization Development attest to
the awareness within the higher education community of the importance of
faculty and staff development. In her overview of the evolution of staff
development programs over the past 30 years, Burnstad (1994) argues, "The
overwhelming vision for the future of community colleges is that staff
development programs should play an increasingly important role in all
aspects of campus life," (p. 394).
NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
As one might expect in teaching-centered institutions, the bulk of development
programs in community colleges focus on faculty. In a review of ERIC documents
describing faculty development programs at eight community colleges, Foote
(1996) points out that such programs allow professors to improve instructional
material, keep abreast of new technology and methods, and network with
colleagues. Gross and Stovall (1994) describe Valencia Community College's
Faculty Academy that assists new tenure-track faculty to meet the college's
criteria for tenure. Additionally, Brown, Daniels, and Sanchez (1996) provide
a case study of the Grossmont College Project to enhance faculty vitality.
As community colleges undergo the transformation from teaching-centered
to learning-centered institutions (O'Banion, 1997), and from an individual-level
of analysis to a systems-level of analysis (Oromaner, 1997), one might
expect an increasing recognition of the necessity for comprehensive faculty
and staff development programs. For instance, the results of a literature
review and case study of Mt. Hood Community College led Gratton and Walleri
(1993) to conclude, "An integrated systems approach, with staff vitality
at the center, can increase success of management initiatives and an institutional
effectiveness program," (p.36). In addition, they state, "None of these
practices will lead to sustained effectiveness, if continuous staff development
is not in place," (p.36).
In a theoretical discussion, Oromaner (1997) argues that development
activities can be viewed from within the context of organizational change.
When dramatic change takes place through reorganization, restructuring,
or change in mission, development activities can help continuing employees
accept and adjust to the new realities and orient new employees. There
also are less dramatic and nonrevolutionary shifts that require development
programs. These "normal" or "routine" alterations may include gradual changes
in technology, knowledge, competition, students, clients, employee benefits,
or regulations concerning employees. Oromaner's (1997) final point is that
rewards, forms of appreciation, and personal development opportunities
should be considered in addition to financial remuneration.
SCOPE OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
In their useful NCSPOD manual, Growing Your Own Staff Development Program,
Burnstad, Hoss, and McHargue (1993) point to the growing awareness within
community colleges of the connection between institutional mission and
staff, program, and organizational development. They also point to the
importance of the inclusion of administrators, faculty, and support staff
within the term "staff." The program at Hudson County Community College
(HCCC) has been influenced by this view and reflects the mission-driven
nature of the program and the diversity of the activities suggested by
Burnstad, Hoss, and McHargue (Oromaner, MacPherson & Lopez, 1997).
In 1993, the Board of Trustees of HCCC adopted a mission statement that
called for the transformation of the college from a limited-mission career
oriented institution to a comprehensive community college. The general
goal of the Faculty and Staff Development Council is to support and initiate
programs and activities that serve the college's new mission statement.
These can be placed within four categories:
1. Community Building - Activities and opportunities that either support
a sense of community among employees or help to integrate employees into
the larger community college world (e.g., convocation, membership in national
2. Professional Growth - Activities and programs that have a direct
relationship to the role performance of employees (e.g., educational opportunities,
small grants, workshops).
3. Personal Growth - Activities and programs that have a direct impact
on the growth of employees as individuals and as employees (e.g., benefits
workshops, health information programs).
4. Recognition and Appreciation - Activities and programs that enable
the college community to formally acknowledge the extraordinary contributions
of colleagues (e.g., professional educator of the year, monthly recognition
in college publication).
Institutions will prioritize these categories in accordance with their
missions and resources.
IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
A college may begin a development program by asking the what, where,
who, and how questions. In addition, these questions must be revisited
as the institutional environment, mission, goals, objectives, and resources
What? - There is consensus that a development program should enhance
attitudes, skills, knowledge and performance of employees. However, every
program must face the "person vs. role" issue. Does the program enhance
the person as a whole or as a player in a particular role? To what degree
are resources available for both?
Where? - If the program is to serve all employee categories it must
be seen as a "neutral" office. To the degree possible, it should be perceived
as independent of the major divisions within the organization (e.g., academic
affairs or administration and finance).
Who? - Who is to be served by the development program? At HCCC there
is a comprehensive program that includes all development activities and
serves all employee categories. To reflect the latter point, the original
title of the advisory committee was changed from "Staff Development Committee"
to "Faculty and Staff Development Council." "Staff" was meant to be inclusive.
However, faculty representatives suggested that a number of their colleagues
did not feel that this term included them. Therefore, they recommended
that the title be changed. This may appear to be a minor point. However,
if members of a group feel that they have not been included, the program
will not achieve its potential. In addition, meaningful programs for staff,
adjunct faculty, and contracted personnel present serious challenges for
comprehensive development programs at community colleges.
How? - Burnstad, Hoss, and McHargue (1993) provide sage advice on this
important question: "Several campus colleagues should advise you and your
program.... The committee members will contribute good ideas of their own
and help you solicit other ones. They will also provide you with more credibility
and increase the sense of 'ownership' by your campus colleagues," (p. 23).
The development program/officer must also have the strong public support
of the president.
In addition to these four questions, each institution must confront
the issue of faculty and staff participation. Efforts to increase participation
range from reliance on internalized professional and career norms and values
concerning development to formal requirements written into individual development
plans and collective bargaining agreements. Monetary incentives also have
proven quite successful. For instance, adjunct faculty at HCCC are paid
a $25.00 stipend for each in-house faculty workshop they attend.
Examples of successful faculty and staff development programs and activities
are found throughout the community college sector. The challenge facing
each college is to implement and integrate programs that cross divisional
lines and are responsive to its mission and all of its employee groups.
Brown, A. L. Jr., Daniels, J. & Sanchez, R. (1996, May). "Bridges
and Barriers to Faculty Vitality: The Grossmont College Project, 1995-1996."
Paper presented at the Annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational
Development Conference, Austin, TX. (ED 396 797)
Burnstad, H. M. (1994). "Management of Human Resources in the Community
College." In G.A. Baker III (Ed.), A Handbook on the Community College
in America: Its History, Mission, and Management (pp. 386-395). Westport,
CT: Greenwood Press.
Burnstad, H. M., Hoss, C. & McHargue, M. (1993). Growing Your Own
Staff Development Program. National Council for Staff, Program and Organizational
Foote, E. (1996). "ERIC Review - Faculty Development in Community Colleges."
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 20(1), 89-93. (EJ 518
Gratton, M. & R. D. Walleri. (1993). "An Integrated Systems Approach
in Support of Institutional Effectiveness: The Roles of Staff and Organization
Development and Institutional Research." The Journal of Staff, Program,
& Organization Development, 11(1), 35-47. (ED 379 040)
Gross, E. K. & R. H. Stovall. (1994, May). "Valencia Community College
Faculty Academy: Preparing New Faculty for Tenure." Paper presented at
the Annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development
Conference, Austin, TX. (ED 381 213)
Kapp, C., Healy, M., Nellisen, C., Mihevc, B., deWinter Hebron, C. &
Watt, H. (1996). "Developing Faculty Developers: Some Issues When Recruiting
New Faculty Developers and Ensuring the Professional Growth of Current
Faculty Developers." The Journal of Staff, Program, & Organization
Development, 13(4), 229-239. (ED 409 953)
O'Banion, T. (1997). Creating More Learning - Centered Community Colleges.
Mission Viejo, CA: League for Innovation in the Community College.
Oromaner, M. (1997, February). Staff Development and Organizational
Change (Report 97.03-SR). Jersey City, NJ: Office of Planning and Institutional
Research, Hudson County Community College. (ED 405 917)
Oromaner, M., MacPherson, L. & Lopez, E. (1997, October). Contributions
of a Comprehensive Faculty and Staff Development Program to a Comprehensive
Community College (Report 97.09-SR). Jersey City, NJ: Office of Planning
and Institutional Research, Hudson County Community College.