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Faculty Dimension Committee


Faculty

“Foundations Institutions make the first college year a high priority for the faculty. These institutions are characterized by a culture of faculty responsibility for the first year that is realized through high-quality instruction in first-year classes and substantial interaction between faculty and first-year students both inside and outside the classroom. This culture of responsibility is nurtured by chief academic officers, deans, and department chairs and supported by the institutions’ reward systems.”

                                                — John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Executive Summary

The Austin Peay State University Faculty Dimension Committee has produced the following executive summary as part of the university self-study process for the Foundations of Excellence project. 

Faculty generally perceive freshman success as a high priority at APSU and feel encouraged by the senior administration, as well as within their departments/units, to engage freshman students. The administration has been clear in its communication that improving freshman retention is an economic necessity and while many faculty may not embrace the economic model, they do acknowledge its reality.  However, the faculty may perceive the senior administration’s expectations as somewhat disconnected from the resources allocated for the first-year student experience. The necessary resources to infuse the current freshman experience with a robust faculty presence currently lag, as does a robust culture promoting faculty involvement with freshman students. Furthermore, some faculty do not perceive non-major freshmen students as a priority and the campus is challenged with fostering such a culture.  As the university community assesses its efforts to increasing the success of freshman students, there are numerous opportunities to advance a culture of freshman engagement where faculty place high value on the freshman experiences.  A primary challenge is cultivating and aligning faculty attitudes with intentional behaviors.  Fortunately, many of the changes can occur with few financial impediments. Many of the cultural shortfalls can be traced to structural aspects of the university’s practices. For example, the faculty hiring process could emphasize the importance of working with freshman students, incentives and awards development for faculty who focus on freshman student success, and pedagogical practices and research rewarded in the retention, tenure, and promotion process.

Full report

The Austin Peay State University Faculty Dimension Committee has produced the following report as part of the university self-study process for the Foundations of Excellence project Here

Committee Members: 

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